Anyone have a solar pool heater?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Tsing Tao, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    So we moved to Florida, got an in-ground pool and silly me, I thought "hey we're in Florida, we don't need a pool heater." Wrong.

    So here I am, 2 months into the new house looking for a pool heater. Gas meter is on the SE of the house, pool and filter on the NW. Completely opposite. It would be quite expensive to put in a gas heater with a new line. Electrical, same ordeal - main box is SE and pump NW. Expensive for new box, line, etc.

    So that leaves solar. The panels, obviously, are optimal when placed on the Southern portion of the roof. The problem with that is that the house faces south (to the street) and the HOA will have none of it with me placing panels on the southern roof. So while east and west is possible, I'm wondering how efficient that is.

    Anyone have that set up and have ok effects? This is Tampa, Florida we're talking about, so sun is pretty plentiful. But the angle isn't the best on the east and west.
  2. ajcrshr


    East or West should not be a problem as these systems work well with slightly overcast/indirect sunlight. This would not be the case with PV(electric) systems. If you must deviate too dramatically from ideal placement you could always add more collectors to compensate. The ideal placement for Florida would be approximately south facing with 28 degree tilt angle(local latitude). Typically deviating 30 degrees east or west from south would only decrease production by 2-3%.
  3. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    Very helpful information, I thank you.
  4. Welcome to Tampa - I also live in the area and have recently been researching Solar pool heating options. Below is everything you ever wanted to know about Solar Pool heating but were afraid to ask.

    Good basic info:

    Nice plumbing diagrams:

    Cheap panels:`-Solar-Pool-Panel-System/dp/B003N2MPA0/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t

    I plan to stick a couple of panels on the back of my fence which faces south. The biggest issue is that you need to make sure that you have some type of flow-control valve between the output of your filter and the input to the panel i.e. most panels can't handle the entire flow of your pool pump. A vacuum Breaker is also a good addition; this allows the panel to drain out after the pump turns off. It's rare but it does ocassionally freeze at night which could ruin the panel(s).

    Merry Christmas
  5. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    S2M - appreciate the input. I've got a guy coming out who specializes in this stuff to give me an estimate and crash course tomorrow around noon. I'll do a lot of the reading on sites you suggest this evening.

    Panels have to go on the house, as the HOA will go berserk if I put those things in my yard.
  6. The HOA's can be a real pain in the a$$. Luckily my backyard is private so the neighbors won't be able to see the panels.

    Good luck.
  7. Here's a few other things to ponder:

    A. Sticking solar panels on the roof results in lots of holes in the roof which over time can result in leaks.
    B. They make nice sails during a hurricane and therefore require lots of holes in the roof to keep them secure ... see A above.
    C. Of course, solar panel vendors will always say that A and B above are not an issue.
  8. I used to live in Florida ,Daytona, had a pool with solar heater and can tell you that it will not heat a 15,000 gallon pool when temperature drop below 60 F.
    You will have to use solar pool cover also.
    Electric bill for solar alone will be about $7 per day .
    If you decide to go with the roof installation, make sure they fasten all screws into gobs of sealant and not just seal it on the top of the screw after they fasten it .
  9. Correction, cost of running a pump for 12 hours /day is about $ 2.70 per day, not $7 .