Solar Pool Heating
Solar Pool Heating is the most widely used form of solar worldwide. Here in Maryland, a solar pool heater is THE cheapest way of heating an outdoor swimming pool and should double your swim season. Compared to gas or electric, your solar pool heater will pay for itself in 1 or 2 seasons and last decades.
Mid-Atlantic Solar Pool Heating
Solar pool heating in Maryland, DC, Virginia, and the Mid-Atlantic is a very effective use of Solar Energy because pools are heated to relatively low temperatures and require a huge amount of energy to heat. The solar system uses a very simple unglazed plastic collector that is perfect for this application. It is impervious to pool chemicals and, at these low temperatures, is actually more efficient than a glazed collector. Ninety percent of all the heat required by a pool is due to heat losses from the water's surface area. This is why solar pool systems are sized according to surface area and why a pool blanket is so effective. There is simply no cheaper way of heating your pool.
If the pool is in full sun, collector area should equal at least 50% of the surface area of pool (400 sq. ft. of solar collector for an 800 sq. ft. pool). If the pool is shaded, more collector area is required. The collectors require an area that receives full sun, usually a south-facing roof, but ground-mounted systems are also an option.
Rough cost estimates can be determined using the pool's surface area, but a specific proposal also will be dependent on the position of pool/roof relative to the sun and any shading. Complete residential systems typically range from $3000 - $8000 fully installed.
How Solar Pool Heating Works
A solar swimming pool heater uses your existing pump to circulate the water in your pool through the system. The process begins with an automatic control that senses any change in sunlight or water temperature and relays this information to a control valve. The control valve then diverts or channels the pool water to the collectors, when sufficient energy is available, or bypasses them when heat is not needed.
The water is efficiently heated by the collectors, which can be mounted either on a roof or a ground rack, as it flows through the passageways within the collectors. The water then flows back into your pool through the return lines. The system includes a thermostat allowing you to limit the solar contribution once your pool has reach the desired temperature.