If you want to use your swimming pool anytime or just extend the using time of it in a year, the first problem is that the water is too cold to swim. Therefore, installing solar panels to heat the water in your pool becomes meaningful, because compared with using a pool heater powered by gas, solar panels heat your pool without any energy from the grid needed and any greenhouse gas emissions. You may think power heating solar systems are expensive, but the fact is that they are not as expensive as you might think. In this post, we will talk about how they work and why you need them.
How Swimming Pool Solar Panels Work
Swimming pool solar panels are not solar photovoltaic panels that we use to power our home or charge batteries. They work differently. They have a sensor to regulate the temperature which you set according to your preference. A pump is used to filter the water and then water is sent by the pump through the solar collectors. When water travels through the solar collector array, it is heated by the sun. Warm water is led back to your swimming pool.
Types of Panels
Although there are numerous different models of pool solar panels, there are only 2 main types – Unglazed and Glazed.
- Unglazed – This type is made of heavy plastic and rubber. It is recommended to use it above freezing temperatures for better sufficient.
- Glazed – Its tubing is made of copper and its aluminum plate has a tempered glass covering. Therefore, it is more efficient than unglazed models and you can use it all year around.
Before choosing one, you should know how many panels you should install. There is a solar pool calculator to help you to calculate.
The Essentiality of Pool Covers
The swimming pool has a large surface, so the heat can escape easily if there are no pool covers. Pool covers are very important to keep the heat. It is highly recommended to keep one in place when you are not swimming in your swimming pool. This is especially very important at night. If you don’t use one, this is like pouring warm water into cold water in the winter.
Cost and Maintenance
There are many factors that may determine the cost of your pool solar panels, like the size of the pool, your geographic location and the orientation. Generally, it is estimated that investing in such a system may cost you about $3000 to $4000 and you can recoup the investment from several years to 7 years. The federal government or some states government may offer tax incentives, if you invest in solar panels, which can reduce up to 30% of the initial cost.
Generally, such a pool heating system can last for 15-20 years. In the first less than 7 years is the payback period, and from then on, the operation costs are almost none and they only need very low maintenance. If you don’t use them in winters, you should shut them off and keep them dry to avoid any damage from freezing in cold winters.