Solar Pool Heaters

The first solar pool heaters were much less advanced than the ones of today. Often they resembled thick, pool-shaped squares of bubble-wrap which were pulled over the pool. The water would be heated, but mostly just at the surface. It was necessary that people be out of the pool when a solar pool heater was absorbing sunlight. They generally worked more efficiently as leaf-catchers than anything else.

Today, solar pool heaters operate in a much more effective manner. Water is circulated through a collector and heated in small amounts. With this better utilization of solar thermal energy, science has developed a way to stimulate the difference which solar pool heaters may make.

In fact, solar pool heaters are not only cost competitive with gas and heat pump options; they are the most cost effective solar energy technology in many regions.

Most of these pool-heating systems work in the same manner. Their basic components include a pump, a filter, a solar collector, and a flow control valve. The flow control valve may be automatic or manual.

The pump circulates the pool water through the filter and the collector, then back to the pool. The filter will remove any debris before the water reaches the collector. There, the pool water will be warmed with the rays of the sun.

If included, an automatic flow control valve will begin diverting the water through the collector once it has reached a significantly greater temperature than the pool. If it has not reached a different temperature, it will simply bypass the collector and return to the pool. manual valves will either shift the flow of the pool water through the collector or skip it, depending on how the pool owner has set it.

Factors affecting the difficulty of installing a solar pool heating system include climate and sunlight availability. Building codes and safety issues are additional factors. It is wise to have a qualified professional handle the installation. Of course, many of these systems come with instructions should the purchaser choose to install it his- or herself.

Most solar pool heaters cost between $3,000 and $4,000 including purchase and installation. However, running the system will have no cost. For this reason, solar pool heaters often pay for themselves through energy savings in a matter of a couple years. If well maintained, the system could easily last for twenty years. Oftentimes, they last for much longer. This means that, though the initial set up fees may be a bit daunting, the price of energy saved can pay off the purchase ten times over.