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Thread: DIY Solar Heat for Above Ground Pool

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Parishville, NY
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    Default DIY Solar Heat for Above Ground Pool

    Sorry if this topic has been covered, but I didn't find anything in the archives in doing a search.

    I'm looking for relatively inexpensive means to heat my 27' AG pool using radiant heat from the sun ... I'm toying with the ideal of either some type of hose or tubing coiled in the sun with a diverter value routing a flow of water through it and back into the pool OR a 50 gallon black barrel ... again diverting part of the water flow in the to the bottom of the barrel and then somehow pullin the hotter water off of the top.

    I've seen an ebayer selling a TAV (temperature-actuate valve AKA thermally-actuated valve) that you simply attach to the end of a garden hose. You need to tapp of the pool pump/filter system to put water in the hose and once it reaches 90 degrees F, the valves opens and dumps the water back into the pool. (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=180007613977)

    In either scenario, I would have adjust my pump timer so that it running during the hottest part of the day .. probably from 11am to 5pm ... to take optimum advantage of the sun's heat.

    FYI - I live very far upstate in NY ... better described as Southern Canada ... the water stays around 74-76 degrees and I'd like to get it to around 80-82. I'd appreciate hearing any trial-and-errors stories from people that have attempted the same.

    Thanks,
    Jeff Y.

  2. #2
    matt4x4 is offline Lifetime Member Whizbang Spinner matt4x4 2 stars matt4x4 2 stars
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    Default Re: DIY Solar Heat for Above Ground Pool

    Several board members have made their own solar gain devices, one of my neighbours has also tried this.
    I can tell you that you will get heat gain from just about anything black, but noticeable heat gain is a different story.
    The most efficient way is to increase surface area - you can do this by creating a manifold and having numerous SMALLER black pipes running to the collector manifold and back into your regular pool plumbing.
    You will have to figure out how many taps you need on the manifold for the size tube you're working with, but the cross sectional area of all smaller tubes should add up to the cross sectional area of your current pool plumbing - otherwise your flow rate and back pressure can be severely impacted which can lead to serious problems elsewhere.
    Personally, I thought that 300 bucks (canadian) was a fair price to pay when figuring what I'd have to spend in materials alone (never mind my time I'd have to invest)for a home brew system that would have 25% of the efficiency of the panel I bought.

  3. #3
    NWMNMom is offline Registered+ Widget Weaver NWMNMom 0
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    Default Re: DIY Solar Heat for Above Ground Pool

    I second Matt. The time, space and hassle involved to get noticable heat from a home brew would be more than offset by purchasing a nice 4x20 or even 2 4x20s. Nice, compact (compared to home brew systems), ready to go and REAL heat. I don't think anyone can argue that Matt is pretty far north and living in the Nation's Icebox here in Northern MN, I can vouch for the effectiveness and convenience of a nice purchased panel system. Less than $300 and our pool is nearly ALWAYS at 82-87 degrees.
    Beats driving to the lake!
    18'x33'x52" AG oval, hard plumbed system, 22" Pentair Meteor Filter 1.5hp pump, Goldline SWCG System, 2/4x20 SolarBear Panels, Biltmore Steps - 16x14' composite deck, Pool Rover Jr

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