Solar energy is an excellent way to heat your swimming pool for next-to-nothing. A solar water heater will let you enjoy a longer swimming season and keep your pool warm during cooler evenings without having to worry about the heating costs.
Swimming pool solar heating systems can heat a large amount of water each day, and are quite capable of keeping the pool temperature in the 80 – 85 degree range even in moderate climates.
Installing a swimming pool solar heating system also adds value to your home.
Buying a ready-made solar water heating system could cost you anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 depending on the size of the collectors and the installation charges. However, you can make your own solar heating system for an average-sized pool for less than $200, including materials, plans and expert guidance.
Solar pool heaters are connected directly to your existing pool filter system. During the day while the filter is operating, the pool water is passed through the solar collectors and returned to the pool. It is possible to have a system without any moving parts, such as a recirculating pump, but this is governed by the daily sunshine activity locally.
The solar collectors are often mounted on roofs to get the best exposure to direct sunshine. Ideally the collectors should face the mid-day sun and be at an angle equivalent to your latitude less 10 to 15 degrees. The total area of the solar collectors will depend on various factors, but it will be at least 50% of the pool surface area. This will be at least 75% if the collector panels are laid flat or facing west.
In some cases, where there are significant shade or strong prevailing winds, the collector area can be as much as 100% of pool size. Because solar collectors tend to take up a lot of space, it is often advisable to fix them to a ground frame or even a suitable fence.
These are some factors which need to be considered in the design of a swimming pool solar heater:
- Climate and sunshine levels.
- Building codes and safety issues.
- Pool size.
- Duration of the swimming season.
- Desired pool temperature level.
- Collector efficiency.
This is why you should consider getting some guidance in designing your swimming pool solar heating system, because only someone with professional experience will be able to put forward the best solar pool heating system for your particular circumstances.
It is very easy to make and fit your own swimming pool solar heating system and you need no special skills or tools. All materials are available from local hardware stores and garden shops.
But, as we have already mentioned, getting professional input will ensure that you make a good-quality job making your solar pool heaters. For less than $200, including all plans, instructions, materials and expert guidance, you can have a fully working and professional solar water heating system for your swimming pool – that is an inspiring idea!