How To Build Your Solar Pool Heater
A solar pool heater enables you and your family to enjoy your swimming pool or outdoor spa for a greater part of
the year. Into spring and autumn. And into cooler mornings and evenings. When others are shivering!
There are four ways to heat your pool
Gas, usually a propane heater
Using a pool cover
Solar pool heater
The benefits of solar pool heating solution is best. It's
cheap to run and you don't contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. A guilt-free time in your comfortably warm pool
or outdoor spa! Why not.
A commercial pool heater can cost you up to $2000. But you can build your own at a small fraction of that
Just look around on the web for guides that give you clear instructions of how to build your system. There are
Be sure to look for these essential elements at least, in any guide you buy:
A clear list of materials with step-by-step instructions
Materials should be easy to source locally and be inexpensive
No requirements for complicated engineering, electrical skills or welding
Some troubleshooting suggestions
How do solar pool heaters work?
They run on a passive solar principle.
Simply, pool water runs through long lengths of flexible tubing. These are suspended in front of reflectors to
receive and transmit the sun's warmth to the water in the tubing. The tubing should be protected, say with with
polythene sheeting, from any wind chill.
The reflectors can be made out of halved storm water piping, sprayed with chrome paint to maximise their
reflective powers. To circulate this warmed water through your pool or spa you will need a small pond pump or solar
electric pump. The latter is more expensive, but obviously you will help the environment and your wallet by
spending a little more to start with.
One guide suggests that minimum pump specifications should be that it delivers 10 litres per minute (120
gals/hour) and is capable of raising water to 1.6m (5’2”).
All components, containing tubing, reflectors and cover, are assembled into a solar panel. Its
ideal size depends on optimum dimensions for ease of handling, structural integrity and heating efficiency. Of
course more than one panel can be used. A spa would not need a large panel. But then again... some like it hot!
In general, a panel measuring 3.4m (11’ 4”) by 1.4m (4’ 8”) is effective on pools up to 30,000
litres (6000 gal).
Panels should be placed in such a way to maximise receipt of the sun's rays. It's best to have them face the
sun's mid day position. Place them vertically on a fence or horizontally on your roof.
To make the best of your solar pool heater, it makes sense to use it
with a solar blanket. But this is not normally required to benefit from your now upgraded asset - your pool or
Give it a go! Your family will thank you for it.
Check out Earth 4 Energy here: http://diygreenenergyforhomes.com/e4esolar.html