Swimming Pool Solar Panels

Does anyone know of a good resource for solar panels to heat my swimming pool?

I would like to use the pool in the winter as well.



  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Swimming Pool Solar Panels

    in general the best thing to do if the pool is outside is to build an enclosure for it with glass facing the winter sun exposure area to allow the sunlight in with the ability to also be partially dismantled for summer use as you don't want to be cooked. as to doing it with pvs that isn't a recommended practice due to inefficiencies and costs. thermal panels can be used, but due to freeze possibilities antifreeze must be used in the thermal panels and a proper heat exchanger used to extract the heat from it to the pool water. if the pool isn't enclosed the heat will be lost quickly. this is quite a bit of heat that would be needed to heat that much water so don't expect sauna like conditions with this as a hot tub would be easier to do as it doesn't have as much water to heat. i'd say the passive solar energy by enclosing the pool will help tremendously, but you may need to supplement with a pool heater at times.
  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: Swimming Pool Solar Panels

    I bought my panels off eBay, for sizing, your going to need 1 to 1 on the sf of the pool to your collectors to get March-Nov use of the pool ( Central Florida )

    To have it work year round you would probably have to double the panels ( really more of a roof area issue than cost ) and for Dec/Jan will need one of those bubble-wrap looking insulation blankets

    On eBay, the panels were about 200 bucks for a 12ftx4ft collector. I have 7 on my system, along with a differential controller and auto three way valve, think I have about 1600 into it.
  • SolarJohn
    SolarJohn Solar Expert Posts: 202 ✭✭
    Re: Swimming Pool Solar Panels

    You might want to check out solar gary's site for some ideas.


  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Swimming Pool Solar Panels

    Thanks for all the help.

    I'm seriously thinking of enclosing the pool with glass and heating the water with solar panels. We really don't get hard freezes during the winter in Georgia.
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Swimming Pool Solar Panels

    you still may want to get the thermal panels are they are far more efficient and cheaper even with using the antifreeze and heat exchanger. also do you want to mix electricity and water when it is not necessary?
    as to the enclosing, go with sealed double pane so as not to steam up the glass.
  • Dabbler
    Dabbler Registered Users Posts: 22
    Re: Swimming Pool Solar Panels


    I have six 4'x10' passive solar heating panels for my pool, which is about 35'x18' kidney shaped in-ground. It works well and I swim year-round although it's brisk in the winter. I don't have the 1 to 1 ratio of collector sq. ft. to pool sq. ft. that Solar Guppy recommends, but wish I did. Then again, I'm in South Florida where it's relatively warm in the winter. From the numbers above, I have about 50% of the sq. ft. of the pool in collectors.

    In March of this year, I measured the temperature rise from pool temp to that returning from the collectors. That, combined with the flow rate and some math, showed that I was getting the equivalent of 5,600 watts of heat from the panels. I run the filter for 4 hours per day from noon 'till 4 where I get that heating, so that is about 22 KW of free heat per day. See this thread for a discussion on the math: http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?t=2643

    A picture of the collectors: pool%20panels.jpg

    I shopped around and got them here: http://www.bestbuypoolsupply.com/solar-heating.htm Good info there, pretty good price, great tech support and on-time delivery.