Thinking about a solar heater

Meaty

Well-known member
Sep 8, 2015
57
Dallas Texas
I was thinking of getting a solar heater - something like the blue wave solar curve - to hook up to my existing pump/in ground pool. Does anyone

1) have experience with this heater? Are other solar options preferable?
2) know a reputable installer in the north Dallas area

thanks!
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
25,408
FL panhandle
I am not familiar with blue wave. I have Vortex panels purchased from Solar Direct. They work great for heating and cooling the pool.
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
I was thinking of getting a solar heater - something like the blue wave solar curve - to hook up to my existing pump/in ground pool. Does anyone

1) have experience with this heater? Are other solar options preferable?
2) know a reputable installer in the north Dallas area

thanks!
The Blue Wave is only about 8 square feet of surface area, you will need 8-10 of them to really gain any heat.

Solar panels are all about surface area. I have 72 square feet of Sungrabber panels, (and plan to add another 24-48 square feet) and only gain a few degrees on a bright sunny day.

 
I have fafco solar bear panels. It's my first year with them and I've been happy. I bought two from Amazon for my above ground pool since putting the solar cover on was a pain with my setup.

Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System for Above-Ground Pools Amazon.com : Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System for Above-Ground Pools : Swimming Pool Solar Heaters : Patio, Lawn Garden

When I was starting out my research I found this site a good intro to the options out there.

Best Solar Pool Heater Reviews Ratings For 2016

Good luck.
 

txnole

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 18, 2014
544
Amelia Island, FL
The University of Central Florida collects solar pool data, tests nearly every panel manufacturer and publishes the solar heater data online. It's a great resource here: For Pools

We chose to use iSwim panels and they have been great. To your point, installer experience is very important, as is their familiarity with your pool system and automation.
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
As the others have said pool solar heating panels is all about surface area, all of the small panels that claim they will heat a pool are lying. For climates like ours basic unglazed black "plastic" panels work best, in fact under ideal conditions if the daytime air temperature is within about 20 degrees of the pool temperature they can approach 90% efficiency. Meaning 90% of possible heat from the sun is transferred into the water in the panel. As to the UF test results, you will find most panels are within about a 10% performance margin of each other, and that these tests are under set conditions. In the real world there are factors like wind that may allow a poorly rated flat panel under lab conditions to out perform a higher rated rippled panel, as the ripped designs do better at absorbing sunlight throughout the day if they are installed at the correct angle, vs flat panels which loose less heat to the wind.

Ike

p.s. I have a DIY install of the Techno-Solis panels (the Vortex panels mentioned above are a private label version of the Techno-Solis panels, so identical except for warranty issues, mounting brackets, and also the genuine Techno-Solis are offered in more sizes and both 1.5 and 2 inch headers, vs only 1.5 inch headers for the Vortex)
 

Rossterman

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2016
242
Martinez, CA
You can find used panels pretty cheap on craigslist as many are removing them to make room for solar electric panels. I bought 6 fafco 4x12 panels for $50 each which is way cheaper than you can purchase a single new panel.
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
This may be true on the west coast where there is a high adoption rate of photovoltaic solar electric panels, but may not be true in much of the rest of the country.