Have you decided to install solar panels to heat your swimming pool? If you’re an avid DIYer (Do It Yourself), then this blog will guide you on the solar panel installation process, which you can complete as part of your weekend project. However, it will also help those who opt for professional installation, as they will know the steps involved.
Before we proceed, some per-installation thought is required, such as where you want to install your solar panels. Obviously, per the available space, you’ll have to install the panels. Well, both roof-mounted and in-ground systems will work fine when you want to heat your pool. However, it is up to you where you want to allow space for solar panel installation.
Placement of collector is crucial as it has a massive impact on the efficiency of the panels. Solar pool heaters need positioning in a way that increases the quantity of sunlight towards it. As per a new study, a collector can face up to 45° east or west of exact south without producing significant negative impact. However, bear in mind that local landscape that can include nearby buildings, trees or hills and climatic conditions may impact the suitable placement for the collector.
Next, you need to think about the collector’s tilt. It is another big thing that decides the efficiency of your solar panels. Depending on the length of your swimming season, you need to determine the angle at which a solar panel should tilt. As a rule, solar pool heating systems dedicated for summer should tilt at the same angle of your latitude plus deduct 10 to 15 degrees.
Now that you’re through with the pre-installation needs; let’s proceed to the step-by-step installation process.
The Surroundings & Climatic Conditions
Consider the space around the pool and the solar panels:
- Is there sufficient space for the solar panels to obtain direct sunlight during the day?
- In case you experience severe weather or high winds, will you have to take out the panels?
These are crucial prerequisites for achieving a successful solar panel installation for your pool.
If you live in a location where you experience extreme temperature changes between day and night, then you will have to consider optimising your pool heating activity. Therefore, its an excellent idea to add a pool blanket to make sure that cold night hour temperatures do not ruin your daytime earnings.
Consider Three-Way Pool Valve Installation
A three-way pool valves are not cheap, but it is a valuable addition to the efficient functioning of your solar panel system. It will not block the return flow, and you can easily adjust it, to control the flow volumes.
T-Pipe Fitting Installation
You need to install t-pipe fitting close to the three-way valve in the same return line, located on the poolside. It facilitates water reverting from the panels to flow back into the return line under the valve. The water can then revert from the panels and move back to the pool, heating the remaining pool water and creating for a gratifying swimming experience.
Match Pipe Sizes
It is crucial to install the same pipe size for the pipes that move to and from your solar panels’ location all through your solar panel installation.
- If you have installed the solar panel system on the roof, then you will have to install some plastic-conduit pipe hangers. It will fasten the pipe to the wall, thereby shielding it from moving or shifting.
- Conversely, if you’re installing panels on the ground, then union fittings will make it simpler to take out the panels as the season changes.
- Besides, if you’re worried about the looks, then you can use rigid pool pipes that will produce an intriguing appearance.
Secure the Panels to the Roof
Once you have selected the panels you need, it is time to secure them to the roof, and this is the hardest part of the installation process.
- Use stainless steel hanger bolts and drill them into the roof rafters.
- Make sure the hanger bolts sit little broader than the width of the panels.
- Ensure adding a liberal blob of roofing tar around the hanger bolts to seal off the water and avert leaks.
- Then after, secure the panels with the aluminium bar or strap, designed to fit over the hanger bolts.
- Secure the panels in place with washers and wing nuts.
Remember: Depending on where you reside in Australia, you may have to submit drawings (blueprint), adhere to the codes, and get a building permit before commencing the installation procedure.
Link Up the Panels to Each Other
- To complete the installation, link up the panels to one another, as well as to the union fittings. To accomplish this, you will need PVC elbows and fittings and the system’s hardware.
- Ensure which end of the panel pipes moves in and which moves out, so the direction of the water flow will be right.
- You risk air accumulating in your system in case you install this part backwards.
- If you install panels on an incline, then panel’s output end will remain higher.
- After you have completed this step, Switch ON the pump and unfasten the valve to the panels.
The installation job has completed!
Note: Depending on your pool’s system, once the panels installed, you may have to Turn OFF other power supplied to the swimming pool. That’s why before you start with the panel installation process, it is paramount to crosscheck on this aspect with your particular panel system.
The Bottom Line
Indeed, solar pool heaters are a fantastic choice to keep your pool warm and to extend your swimming season. Solar pool heating system provides you with many advantages; however, the two core advantages are:
- It facilitates you to lower your carbon footprint and thereby help you to enjoy warm water all year round the environmentally friendly way.
- Help you to save on your energy bills.