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Understanding Solar Pool Heating Systems

Using solar pool heating systems is one of the most cost effective methods for using solar power.

Author: James Allen
Date: May 27, 2012 - 2:42:22 PM


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Using solar pool heating systems is one of the most cost effective methods for using solar power. Low cost pool collection units can heat a pool to 35 degrees Celsius or warmer. Using solar powered pool heating systems extend the pool season well beyond summer months.

It's not unusual for a domestic pool owner to spend over $1000 each year in pool heating fuel bills when they use an oil or propane boiler to heat the water. A solar pool heating system can provide more heating for much less cost and pay for itself in just a few short years.

Components of a Solar Pool Heating System

The basic components of a solar pool heating system include the collectors, pump, differential controller and a diverter valve. The pump forces water into the collectors where the water is heated a few degrees and then pushed back into the pool basin.

You may have seen collectors near a pool area and not realised what they were.   Most are made of a black or dark coloured plastic. Several are connected together to form a collector array.

Collectors usually are mounted on top of a building, but not directly to the roof shingles.   It is better to build up a mounting surface of treated lumber and affix the array to that surface. This allows rain runoff to flow between the collection units and the roof shingles.

The array is mounted so that it faces in a southerly direction.   The surface area of the collection array needs to be about one-half the area of the pool. If the orientation is a bit more to the east or west, then plan on a collection array that is about three-quarters the size of the pool surface area.

The differential controller monitors the temperatures of the water in the collectors and the pool water. When the collectors are warmer than the pool water, the controller opens the diverter valve. The water in the collection array drains into the pool basin.

It is recommended to use a transparent or solar pool cover to minimise heat loss during the night or non-use hours. These covers also contribute to heating the pool water as the sun rises and the sun rays hit the pool cover.

Generally, solar pool heating systems are very low maintenance. Modern collection arrays can last as long as 15 to 20 years. That often means the solar pool heater outlasts the pool!

James Allen is author of this article. To know more about pool heating systems and heat pump, please visit http://www.evoheat.com.au



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