Solar pool heating is using the energy provided by the sun for the heating of pools. Solar energy being ever present provides an easy and appropriate alternative to the present sources of energy for the heating. Solar Pool heating reduces costs significantly for swimming pool heating. The use of solar energy in solar pool heating is very cost effective for most of the climates. Solar Pool Heaters are remarkably easy to use and understand and can be implemented with ease.
Working of Solar Pool Heating
Major Components of Solar Pool Heater-
- Solar collector
- A Filter
- Flow control valve
Pool water is first flowed through the filters. The filters help in removing dirt and debris present in the water before it goes to the collector. Solar collector is the device where the water is heated by the sun through circulation before it is returned back via pump. Collectors can also be used to cool water in hot climate by circulation in the night time when temperature is marginally low. Solar collectors can be glazed or unglazed depending on the requirements. Unglazed collectors are cheaper and can be easily and efficiently used for temperatures above freezing point.
The hot water is then pumped back in a controlled in a controlled way back to the pool with the help of a pump and a control valve.
The flow of heating can also be automated as the required temperatures can be logged into the Digital controller connected with the pump of the solar pool heater.
Benefits of Solar Pool Heating
Solar Pool Heating is not only environment friendly but also flexible and cost effective. It is dependable and durable. Moreover there is hardly any maintenance required after installation. Apart from the obvious environmental benefits, some of its premiere cost benefits are:
- Durable : Solar Pool Heating is a durable technology and can easily outlast its electric equivalent. The Technology has a warranty of 10 years and can last upto 15-20 years with normal maintenance.
- Cost Effective : Though Solar Pool Heaters have a comparatively higher installation cost, the solar pool heaters can become profitable very fast. The utility bills are decreased by a good margin with this technology. There is an abundant supply of hot water regardless of the energy being used. It costs between $3,000-4,000 and has a payback time of around 1.5-7 years according to the climate and the usage of the pool.
- Low Maintenance cost : After the Solar pool heater is installed it hardly requires any maintenance. Unlike the electric pool heaters which should be serviced every year by a technician there is very little maintenance and hassle involved in their solar counterparts.
- Extension of the Swimming Season : Solar pool heaters keeps the pools warmer and hotter for longer parts of the year. Whether or not the there is an existing heater, the solar pool heaters use the solar energy which can be tapped easily and judiciously.
Limitations of Solar Pool Heating
Though the green technology has various benefits and a simple enough working, it carries some vital disadvantages as well with it. It does have some working limitations as it is dependent on the climate of the area. Also being a developing technology it faces an untapped hesitant market. Some of the major issues regarding solar pool heaters are as follows:
- Space Required : The collectors require a proper space for installation, where it can tap the sunrays efficiently. Moreover if solar panels are also used there can be some cramming for spaces for the installation of the technology.
- Sun quintessential : Solar technologies work only when there is a sufficient and diligent sun out as a source. Also if the pool is not covered in the nighttime, there can be an escape of heat and a loss in efficiency. There are no storage units where the energy can be stored for the usage in future.
- May Require Backup : Solar pool heater can efficiently work for warming a pool by 10 degrees. But more than 15 degrees would require a conventional backup for solar pool heaters. This would in turn increase the utility bills and the pay-back time.
- Cost Related Issues : Solar Pool heating generally has a good payback time and is reasonable as an investment. But when not installed in the proper location or at a place not having proper sunlight, it can lead to lower usage and therefore an increase in the payback time. The payback time may even be longer than the warranty period. Therefore to avoid this issue, before installation the system space, size and efficiency should be compared with the needs. So should the costs of installation and the climate needs be evaluated with the service provider.
Case Study- Sun Systems-Scottsdale, Arizona
In Arizona, several of communities have started adapting to solar pool heating services. Terravita is one such community. The community has approximately 1380 homes and has an Olympic sized pool. In September 2008, Terravita started looking for greener and more viable options for the operation of their pool. With the assistance of Sun Systems Inc. a plan for improving the capital of the community was formulated.
A 20’ wide walkway was built the pool and the clubhouse. Angled at 17 degrees and it supports a 106 unglazed 4’X8’ solar pool collectors totaling 3392sq ft. The Automated Solar system produced as much as 1.6 Btu per day. The system saves around 37% of natural gas usage for the Terravita homeowners. The utility costs saved were around $22,000 per year. A payback time of only 2.5 years was another achievement for the project.
Solar Pool Heating is very easy to be implemented and it leads to a great reduction in the utility bill related to the pool. With the growing innovations in the solar technology there is an increase in the sophistication leading to an efficient usage. The tapping of solar energy in the pool heating is increasing leading to lesser need of Sun rays. Some of the many firms providing the Solar Pool Heating services are-helicol, aquathermindustries, Apricus Solar, etc.