This DIY/homemade solar pool heating system is from Sardinia, Italy.
At the time the photos below were taken he didn't have enough pipe
to make four collectors, but has since added the fourth (see
update section at bottom.) The builder wishes to credit Ken for
his excellent panel design
on which his system was based. Some changes he would like to make
in the future are to 1. increase the main feed line sizes and 2. place
the panels on top of a sloping gazebo roof (in the same spot) and do
away with the frames.
This is a project I have almost completed to create a solar pool heating
system. It is already heating the water by about 2C (7F) above the actual
pool temp and I still have one more panel to build. Over a few days it
should add 10C (28F) or more to the pool temperature allowing us to
extend the pool use for an extra 2-3 months.
I built four panels for our pool with about 75 meters (246 feet) of
piping per panel to heat a 30,000 litre in-ground pool. We put the
system in when the pool was about 18C (64F) and over about three days
of good sunshine raised the pool temp to a nice 27C (80F). We used a
simple pool blanket (basically extra tough bubble wrap stuff) at night
to retain the heat which allowed for the really quick heat gain. We
think it should easily give us mid 30C (86F) temps over the middle of
summer making it even really nice at night to swim in and allow us to
use the pool for a lot longer into November maybe.
The pool being heated.
As the photo below shows, I purchased 300 meters (984 feet) of
16mm (5/8 inch) pipe for the panels and 50 meters (164 feet) of
32mm (1 1/4 inch) pipe for taking the water to and from the panels.
I am fully expecting to have to do some work on our panels for next year.
I was in a hurry so didn't even weather proof the wood so likely to need
to redo the frames anyway. But the good thing is that the whole thing is
made using low cost off the peg equipment and so replacement / expansion
All the pipe before starting.
Wood for the panel frames.
Splitting the panel backing boards in half.
Coiling the tube onto the completed panel frame.
Some pipework ready to be buried.
More pipes going to the panels.
The final pipe run to the panels.
Fixtures for each panel use a parallel system so we can
add more panels as needed.
The connector for the last missing panel. At this time I
didn't have quite enough pipe so needed to buy some more to finish it.
One view of the solar pool heater panels.
Three panels in place, one more to go.
They look like giant
vinyl records don't they. :)
May 11, 2012
Well we have been running three of the panels all day and
the pool has gone from a chilly 18C (64F) to a much nicer 23C (73F)
in just one day which allowed us to have a good swim without turning
many shades of blue. All going well it should hold onto some of that
heat over night and will be even warmer tomorrow and just continue
rising. I expect by Monday it could be verging on hot. It has
outperformed my expectations so I am a happy man. :)
May 14, 2012
Okay so we have all 4 panels now running over the weekend. The
temperature has risen from 18C (64F) to now just over 26C (79F).
Putting the pool blanket/cover on at night has meant that very little
heat is lost allowing us to raise the temp much quicker. Typically
similar commercial systems cost in the thousands of euros. So a big
savings with the panels costing less than 300 to make, and
because they use readily available materials, it is easy to make
repairs or add more panels. All in all a massive success. Now on
to the next project.
June 12, 2012
Pool water at 31C (89F) and about as warm as you would probably want
it (outside temp is 28C (82F) in shade.) It's about 4C (7F) hotter
than the hottest part of last year and we are only in mid June so
the two hottest months are still to come. There are a couple of things I
probably would have done differently. The main pipes are 32mm
(1 1/4 inch) and I think with the number of corners and distance to
the panels it would have been better to use 40mm (1 1/2 inch) pipe
however the filter outlet was at this size which was why I opted for
it. It has meant an increase in pressure but still in easily tolerable
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