Building a Solar Pool Heater for Huge in-ground Swimming Pool

Building a Solar Pool Heater for Huge in-ground Swimming Pool

Wim lives in Massachuesttes and love to swim. Unfortunatly, the swimming season is short, and his pool is shaded most of the day. We decided to build a Solar Pool Heater. We found some 4×8 solar collectors (hot water panels) on craigslist. They are new-old stock, and sold cheap. So cheap in fact, that it was cheaper to buy these panels then to make our own collectors from scratch.

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Brian Corcoran says:

I have 3 of these collectors made by Grumman. I want to sell ….. what do you think the value is?

MikeJ F says:

We did ours with a sump pump and two hundred feet of black pipe on the concrete next to the pool. Work fine, this looks great, don’t know if these where around in the 1970’s. Technology is a great thing.

ruben flex says:

Nice love it! Wim is a very Dutch name ha ha

Bob H says:

There are some advanced panels, my father-in-law uses evacuated tube solar arrays instead of flat plate arrays. The evacuated tubes reduce conduction losses and increase cold weather availability of heat. They cost more, but they are compact and easier to install by a single person. You can use less than half the area of flat plate collectors with evacuated tube solar and produce energy at under 10C/50F ambient.
So while they are more efficient, they are more 20-40% more expensive new, as you got the flat panels cheap that gap is more justified, but if I was buying new? I would go for evacuated tube solar thermal.

G Cam says:

Can you extend the season further by cutting the trees down a bit and buying a wetsuit? Just a thought.. I'm in Scotland.. so feel your problem… I remember once, for just one day, back in the summer of 76 when I could have used an outdoor pool..
Seriously though.. Good Job. Love the fact that you up-cycle and get such usable results.

peter reynolds says:

Now fly screen it and it’s perfect 👌🏻

April Steel says:

So what drives the pump then ?

David James says:

U r a good guy Dave.

David James says:

I use the old school method (hundreds of feet of coiled black hose). No pump needed. Super simple. Just trickle water thru it so it comes out hot using community water pressure.
Someone should figure out a way how to run water thru some type of heat exchanger connected to an idling car. That way you could heat up your pool even when there was NO sun. An idling car consumes very little gasoline, but it sure produces a lot of heat. The cool water pumping thru the heat exchanger would likely prevent the idling car from overheating. You could also use power from the alternator of the idling car to simultaneously charge batteries like on a bad (cloudy) solar day. A typical idling car connected to a bank of 12V batteries in a mid state of charge should draw close to 70A which at about 14V is around 1000 watts. I bet a gallon of gas used for both heating the pool AND charging batteries would last several hours. That would be worth it.

Andy Lee Robinson says:

I guess 11m² of solar thermal panels make about 10kW of heat energy. With a 32000 US gallon pool, that's 121,000 litres of water. https://www.omnicalculator.com/physics/specific-heat
To raise that by 10°C would take 1,400 kWh, or 140 hours of full sunlight at 10 kW.
Say there's about 5 hours of 10kW per day, 140 hours is about 28 sunny days assuming no losses.
1.4 MWh at 22 cents per kWh is $308, so still worth doing!

marsrover001 says:

Somewhat related, but do hybrid solar panels exist? We all know solar panels like being at a cooler temp, could we stick hoses on the back of normal glass panels and heat a pool with the energy that's not absorbed by the silicon? Would be pretty annoying to make work on a roof mount, but for ground mount panels like you have it might be possible.

Brad Quinn says:

I still say in the long run you are better off going PV. Adding a few extra panels to your current system or installing a new one. IF you already have a system, the extra panels will allow you to hit float sooner(especially during non pool months). Once you hit your float voltage, you can use all your panels to heat the pool water.

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