Solar Pool Heating
Add an Extra 3-4 Months Every Year To Your Swim SeasonSouthern View Energy has found solar pool heaters to be one of the most cost-effective solar energy applications. A solar pool heating system will save enough money to pay for itself quickly, and provides pool heating energy free for your enjoyment and use for many years. Southern View Energy specializes in designing and installing its solar swimming pool heating systems specifically for owners in the Atlanta area.
INSTALLATION SITE CONDITIONS NEEDED
To get the full benefits of a solar pool heater you must have an area for the solar collectors (panels) that is large enough and has the proper exposure to the sun. If you install the collectors on a pitched roof, the ideal direction should face south. You will need to add more collectors as the angle facing due south varies. Keep in mind that the panels can just as easily be placed on a rack in the yard, a trellis, or separate building altogether.
In almost all cases where the filter pump is currently keeping the pool clean, it is not necessary to change it or to add a pump for the solar heater. The existing pump is usually capable of circulating pool water through the solar panels.
Solar pool heating is completely automatic in a properly designed system. When your pool requires heat, the automatic control diverts the water coming from the filter to the solar collectors, if they are receiving solar energy. This continues until the pre-set desired temperature is reached or until no more solar energy is available. The solar collectors preheat the water before it is returned to the pool, or in some cases runs to a gas heater that the owner may have had previously installed, or is also desired. Even then, the gas heater will require much less energy to run since the water has been solar “pre-heated” to a much higher temperature.
OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE
Operation of solar pool heaters is extremely simple. Just flip a switch on the control to "Auto" at the beginning of the season and set the thermostat on the control to the pool temperature you want. At the end of the season, flip the control switch to "Off". If you have a solar system that does not drain water back completely the panels should be winterized by uncapping the lowest solar panel to prevent the possibility of freeze damage. Southern View Energy will always cover maintenance requirements with you upon completing installation. But basically the only routine maintenance you will need to do is the same as you should always do for your pool --- keep it clean and in proper chemical balance. It is advisable to shut off the water supply to your pool sweeper and solar collectors if you will be adding pool shock treatment or excessive amounts of chemicals.
Our solar swimming pool heating collectors carry manufacturer’s national warranty of up to 12 years, and they have been demonstrated to last without compromise in Atlanta from 15 – 20+ years. This is likely due to this area’s relatively balanced climate conditions: We experience none of the extended extremes of say Arizona (very long duration high temps and sun exposure) or the New England area (long periods of freezing cold). Lucky us!
Solar pool heating cannot maintain the temperature on heavily overcast or rainy days, or during Winter months. You may need to operate a gas heater if you desire having totally uninterrupted temperatures, or just wish to maintain an unusually warm pool temperature. Even if you choose to use a conventional gas pool heater as well, the solar pool heater will still supply a large amount of free energy. Again, in the Atlanta area we are fortunate that even during the Spring and Fall, our consecutive number of overcast and/or rainy days do not extend terribly long. And while it may take a couple of days of steady sunshine after one of these periods for your pool temperature to rise again, recall that you will accomplish it with free power from the sun! What better way to enjoy your pool longer each year, and without having to pay the utility more to do so, than that?
ADDED BONUS: POOL COOLING DURING HOT SUMMER MONTHS
We all know about Atlanta in July and August --- hot and muggy! And just when you want to take a cool dip in your pool, its temperature may not be as refreshing as it once was. Well, did you know you can put your solar pool heating system to work to BRING DOWN the pool’s temperature overnight! How? By running it overnight, you take your now too-warm pool water (not due to solar pool heating since that is on a thermostat and will not have been running beyond your desired temperature) on up through the same collector system, where the cooler night air will help to reduce its overall temperature. It is not unusual for pool temps to reach the upper 80’s or even lower 90’s after an extended heat wave such as we get. But with overnight temps back down to the mid-70’s, that’s a 20 degree difference --- meaning cooler water is delivered back to your pool each night. The total decrease in your pool temperature won’t be that much, but it will be reduced by a good 6-8 degrees. And for many, that’s enough to put the, “Ahhh…that’s nice!”, back into a truly refreshing plunge in the pool! If you are insterested in learning more about solar pool heating systems and the options available to you, contact us today!