solar panel expectations

Jun 4, 2008
12
0
Western NY
#1
I'm wondering if any experts can help determine whether my expectations were too high on my purchase. I have (2) 4x 20 solar bear panels 12ft away from my 24' ag with approx. 13,500 gal capacity. I ran them for 4 hours in good sunlight (south facing) and was a bit diappointed to see a 1 degree increase. In the past, I've observed a 1 degree increase on 4 hours of sun prior to installing the solar panels. The panels appear to be plumbed correctly (I did it myself) and I followed the instructions from Fafco religiously. While the pump is running water through them, the panels feel nice and cool when compared to the adjacent roof surface. I shut it down for about 30 minutes and the panels felt warm. The air temp was about 68 degrees, the water temp was 70 (using a solar cover religiously) and got to 71 before we lost sunshine that day.

If this seems correct, then with 4 hours of pump running to circulate water through the panels to gain 1 degree seems that on a full sun day for 10-11 hours (pool and panels are in full sun from dawn to dusk) I should only see 3 or 4 degrees??? I was hoping to see 10- 12 degrees.

Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

dschlic1

LifeTime Supporter
Oct 5, 2007
560
0
62
Valrico, FL
#2
How many square feet is the surface of your pool? Mopst recommendations is to have the solar panel area about 50 to 100% of the area of your pool. With two 4x20 panels you only have eighty square feet of solar panels. That is not much. I have an inground pool, 7500 gallons and have 240 square feet of solar panels. And I am in Florida! I would say that you need more panels.
 
Jun 4, 2008
12
0
Western NY
#3
...80 x 2= 160sf of solar panel. A 24' circle is about 452 sf. With that, I'm way undersized. I read that (1) 4x 20 panel would heat a 24' pool.... I don't remember where this came from. It may have been a website selling panels. Would that be a marketing scheme? If they told me to buy (9) solar panels at $240 each, I would not have done it. There just isn't enough sunny days up here to utilize a solar system if the cost is $2000 or so.

Thanks for your input.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,446
0
SW Indiana
#4
The recommended sizes are of dubious value. Most of them are based on the idea of nearly year round pool operation. The panels you have should be able to make a noticeable difference in your pool. I suspect you are asking a lot with air temps that low and such a short day of sunlight.
 

Molson

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 15, 2008
479
0
Midland, Ontario
#5
If your air temp was 68, in my limited experience you won't see too much gain. I have 160 sq ft of panels for a 16x40 IG pool. We had a cool season so far, and I struggled to get into the high 70s for a while. We had a really hot weekend a few weeks ago and I went from 70 to 85 in 2 days running the pump during the day with the solar cover on. When its nice and warm/sunny out, standing in front of the return, I can feel the warm water. It does help keep a constant temp, I haven't gone below 80 since that weekend, and we have had cool days and colder nights since (single digits!)
 

launboy

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2008
582
0
S.E. Wisconsin
#7
We've got 3 2x20 panels mounted on our south facing garage roof for a total of 120 sq. ft. The panels get full sun from 9:00 a.m to 5:30 p.m. and on a good day like today (full sun, 90* air temp) they heated our pool (5700gal) from 78* to 89* with a solar cover on. If it's sunny tomorrow I have no doubts it will be in the high 90's and I can gaurantee I will not want to get out. :mrgreen:

Adam