Loss Of Return Pool Pressure With Solar Panels

by Tom

I added a solar heater to my pool which needed 20 feet of hose to and 20 from the filter.


My pressure gauge used to be 12 before adding the hoses and it is now 18. Do I need to go to a 1 1/2 HP pump instead of my current 1 HP?




Thanks for the question Tom

This is one of those areas that has so much information it would take weeks, if not months to read and absorb. This is my short take on your situation.

You'll want the pool water to go through the panels quicker. This is more efficient. The water heats up too much if the flow is less. This causes a loss of heat in the air, especially if there's wind.

My understanding is that solar panels operate more efficiently when the water flow rates are a bit higher. This causes the panels to cool down.

The increase in the pool water temperature is based on the amount of heat delivered to it. This is based on the temperature delta multiplied by the flow rate. Having a too large pump might cause the system to over-pressurize and reduce the panels life.

I'd suggest looking at the panel manufacturer's operation guide to be sure your system is in range.

Your solar panel system is not a closed loop, but probably has a vacuum breaker. You want to keep the flow rate in the right range and the vacuum release valve (if applicable) just above ZERO. The water going up will have the same pressure as the water coming down in a closed loop, but being solar panels are not this nor are in a vacuum, there's the vacuum breaker.

A rise in pump pressure is normal when installing solar panels. You've just added many more feet of piping, not to mention many 90 degree angles. This is where alot of physics and math equations come into play.

Generally, for every 2.31 feet that the panels are above the pump, expect 1 psi of pressure increase. Many people have had much success with a 1.5HP pump with solar panels. Your pressure went up 6psi which is in the normal range.

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Hope this helps and have a great Summer.

Robert

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Solar Swimming Pool Heaters

by Kate
(Benassay, France)

I have a question about solar swimming pool heaters!

We have just moved into a house in France and have inherited an in ground pool. It's under an open barn (which we want to take down as it shades the pool but that will have to wait!) and it's too cold for me to swim in most of the time but our son is fine with the temperature.

I have been looking for a solar heater but can only find ones for above ground pools and was wondering if I can adapt one for our pool.

Would the connections be a different size?
Where would I connect them?

Help Please!

Thanks for your question Kate

Without going into too much detail, many manufacturers of solar panels and solar swimming pool heater systems would discourage you from trying to make above ground solar heating system interchangeable with an inground pool. By doing so may void any warranty and may cause damage to the existing pool or heating system.

It's like putting an after-market piece on your car or removing a part, it may void the warranty.

It depends on many factors; the plumbing, whether 1 1/2" or 2", headers, type of pump motor, rate of water exchange (gallons per minute) etc...

To the best of my knowledge, one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of solar swimming pool heaters and systems, Fafco Inc., discourages pool owners from trying this.


Thanks for your question Kate and good luck with your pool

All the best

Robert

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Solar Panel Replacement

by John Krause
(Weeki Wachee, FL 34613)

Solar Water Heater Florida

I have two Solar Panels that are leaking. Where can I buy panels to replace them.




Thanks for the question John

This is a very good link to look over. It gives alot of information when shopping for good solar panels; brand names, solar water heater installation, and what to look for:

Salt Water (Chlorine) Pool Or Traditional Chlorine Pool & Heating

You can check with the Florida Solar Energy Center. They have alot of good info. on solar panels, solar water heating, home solar panels cost, and residential solar energy.

In terms of where to buy them locally and solar power companies, I can't help you there. You can always look online to find local retailers.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Heaters" category.

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

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Hope this helps and have a great Summer.

Robert

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Above Ground Versus In Ground Electric Heat Pump..

by Kevin
(Port Charlotte, FL)

I have a small in ground pool in SW Florida...about 6500 gallons...

Can I use an above ground electric heat pump for in ground?. I was thinking a 50K BTU would be more than sufficient to maintain 80 degree.

Can I get your thoughts on this?




Thanks for your question Kevin

I answered a similar question in this post:

Solar Swimming Pool Heaters

Although this post is about solar pool heaters, to the best of my knowledge the information is consistent with all kinds of pool heaters and heat pumps.

I installed a few heat pumps with my uncle while doing pools in Arizona but all of those were inground swimming pools.

I've talked to a couple of manufacturers over the years and both the them have said to get a heater that is specific for your pool. It's best not to mismatch them because of the GPM (gallons per minute), kinds of filters, plumbing, etc...

A 50K BTU would probably be sufficient for a pool that is 6500 gallons, but I would recommend getting an inground pool heater for an inground pool and vice versa.

This is just my take on it, but your best bet would be to talk to a heat pump manufacturer to get the best information. Hope this helps and best of luck with your pool

Robert

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swimming pool care, basic pool care, above ground pool maintenance, inground, salt water

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