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Improving my Pool Heater

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Posted by info on July 12, 2006, 4:18 pm
I currently have a solar pool heater built from 400 feet of 3/4" poly
pipe coiled on a South facing board supported on trusses (left over
from construction.) The pool is a small one, 14 round by 3ft deep, so
about 3000 gallons.

I have the system set on a timer to turn the pump on and off throughout
the day in 20 minute increments about 1 hour intervals (trying to
maximize water heating time.)  Our nights typically run low 50's in the
summer, and usually we're mid-80's for highs (warmer this week.)

On a week where we don't get a lot of rain, I have had the pool up to
86 degrees, which is pretty comfortable, but with some rain, back down
to 80 or 78, so all in all acceptable.

I'd like to be able to increase the heat slightly and prepare for my
new pool which will be 2x or more the size of this one.

Can someone give me some advice? What about enclosing the current
system in a "green house" or just adding more poly pipe? What about
adding a series of 4" black PVC as bigger collectors to add volume?

Any thoughts would be great. Thanks.  So far, I have only about $0
invested, and I'd likely need $00-$00 worth of commercial manifolds
to do the same thing.

Posted by DJ on July 13, 2006, 12:23 pm

info@beartoothwebdevelopment.com wrote:

Well, seems to me that you could run it pretty much all day, when the
air temperature was higher than the pool temperature. Not like running
the water on a roof is going to cool it down any ;-).

Run 'er longer, see what happens.


Posted by Gary on July 13, 2006, 2:49 pm

info@beartoothwebdevelopment.com wrote:

That gives you an effective collection area of about (400ft)(1.0inch dia)/(12
inches/ft) = 33 sqft.  It might be a little better than this if it picks up a
bit of heat from the board.
This is on the small side -- the usual rule of thumb (rough) would be half your
pool surface are -- about 80 sqft in your case.  There is a pool heating
calculator at the link below if you want a better estimate.

If you don't have a cover, this would be the best thing to do.  70% of pool heat
loss is due to evaporation at the surface.  If the pool is in the sun, a
transparent cover will allow the pool to gain heat during the sunny hours.

The pool is a small one, 14 round by 3ft deep, so

I think both would help.  I would guess the greenhouse enclosure would be quite
effective.  It would raise the ambient temperature and reduce evaporation.

More poly pipe would help.
How do you coil the pipe, and how do you fasten it to the board?  Got a picture?

You might also want to consider adding one of the inexpensive solar above ground
commercial pool heaters (about $60 for 40 sqftof collector).

What about

I don't see how collector volume will help you at all.  The cooler the water
going through the collector, the more efficient it will be.  Your pool is the
heat storage in this system.

More solar pool heating info here:

"Build It Yourself" Solar Projects

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