The Best Solar Pool Heating Panels
The best solar pool heating panels are the perfect way to save energy while keeping your pool heated all year round. If you are looking for the best pool heater, then the information below would be really helpful.
As swimming pool owners are looking for more inexpensive ways to extend their swim season and swim at more comfortable water temperatures, more and more are turning to economical solar pool heaters. This is a great idea because all these take to work are the sun’s renewable and free powerful rays and a little extra pressure from one’s swimming pool pump. You have to be careful though because you want to buy a solar pool heater that has the best solar pool heating panels. That way you will have an efficient and long-lasting solar pool heating system.
Why You Need the Best Solar Pool Heating Panels
Whenever you here professionals discuss solar pool heating panels two words constantly come up. This is efficiency and durability. Solar pool heating panels that do not have these two main requirements of these devices will never be considered to be quality solar pool heating panels. They have to not only do a great job of absorbing the sun’s powerful rays so the panels heat up, but they also have to be well-designed in the way that they pass that heat into the swimming pool water that passes through them. These panels also have to be able to stand up to heavy winds and be made of materials that do not break down easily from getting too much sun or being exposed to other environmental factors such as acid rain, snow, and ice.
The Two Main Types of Solar Panels
Here are the two types of solar collectors which make for the best solar pool heating panels.
Polypropylene (PP) Veined Mats
These are by far the most popular and least expensive type of solar panels. These can either be placed on rooftops or specially made angled panels that sit on the ground. They are black mats that usually come in such sizes as 4’x8’, 4’x12’, and 4’x16’. They have special tubing in them that the pool water runs through and picks up the heat that they generate. They can be attached by using adhesives or by special roof fasteners in areas that are prone to high winds.
Glazed Solar Collectors
If money is no object, these will be your solar pool panels of choice. They are about 2x more efficient than Polypropylene (PP) Veined Mats when it comes to heating swimming pool water. That’s because they have aluminum bodies with copper tubes running through them that are sandwiched between two sheets of tempered glass shields. They do a great job of heating up when the sun’s powerful rays hit them.
Anatomy of the Best Solar Pool Heating Panels
Since black Polypropylene (PP) Veined Mats are the most commonly used type of solar pool heating panels, those are the ones we will talk further about here.
What goes into making the best solar pool heating panels? Well, you already know these black mat type solar collectors are made of polypropylene. You also must be made aware that there is much more to them than that also.
These heaters consist of not only a flat matt that attaches to a roof or specially made platform, but on these mats, there are literally hundreds if not more tubes that crisscross them. These are the tubes that bring the cooler pool water to the mats to pick up the heat that’s transferred to them. This tubing is not designed to be run under pressure and it does not have to be. That’s because solar pool heating panels work more efficiently if the water runs slowly through these tubes because that’s how they pick up the most heat from the system. So there is no high amount of pressure in the system at all.
Other components of solar pool heating panels consist of some rigid plumbing that either runs lengthwise across the top or bottom of a solar panel. This is where the water first enters and leaves the solar collector mats. There will also be two connectors on each end of the rigid pipe to allow the solar pool heating panels to be connected when one or more are being used and to allow the system to be incorporated into the regular swimming pool filtration system.
How Solar Pool Heating Panels Work
There are parts besides the best solar pool heating panels that are just as critical for solar pool heating systems to work efficiently. It all starts with the existing pool pump or an upgraded model. This is what helps the water flow up to the rooftop and through the solar panels. After the water goes through the solar panels, the pool pump also supplies the necessary pressure to move the newly heated water from the rooftop to the swimming pool below.
Keep in mind that the existing swimming pool pump does not run water full force into the solar pool heating panels. The solar pool heating system merely taps into the existing swimming pool filtration flow utilizing valves. Several valves are necessary to incorporate a solar pool heater into an existing swimming pool filtration system. This includes two on and off valves that control the flow of water into and out of the solar pool heater, two system bypass valves, and a valve that is used for winterizing the solar pool heating system. These valves can be automated or they can be manually operated ones.
Additional plumbing lines are also needed to make a solar pool heating system work. This plumbing is connected from the existing pool filtration system to the rooftop solar panel and from the exit of the rooftop solar pool heating panels back to the existing pool filtration system. This additional plumbing usually consists of several 8’ lengths of rigid PVC pipe. It’s made using pipe that is weather-resistant and takes an extreme amount of force to break. The size of the rigid PVC pipe that is used for this can be anywhere from 1” to 1 ½” in diameter depending on the length it needs to travel and the amount of pressure that the existing pool pump creates.
Swimming pool heaters that use rooftop solar heating panels may also be automated. If this is the case, they will feature an electronic component to them also. This control box will have such things as a timer that can control when the solar pool heater works, a thermostat device that will let the pool owner select the desired temperature of the pool water, and a control board which will automatically trigger the valves on the system to open and close.
Determining Where to Place Your Solar Pool Heating Panels
It does not matter whether you have the best solar pool heating panels or not if they are improperly placed on your rooftop or elsewhere on your property. Improper placement simply means they are not located where they will get the highest amount of sun for the longest amount of time. This means your solar pool heating system will then not be working at peak efficiency.
The amount of sun exposure is not the only factor when properly placing solar panels either. One of them is the amount of available rooftop space. This can be a big problem on roofs that have many decorative features such as dormers, gables, or odd-shaped short angles. Roofs that have many vents and other pipes coming up through them also reduce available space for installing solar pool heating panels. When space to install solar panels becomes prohibitive, this is when pool owners resort to installing ground-mounted systems. These consist of specially made platforms that solar pool heating panels can be placed. As with solar poll heating rooftop panels, these too must be angled in a way where they catch the highest amount of sun for the longest period during the day.
Other factors to consider when locating solar panels is the proximity to the pool pump in the location they are going and the size of the pool pump. Even though the pool water does not have to flow very fast into the solar panels for them to be effective, it still has to be pushed with enough pressure to take it up to a rooftop. This is why some people either have to use a ground-mounted solar pool heater application or have to purchase a swimming pool pump with more horsepower. None of these options add much more expense to the cost of the solar pool heating system so they are never bad choices.
Sizing a Solar Pool Panel Heating System
Another very important aspect to consider when purchasing a solar pool panel heating system is how many Polypropylene veined mats it takes to build a fairly efficient solar pool heating system for you. The most common size that these solar pool heating panels come in is 4’ x 12’. If you have a large size inground swimming pool with a deep end, having one solar panel this size is not going to do you any good. You will need at least 3 to 4 solar heating collectors of that size to efficiently heat your swimming pool. It’s one reason that you need to work very closely with the company or person that you are buying your solar pool heater from. They will know exactly how to size the system to properly meet your needs.
The Benefits Homeowners Get from Using Solar Panel Pool Heaters
Here are some of the benefits that those who own solar pool heating systems get:
- They are much less expensive to run than gas-fired heaters or heat pumps.
- These heaters are extremely environmentally friendly because they use renewable and abundant heat from the sun’s powerful rays to operate .
- Solar pool heaters will even work when it’s cold as long as the sun is shining.
- There is very little maintenance required on this type of pool heating system.
- They are much quieter when operating than noisier gas-fired or heat pump type swimming pool heaters.
- Solar pool heating panels can help significantly extend a family’s pool season and make their water much more comfortable to swim in.
- These solar pool heating systems are also very simple to operate.
- Both commercial and residential swimming pool can take advantage of solar pool heating systems.
- It’s very common for these systems to work in tandem with other types of pool heaters to maximize heating efficiency while still keeping pool heating costs down significantly.
Some Potential Drawbacks to Owning a Solar Panel Pool Heater
There are some drawbacks to using solar pool heaters. These include:
- They do not work at night.
- Pools that are heated with solar pool panels are not as effective as other types of pool heaters on cloudy days.
- Solar pool panel heaters do not heat as fast as other types of swimming pool heaters
- It’s harder to maintain an exact set pool water temperature with them.
It must be said that all of the drawbacks of solar pool heater ownership can easily be overcome by supplementing your solar pool heating system with a gas-fired heater or a heat pump that is only used in times of extreme cold temperatures.
Why Professional Installation is Best
Not only is it recommended that you add the best solar pool heating panels to your system but it’s also recommended that you get that solar pool heater professionally installed. This is very important for several reasons. Chief among them is the proper orientation of the panels to get them to produce heat efficiently as long as possible during the day. It goes without saying that the longer your solar pool heater works the more heat it will generate which can be put into your swimming pool’s water. Solar heater installation professionals know exactly where to place your new solar pool heating panels. This holds true whether you mount them on your roof or you mount them on the ground on a specially made platform.
Once a professional team installs your new solar panels, they will also teach you how to operate that system before they leave. You will also get all of the manufacturer’s guarantees because your new solar pool heater was professionally installed. This is not always true with DIY solar pool heater installations. You will also then have a relationship with a company in town that will service and repair your solar pool heater over the years too.
So if you want to get the most out of your solar pool heating panels and the rest of the system, it’s by far best to have your new solar pool heater professionally installed.
The Best Solar Pool Heating Panels in Jacksonville, FL
For the best solar pool heating panels in Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Deland, Deltona, Debary, Orange City, and surrounding areas, you need to call the experts in solar products and services. Wayne’s Solar offers installation for both residential and commercial solar. You may reach us at 386-673-9720 to get a free quote.
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