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solar pool heater in los angeles

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Posted by tom k in L.A. on March 13, 2007, 3:57 am
we're redoing our pool and are considering a solar heating system.
our site has tons of sunlight-- almost too much-- would love to put it
to work for us.  question, though-- how good are these systems, i
mean, what is the average swimmable season with a solar system here in
LA, high end system, properly sized, yadda yadda yadda.


Posted by sundriven on March 25, 2007, 4:11 am

My company has been building systems like this for 30 years in the Bay
Area.  In the bay area you can get a good six months of swimming with
glazed collectors; I would think LA would get 8 or 9 months.  Either
place you probably need boiler backup, or a big system with massive
thermal storage.  I think that 1/2 pool square footage area is the
minimum glazed collector area needed to do some serious heating.

Google for a solar company in your area.  If there's not one, we'll do
it but we'd charge about $000 premium for travel and lodging.   An
average resi pool in bay area would cost $2,000, and add the 2k for

Thomas Scott
Sun Light and Power

Posted by dold on March 26, 2007, 11:35 pm
www.powermat.com is located in San Diego.

Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA  GPS: 38.8,-122.5

Posted by gary on March 29, 2007, 12:23 am
There are some calculators and other pool heating info here:

Most people consider it to be the most cost effective solar
application there is.


Posted by dold on March 29, 2007, 1:05 am
 gary@builditsolar.com wrote:

I thought that the killer app was Domestic Water Heating. ;-)

Heating the pool is certainly optional, although I'm about to take a look
at it again.  In my area, a heater would lengthen the season, and make it
more pleasant even near mid season.  The bubble-wrap cover that I have now
made a good improvement, but I want more.

My pool pump wasn't strong enough to pump the water to the roof.  The pool
is in a courtyard, and there is no other decent path to the sun for the
majority of the day.

Then my pump died, so I bought a new one.  I got a slightly used 1hp pump
cheaply, but the old one was 1hp, so I don't know if the new one will push
water through a dirty DE filter to the roof either.  I haven't tested
deadhead pressure on it.

I realized after the fact that it was a control board that was bad in the
old one, and I wired around it, so weak or not, it is available, and can
pump water to the roof without the DE filter in the way.  Deadhead is about
20psi.  I think I'll plumb it separately so it is only running when the
heat is desired, separate from the filter.  That's as far as I have gotten,
although I have read most of the pages on the topic on the builditsolar

What I don't see is how long one needs to pre-heat the pool.  I see
calculations for how much collector to use, but how long does the pump run?
Does it need to be turned on on days when the pool is not going to be used,
to capture the heat, or is it dissipated as fast as it is gathered, so you
only heat it when it is being used?  I would expect some preheat time.

I had a natural gas heated hot tub.  That would go up 1 degree every two
minutes, as I recall, so I only had to turn it on before dinner, and it was
ready after dinner.  Later, an electric heated tub had to be turned on well
in advance, maybe a day, to get up to temperature.   I don't know what to
expect from a solar pool heater.  

Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA  GPS: 38.8,-122.5

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