Solar Heating panels

paulmaz

Bronze Supporter
Apr 19, 2016
121
San Antonio, TX
#1
Hi all,

Although I live in San Antonio, and it is hot here, my pool has a lot of shade from the number of trees I have in my yard. We have thinned them out some, but still have quite a bit of cover. I want to look into heating options. Last summer, the warmest my pool got was 84, which is fine, but was not there long. Right now it is 70, and kids are swimming, but a bit cold for me! I would love to add a little warmth early/late in the season.

I am very cheap (aren't we all) but would like to heat my pool if I can. What about solar panels the roof? My filter is on the side of the house and I have a big rood facing West where I can get a lot of sun. What kind of cost am I realistically looking at? With the panels and plumbing, what is my all-in cost? Also, would I have to upgrade my motor?

thanks for any info you can provide.

thanks,
Paul
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
24,993
DFW, TX
#2
I'm in the same boat with the trees. We added as many panels as we could on the pool hut and then added a solar cover and heat pump last fall. I researched and purchased my solar panels from Solar Direct and did a DIY install on my solar panels and heat pump. There is quite a bit of discussion on pool heating and pics in my build thread, link in sig.
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
#3
The price varies with the installer, the panels and the automation so its difficult to estimate. I would call around and get some estimates. Its well worth the time.

I am with you on the trees.
 

paulmaz

Bronze Supporter
Apr 19, 2016
121
San Antonio, TX
#4
Thanks. I see on solar direct, I can get the package, and depends on # of panels. Pretty clear. What about motor? I have a 1.5 HP now. is that enough to push water trough the panels?
 

Chemnut

In The Industry
Apr 5, 2017
231
Maine
#6
If you try to size your panel sq ft coverage to 60% of the surface area the better, but that being said, even 80 sq feet will gain you some temps. It's a very simple DIY that just needs some planning. Keep that solar cover on when not swimming as well.
 

paulmaz

Bronze Supporter
Apr 19, 2016
121
San Antonio, TX
#7
Hey pooldv, I see you have five panels. Is that enough? I have enough roof space to get more. Wondering what a good # is to start. My pool looks to be about your size, just not as deep (deep end only about 5.5 feet)
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
24,993
DFW, TX
#8
My roof is maxed out. I would add more panels if I could. I have 240sf of panels and 700sf of pool. My pool is 18ish x 41 and is 3.5x5x4 play pool and is a hair under 20k gallons. It is generally recommended to have 50-100% coverage. Being in a warm climate 50% is probably a good starting point.
 

paulmaz

Bronze Supporter
Apr 19, 2016
121
San Antonio, TX
#9
So I searched around in San Antonio for some pros. This guys is coming tomorrow to give me a bid. I am thinking it will be a lot of money, but will give me a top-end cost and get some ideas on how to set it up. I will post details when I get them. Talked to owner for about 10 minutes. Super cool dude though, and this is all he does.

http://www.sunrisesolartx.com/