Solar Pool Heating System Design That Reduces Energy Use


Active Solar Heating | Department of Energy

The cost of heating a pool can be a major downer even if you have a highly efficient solar pool heating system.  But there are ways you can reduce the cost of heating your swimming pool.

The two crucial factors that you need to consider are how to reduce the cost of energy used to heat the pool and how to reduce the amount of heat your pool loses so you can know how much heat your pool needs.

Here are tips on how you can incorporate a solar pool heating system into the installation of your swimming pool to achieve a highly efficient system:

Pool Insulation

Incorporating rigid panel insulation under and around your pool structure can help you save energy and costs in the long run.  This is the first great step for creating a pool heating system design that can provide you your pool heating needs over the long run.

Optimize Pool Mechanical Systems

Proper planning provides the possibility of peak pool performance.  At the planning and installation stage of your pool, include these mechanical systems already:

  • A well-planned pool pump and filtration system that helps energy efficiency and money
  • Extra valves to be fitted in pipe runs so that solar panels can be easily retrofitted for winterizing

Pool Location

Passive solar pool design can be one of the cheapest, environmentally-sound ways to heat your swimming pool.  To further help you save energy and money on pool heating costs, sit your pool in a location in your yard where it gets the maximum sun.  This is called optimized “Insolation”.

It is also beneficial for your pool to be positioned in an area shielded from the wind to prevent heat loss through evaporation.  Wind causes ripples or small waves that increase the loss of heat from evaporation because of the increased surface area of the water exposed to cold air.

So if you want to get the most solar gain while reducing requirements and the losses associated leading to higher energy use and costs, follow these tips for pool location.

Install a Solar Pool Heating System:  the Cheapest Source of Heat

When your pool is in the ideal location in your yard and you install some hydronic solar panels for your solar pool heating system, you get the best and most economical, environment-friendly system available.

With a decent solar pool heating system combined with a Heat Pump Pool Heater Backup

that is planned and built right, you will only have a minimum spend for the cost of pumping water through large solar panels that are linked to the pool infiltration system.

    Selecting a solar pool heater

Make sure you look into the following before you buy and install any solar pool heating system:

  • Evaluate your site’s solar resource and the amount of solar energy that reaches your pool.
  • Determine the correct size of your heating system.  This involves the following factors:

  • Size of your pool
  • Length of the swimming season
  • Average regional temperatures
  • Desired pool temperature
  • Site’s solar resource
  • Collector orientation and tilt
  • Collector efficiency
  • Use of a pool cover

  • Determining the siting or orientation and tilt of a solar pool heating system’s collector that will affect its performance.  The angle of the tilt of your solar collectors will depend on your latitude and the length of the swimming season.

  • The efficiency of the solar pool heating system is based on the collector’s thermal performance rating.  The higher the number of the rating, the greater the solar energy collection efficiency.  With high-efficiency solar collectors, you will have reduced annual operating costs.

  • Cost of the solar pool heating system.  Compare the costs of using different solar collector models so that you will know your potential cost savings of investing.  To help you in estimating and comparing cots, determine the following:

  • A collector’s performance rating (Btu/day)
  • Total number of collector panels or piping for the area needed to heat your pool
  • The total installed cost of the system

  • Installation and maintenance of the heating system that depends on many factors such as:

  • Solar resource
  • Climate
  • Local building code requirements
  • Safety issues

Help From a Qualified Solar Thermal System Contractor 

It is best to have a qualified solar thermal system contractor install your solar pool heating system who knows all the factors that go into the installation.  They have experience in maintenance and installation requirements for solar pool heating systems so that you can get the best fit for your pool.

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