OPB Business Partner
ENERGY TRUST OF OREGON
  1992- 2010 Tax-Credit Certified Solar Technician
The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners
SOLAR RATING AND CERTIFICATION CORPORATION

SOLAR POOL HEATING
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Which Brand OF Pool Heating Panel Do You Install?

Solar Energy Solutions, Inc. installs the SunStar brand solar pool heating panel. We have chosen SunStar because we strongly believe it is the best solar pool heating panel on planet Earth. Solar Energy Solutions, Inc. has installed thousands of the SunStar pool heating panels over the last 30 years. We have seen for ourselves that the SunStar Panel and our persnickety installations have passed the test of time. The SunStar pool heating panels come with a 12 year, unlimited, unconditional, non-pro-rated, parts and labor warranty. After that, a lifetime warranty kicks in. The life expectancy on the panels is 40 years. Over the last 30 years of installing the SunStar pool heating panel and going back and looking at our systems, we cannot detect any degradation of the panels.

How Does It Work?

The way solar pool heating systems works is quite simple. We use your existing filtration pump to pump the pool water from the pump and filter to the solar pool heating panels on your roof, back down to your pump house and into the pool. In 30 years of installing solar pool heating systems, we have never had to install additional pumping power to get the pool water up to the roof. This is not to say it won't happen, but the general rule of thumb is that a ½ horsepower pump will send the water up one story, a ¾ HP pump two stories and a 1 HP pump three stories.

Where Will The Panels Be Located?

As with all solar systems, the primary location is on your roof. You will need a sunny South or West-facing roof for your solar pool heating panels. Solar pool heating panels take up a lot of roof space. So, you will need a very large and sunny, rectangular and ideally contiguous roof space. When we say, "very large", we mean VERY LARGE. Because, in order to heat your pool to 80+ degrees from May through September for free using solar energy, you need to have between 60% and 125% of you pools surface area in solar panels.

How Far Away From The Pool Equipment Can The Panels Be?

It doesn't readily matter how far away from you pool equipment you roof is. Long pipe runs are the norm not the exception. If you have a roof with a bunch of dormers and such, another location may have to be considered. (We will talk about "racks" that can be built in your yard to mount the solar pool heating panels onto later.) When we say, "sunny"; you will need access to 75% or more of you available seasonal sun in order to get all of the incentives that are available and for your system to perform optimally. Given that you have this, you are well on your way to being able to heat your pool for free from May through September.

What About The Plumbing Run?

This is the path the plumbing will take from the pool equipment area to the panels on the roof. Here, anything is possible and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The pipe run can go over hill and dale, strapped to fences, stuffed behind bushes, placed in trenches or strapped to walls. We most often use 1 ½" Sched. 40 PVC but for very long pipe runs we would use 2".

How Is The Temperature Regulated?

At the pump house or where the pool filtration equipment is, we will install an automatic solar controller that regulate the pool temperature. Like a thermostat in your own house that regulates your home's temperature, your solar pool heating system will come with a similar device. Your solar system will come with a control box where you will be able to set the solar thermostat at whatever temperature you please. There are two sensors that work with this device. One sensor is near the solar pool heating panels and the other near the pump and filter. These two sensors go to the solar control box. The solar controller distinguishes between the panel temperature and the pool temperature. If the panels are warmer than the pool, the pool water is automatically sent up to the panels where it is solar heated and then returned to the pool. If there is no heat gain to be had or if your pool has reached its desired temperature the solar controller will bypass the solar panels until such time when a solar heat gain is called on again.

How Will I Know If The System Is Working?

There are lots of visual indicators we install on your solar pool heating system which show you it is working as it should. There are lights on the solar controller and temperature gauges.

What Sort Of Maintenance Is Necessary?

The solar pool heating system has only a few yearly things you need to do to maintain it. The most important of which is to open up the low point drains in the fall to freeze protect your system. Solar pool heating systems do not work at all in the winter and need to be drained. The other thing to be done every so often is to have someone jump up on your roof and inspect the system for anything that looks out of the ordinary. Outside of this, the panels have a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty and are expected to last 40 years.

What Are Ground Racks?

Constructing a LARGE rack to mount the solar pool heating panels on is an option that should only be exercised if it is determined there is no way on Earth they would fit on the roof. Bear in mind roofs are a ready-made platform to lay your solar pool heating panels on and doesn't cost you a cent to construct. You could even place the panels on a barn or out building. Distance is not really a factor. However, if there are no ready roofs to install your panels on, a rack is a perfectly good and viable option if you have the yard space. A rack can be built on the back 40. It doesn't really matter. Please give us a call to consider this option further.

Check out solar pool heating racks by clicking here!

Do you install commercial solar pool heating systems?

Since 1987, Solar Energy Solutions, Inc. has installed solar pool heating systems for apartments, hotels, recreation centers and every other conceivable commercial solar pool heating application. Please check out our commercial photo gallery by clicking here.