Solar Pool Panels
the Heart of the Solar Pool Heater
Solar pool panels (also known as solar pool collectors) are the engines that warm up the swimming pool water, granting free warm water over most of the seasons (but not during the winter).
Principle of Operation
Solar pool panels are in the heart of the solar pool heaters. Like their cousins the solar thermal collectors they directly convert sunlight radiation to hot water using the greenhouse effect.
Construction of Solar Pool Panels
The solar pool collector is usually not glazed to make possible a lower production cost and a lower price to the buyer. Black coated dense meander of black coated pipes in which the pool water is circulated to/from the pool is arranged over a rigid bottom surface and absorbs sun radiation in the visible light wavelengths. The water warm up and the heat is trapped inside the pipes. The cheaper panels use black plastic garden hose pipes, the more expensive and more durable panels use copper pipes coated in black
Sizing the solar panels
The larger the volume of water in the pool, the more solar panel area is required. The area is dependent on the following:
- Wind (wind vaporize the water and cools the water surface)
- Amount of sun (sun inclination and how many hours are available during the day)
- Does the pool have a solar pool cover?
- How early in the spring you want the season to start and how late in the autumn you want the season to end?
As a crude estimate, the panels area is 50% to 100% of the pool area. For example, 15’ by 30’ pool (4.5m by 9 m) will require 225-450 square feet panels. Standard panel sizes are 4’ by 8’, 4’ by 10’ and 4’ by 12’. In this example, if you buy 4’ by 8’ panels, you will need 7 to 14 panels. You can start with the lower number (450:32=7) and add more panels as necessary to achieve a longer season
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