Swimming pools are beautiful places to cool off during the summer. But their beauty comes at a cost. They require a lot of water, heating, and maintenance.
This is why many homeowners have installed solar panels on their roofs. Solar energy is a great way to reduce the cost of heating your pool and water.
How To Solar Heat A Swimming Pool
With the power of the sun, you can heat your pool in a matter of hours. While these can be useful, they do have limitations.
Unless you have solar panels, your pool will have to be heated with a gas or electric heater.
How does solar energy work?
The sun’s energy is captured by solar panels and converted into electricity. This electricity then goes into the grid, where it can be used to power homes or businesses.
Solar panels capture more sunlight during the day than at night, so they effectively use daylight hours.
This makes them most valuable when there is lots of sunlight. This usually occurs in the middle and end of summer.
Since solar panels are installed on households and commercial structures, they gain more value than homes where space or lack of sunlight prevents them from being effective.
The average home can use around 100 watts per square meter to heat their pool water this way (about 250-300 gallons).
However, it will take at least 9 hours for your swimming pool to reach the same temperature. In this case, you will have enough sun time during noon hours to heat your pool in a few days.
Depending on the number of solar panels and their output, some homes or commercial structures can function off just one panel!
Why Heat A Swimming Pool With Solar Panels?
The primary purpose of solar heating is that it is free. This means that you are not paying for electricity or gas, which can add up over time.
Solar panels also offer flexibility since they can be used to heat other areas in your home as well.
They are easy to install and maintain, so you will rarely have to call a contractor for help. Not only that, but with winter and summer seasons as dependent on photovoltaic function, you should consider investing in solar panels for your home.
Backing up your relatively expensive swimming pool is an investment of opportunity cost more rewarding than anything else.
What Type Of Pool Can You Heat With Solar Panels?
Any pool filled with water can be heated using solar panels, including in-ground pools and spa pools. Once the pool is filled, it will heat up in about hours.
If you have a pool pump, it will be easier for the solar panels to heat your pool faster.
Most people assume that only above-ground pools can benefit from using solar heating.
However, see past or present “American Solar Challenge” watercraft events where boats made of plastics and other lightweight materials were towed through the Arctic cold with no problem!
What Are The Benefits Of Heating A Swimming Pool With Solar Panels?
The primary benefits of using solar heating to heat a swimming pool are that it is free, and the panels are easy to install and maintain.
Solar heating also has flexibility since you can use it for other areas in your home.
The main disadvantage of solar heating is that it takes a few hours for the pool to heat up, so if you want hot water immediately after filling your pool, solar panels may not be ideal.
Since solar panels are mounted on the roof, or your utility shed, you can install them and have immediate hot water within a few hours after sunlight hits them.
It takes about three minutes for 100 square feet of solar panel surface area to absorb up to 5 CU ft (0.5 kW) for 30 seconds with the sun at its peak intensity during daylight.
Things To Consider When Choosing A Solar Panel System
When choosing a solar panel system, you will want to consider things like the power you need, your pool’s size, and how much energy you are willing to spend on heating your pool each year. Additionally, you may want to factor in installation costs and ongoing operating expenses.
The best way to figure out how many panels you need is to look at your local power utility rates and the energy consumption for heating a pool.
Most solar panel systems are designed most efficiently if they cover all areas that need heating, with no unused space left over.
However, it will typically be more cost-efficient to add extra panels if your pool size and usage changes as time goes by (larger pools use more electricity each year).
While replacing older paneling with newer panels might be more expensive, you can expect the same power output and better performance.
Choosing the right size and configuration for your pool
When choosing the right size and configuration for your pool, you first need to know how much power you need and what type of heating system you have.
For example, if your pool has a manual filtration system, a smaller solar panel system will be more efficient because it is no need to heat extra water to circulate it through the filter.
A more extensive solar panel system will be more efficient if your pool uses an automatic filtration system. There is no need to heat extra water or circulate it through the filter.
Typically, pool heating systems use either thermal oil or electrical motors as their fuel source.
If you have a steam boiler in your building with plumbing for an automatic drain, then adding solar panels will make more sense if you can get away with only covering the east and west sides of your swimming pool (you will not want panels on these sunny parts).
A solar heating system could reduce your energy bills and make you more aware of how much power you consume.
The costs involved with a solar panel installation are costly, but it is not as expensive to operate in the long term compared to owning oil-heated pool equipment.
Solar pool heating systems are not very common in the United States, as they depend on long winter days and sunshine to work!