Note: The information contained in this periodical weblog may be outdated. This was my personal weblog published before January 1, 2015. Since then I have been the co-owner and Principal Solar Designer at Florida Solar Design Group.

Solar Pool Heating System in the Summer

At a web marketing meeting today, one member of the astute web development team at Internet Services Group of Florida asked me what happens with all of that extra heat generated in the solar panels when the pool is already warm enough to swim? Great question!

You might think that in Southwest Florida we get a long swimming season without pool heating. The truth is that an 85 degree pool when it is 95 degrees outside can feel refreshing, or a bit on the cool side to some! Solar Pool Heating in the Summer can boost the temperature slightly to bring the pool closer to the ambient temperature, greatly enhancing the experience, especially at night.

Most people would say that they are mostly satisfied with their pool temperature without pool heat for just 2-3 months per year in the summer. Swimming pools are tolerable in late spring and early fall, but the added luxury of solar pool heat during this time alone is worth the price. Without pool heat, swimming for about 6 months out of the year is not even considered for most people.

So what about those 2-3 months per year when the pool is generally warm enough? Here are a few reasons to have solar pool heating during these summer days:

  • Solar pool heat can be diverted to a spa, possibly eliminating spa heating costs. This can be done manually or using an automatic controller.
  • The solar panels can act like radiators and actually cool the pool if desired at night or in the early morning.
  • Occasionally it is nice to heat the pool beyond the normal summer temperatures for night swimming.
  • Higher temperatures are often needed for hydrotherapy/health purposes.

The other question posed was about the use of the hot water for other purposes. There have been some systems developed that can take excess solar pool heat and use it for heating household water through a heat exchanger. Conversely, there is also technology for taking a solar domestic water heating system and using the excess heat for the pool water. These technologies are relatively expensive, and ultimately it is better to go with separate systems that are each better suited to their primary task.

Although many people don’t make use of solar pool heating panels in the summer, there are uses, and the other 9-10 months of the year are certainly reason enough to install a system!

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