Solar heating is ideal for in-ground swimming pools as it is an economic and effective solution
The main advantages are:
- Relatively inexpensive, so a quick ‘payback’ period
- Kinder to the environment
- Easy to install and can be retrofitted
- Water runs directly through panels, increasing efficiency
- Require little on-going maintenance
Solar Heating – The Difference
If you didn’t heat a swimming pool at all in the UK, the water would rarely exceed 21°C (70°F). However, with solar heating temperatures can reach the mid to high 20’s°C and sometimes over 30°C.
But Do We Have Enough Sunshine in the UK?
Despite our good old British weather, solar panels still manage to operate successfully in the UK. Although they work best on a bright sunny day, they will still collect heat on bright but overcast days. During an average UK summer, solar panels can typically heat a pool from around mid-May to the end of September.
For most pool owners, a secondary heat source will be required to achieve their a consistent desired temperature.
How Many Panels Do I Need?
The number of panels you will need partly depends on the positioning of them: an ideal location would be a sunny, south facing spot – not too exposed but not shaded either. Panels need to be inclined to catch the most sun, so either fixed at ground level, or on a convenient roof.
The area of solar panels should equate to 50% of the pool surface area for an indoor pool and 70% for an outdoor pool.
How Does Solar Heating Work?
Water is pumped out of the pool through the solar panels where it absorbs heat from the sun’s rays before being pumped back into the pool as warm water.
Panels can be used by means of manual valves, opened when the weather looks nice or by an electronically controlled valve which diverts the water via the panels when weather conditions offer a worthwhile heat gain. The Sundance Pool Controller can be configured to include solar control.