Recommendations for Solar at San Jose, CA area

prasadkm0204

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 23, 2015
47
0
Santa Clara,CA
#1
Hi,

I am looking to install solar for my pool and had the following questions.
1. How many months overall would I be able to use the pool in a year. Right now its about June to Early Sept. I live in the San Jose, CA area.
2. Any recommendations for companies would be helpful. I got one quote for 11k from a company that uses sunstar solar. It will cover 67% of my pool area.

I also have a pool cover and a south facing roof.

Thanks a bunch,
-Prasad
 

santacruzpool

Gold Supporter
Feb 24, 2015
498
0
Santa Cruz, CA
#2
I am just over the hill from you in Santa Cruz - we don't have solar currently since our auto safety cover holds our heat in pretty well. So far I have resisted putting in solar - even though we have pre-plumbed for it and have everything setup automation wise for adding it in the future.

I looked at a local company who does most of his work in San Jose and was quoted $4K a couple of years ago. I think my San Jose based pool builder wanted $7-8K.

Right now our pool is 72-75° and I think solar would bump that up easily to the 80's. However, I am not sure how many extra months I would get for a swim season here in Northern California. I can usually swim from April through October (this year April was pretty cold). I don't really think I would want to swim during the colder months since the daytime temps are too low for my comfort. Even if we had a warmer pool from solar panels I am not sure how much it would extend the swim season in our warm spot in Santa Cruz. Now San Jose is a bit warmer so your expectations and results will certainly be somewhat different, but when did it get warm enough this year for you to want to jump in the pool?

For panels, most of the posts I have seen on this board seem to recommend the Heliocol and Fafco type panels.

Since we have some flat roof available for panels I was looking at the Gull Industries coils (they happen to be from San Jose) - but they aren't rated very highly by many pool experts it seems. The Gull coils use 3/4" tubing which I have been told is not as efficient as the smaller tubing in the standard pool panels. The Gull coils are very similar to lots of DIY solutions you can find on the internet and see in various videos on YouTube.

I have also looked at putting some solar on the available space we have on our standing seam metal roof - we would use a similar setup to one I saw pictures of in another post from So Cal. edit: here is a link to the Solar Metal Roof post
 
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prasadkm0204

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 23, 2015
47
0
Santa Clara,CA
#3
Thanks @santacruzpool.
This season the weather has been quite unpredictable. December was quite warm whereas April is still kinda cold.
Maybe I will look at santa cruz companies to get a quote. I thought 11k was quite high to cover 67% of my pool area.
 

santacruzpool

Gold Supporter
Feb 24, 2015
498
0
Santa Cruz, CA
#4
I am sure there are better options on your side of the hill - it just is a coincidence that the local installer for Gull Industries was based over here. The San Jose area is going to have a ton more options for you.

The City of Santa Clara offers some Pool Solar that you can "rent" - not sure how it works, but I had a friend who worked for the Water Department and he told me I could get a great deal if I was in Santa Clara...and he also told me to call for referrals of installers. Might be a good source for you to check...

Here is the link

edit:
Or this link - which includes the installation charges, but doesn't state what rent costs...hmmm quite interesting