Select Your Own Solar Kit
It Is Imperative that sizing be correct in order to insure the best performance from your solar pool heating system. Use the sizing chart below to calculate the amount of collectors required for your pool. When you are done, click the "Request Quote" button to enter your information and submit it for a price quote.
Kit prices range from $1,200 to $3,300 depending on the number of collector panels. Solar auto-control and freight are additional.
Site Evaluation
Check to make sure there is a reasonable location to locate solar collectors; residence roof, cabana, ground rack, etc., and that foliage growth will not interfere with solar collector performance in the present or future. As a consideration to your potential client, ask about the age and life expectancy of material on their roof to determine if an investment in solar should wait until the roof is replaced.
Measure the Pool for Surface Square Footage (Length x Width)
On free form pools take an average width out of approximately 3 measurements x length. On sectional pools take separate width x length measurements and add the total.
Delete spa when making this calculation. The spa is heated on a separate basis, spa has a smaller capacity of water, when circulating spa only its turnover rate through the solar collectors is much quicker delivering higher temperatures at a faster rate.
Check the Sizing Chart to Determine the Minimum Number of Collectors.
Now that you have determined the square footage of the pool:
Chart is based on:
  1. Size 4x10 collectors
  2. Sun on pool all day
  3. Variable winds, 5-10 MPH
  4. Roof pitch at 18-22 degrees
  5. Pool water temperature range 80-84 degrees from May to September
  6. Pool depth under 8 feet
Solar Collector Sizing
The performance efficiency difference between several manufactured solar collectors is at most 3%. Garden hose that is painted black will perform as well as most, as long as sizing guidelines to maximize results are followed. Before we go on, make sure you are equipped with directional compass and tape measure, the tools of most credible solar guys.
Sizing Guidelines to Maximize Results
Does roof angle exceed 30 degrees?
If so, add 10% more solar collector area per every 10 degree rise in angle away from 30 degrees. Optimum roof pitch or rack angle would be a 4/12 pitch or 18 degrees.
Is the pool unusually deep or shallow?
If depths exceed 8', add 10% more collector area per foot of additional depth. If pools are shallow, reduce sizing by 5% per foot less than 8'. Although there's less gallons of pool water to heat, total surface area is still exposed to night time heat losses, minimizing the reduction in collector area.
What temperature range are you comfortable with?
If additional temperature is required, add 10% coverage for each 2 degrees of temperature above 82 degrees desired.
Remember that as the pool temperature exceeds the ambient temperature the heat losses of the pool surface will be greater making it more difficult to accomplish temperatures in the upper 80s or low 90s. If higher pool temperatures are required, a pool cover is recommended to stop nighttime heat losses.
Is the pool shaded?
If so, what percentage of the surface area is shaded and for how long throughout the day? When a pool is shaded it has two drawbacks that are detrimental to the performance of the solar system.
  • The pool looses its head absorption gain from the sun.
  • The pool has greater heat losses of the surface due to the lower temperature in the shade.
Enclosed Pools
Several designs may be used to compliment or protect a swimming pool and swimmer from the elements.
Enclosures may shade the pool partially, completely or may allow light through the side walls or roof via skylights or glazings.
Shading or light not being direct, but diffused to the pool, increases the energy required to heat the pool. Increased use of fossil fuels or collector sizing is required.
For instance, if a pool surface area in full sun with solar exposure south requires 60% coverage in solar collectors, a pool with 100% shade requires 160% coverage of surface area in solar collectors. Again an insulated or bubble cover can reduce that sizing formula by 15-25% and a predetermined amount of diffused light entering all day can reduce your sizing calculation another 20%-40%. The rule of thumb sizing based on certain parameters is 100%-160% of the surface area for enclosed pools based on a south sloped facing exposure. Roofs exposed west, east, north or flat will require more coverage. Refer to sizing chart.
Is this an unusually high wind area (10-20 mph winds constand or live in a fog belt?)
Loss of heat of the surface of the pool and the solar collectors due to high winds can be compared to the way a fin in a swamp cooler moves air across a water coil to cool down a room. When sizing add 25% more coverage to collector area and install a pool cover or in a fog belt always install glazed solar collectors.
When substituting glazed panels for unglazed add 15% more coverage of glazed panels to compensate for losses due to light reflection off glass and iron content of glass absorbing some heat.
Is an extended pool season a requirement?
If so, add 15% more collector area to extend the season from April to October. Because of the cooler nighttime temperatures in the months of April and October, use of a pool cover is a must to extend your swimming season.
Is energy consumption a concern?
If using a variable or a 2-speed motor, adding approximately 30% more collector area, will increase solar heat input, shortening high-spee pump output operating time. Other benefits are higher temps, extended season, less pool cover use and superior performance in inclement weather.
Are pipe runs from equipemnt to panels over 100 feet total?
If so, add 5% more solar collector area per additional 100' of pipe.
Is all year around heating a requirement?
Some areas of the sun belts all year round heating is accomplished with the use of unglazed solar collectors. But if you do business in an area where your client is less fortunate we recommend glazed panels. If so, add 5% panel coverage to boxed and glazed systems for each month of the season desired beyond May thru September plus install an insulated pool cover for off-season months. Due to poor weather conditions in December and January exclude these months from your sizing factor.
Also, make your customer aware that the glazed panels sized properly will maximize the use of the sun for those off-season months; but that weather quality plays a major role in overall system performance.
Above Ground Pools
Use this formula to equate square footage of round above ground pools, then refer to the chart for number of collectors required.
  1. 18' diameter (for example)
  2. 18' diameter divided by 2 = 9' radius
  3. 9' radius squared = 81
  4. 81 times 3.141593 (pi) = 254 square feet surface area
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