Solar pool heating is one of the best things you can do for your swimming pool. It is also easy to implement, plus it is very inexpensive. Overall, solar pool heating is one of the best ways to save energy, and there are many benefits. The most obvious is the money saved in fuel costs, but there is also the complete lack of carbon emissions when using solar pool heating.
Using the sun to heat your pool is one of the best uses of solar energy. The methods range from very simple, homemade covers, to solar panels with circulating heat. Both the solar pool covers and the solar panels are well within the ability range of a determined do-it-yourselfer.
Solar pool covers
For starters, installing a solar pool cover will save you a ton of money. Many pools are heated directly by the sun, and lose a huge amount of BTU’s when left uncovered. Evaporation steals the heat very quickly from an uncovered pool, therefore, by simply adding a cover, you will save tremendous amounts of energy.
There are many types of solar pool covers, ranging from plastic tarps to electrical roll-up systems that are totally automatic. Even a simple, manually operated cover will have a dramatic impact on retaining that precious heat in your pool.
A type of plastic that has been treated to resist deterioration due to sunlight is available in the form of something similar to bubble wrap. This is particularly efficient and inexpensive. One drawback is that you must manually remove it and replace it. Plus, it does not last for many years, as a more expensive pool cover would.
Solar pool heating
For many climates, it is common to install either a conventional gas heater or use a heat pump to heat a swimming pool. Solar pool heaters are competitive with these conventional systems, over time. The solar system is simple and requires very little maintenance, and should last for many years.
The solar pool heater functions by using a pump to move the pool water through a filter and then into the solar panels to circulate and gather heat. This heated pool water is then pumped back into the pool, and the process is repeated continuously, or as needed.
The system may also contain a check valve in order to bypass the solar panel when necessary. One example of this is when the temperature in the solar panels is not sufficiently hot. The pool water is simply circulated directly back into the pool.
In very hot climates, it can be advisable to use the solar panels at night, to cool the pool water. Once the warm pool water is circulated through the cool solar panels, the cooled water is returned to the pool. This represents yet another savings with the solar pool heating system.
Wherever the climate stays above freezing, solar panels are made without glass glazing . This reduces the cost and is often quite efficient for home use.
In those climates that experience freezing temperatures, glass coverings, or glazing are needed. These are more expensive than unglazed panels, but are often more efficient. This efficiency is partially due to the heat exchangers and heat transfer fluids that are installed, which absorb more heat from the sun. The glazed panels can also be used for domestic hot water systems.
There are many good reasons to use solar pool heating. Cost savings, reduced fuel consumption, no carbon emissions, longer life than conventional systems, and the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing something good for the earth are just a few of the benefits.