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You can significantly reduce swimming pool heating costs by using a pool cover. Swimming pools lose energy in a variety of ways, but evaporation is by far the largest source of energy loss. Evaporating water requires tremendous amounts of energy.
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Does anyone have any ideas on how to make solar collectors for a swimming pool? I am trying to figure out a way to heat my pool without using electricity or gas.
Build a box about 2 feet wide by 6 feet long and about 2 inches deep. Paint the inside of the box with flat black paint. Arrange 50 feet of black garden hose to lie flat in the bottom of the box. Put holes in the end of the box to bring the ends of the hose out and seal around the hose where it passes through the box with caulking compound. Secure the hose in place with several thin pieces of wood placed on top of the hose and nailed to the back of the box. Several old yard sticks would be about right for this. Paint them with the flat black paint also. Be careful not to put the nails through the hose. Don't flatten the hose, but drive the nails in just far enough so that the hose doesn't slide down when the box is stood up on end. Make a glass cover for the box. Caulk all of the joints to keep rain out of the box. Set the box up so that it is perpendicular to the sun's rays when the time is 12:00 noon, Standard Time. Get a circulating pump and hook it up so it pulls water from the pool and pumps it through the hose and back into the pool. Experiment with the flow rate to get the desired temperature rise. Before you buy a pump, you could feed the hose from your water faucet and catch the flow in a bucket to measure the flow rate after you have regulated it to get the desired temperature rise. This is not very critical, since it will still heat the water regardless of the flow rate. It will either heat a low flow rate very hot or a high flow rate a little bit. Either way, the same total amount of heat will be put into the pool. The circulating pump should be allowed to run during all the daylight hours and turned off at night.
How effective this will be depends on the size of your pool and how warm you want to make it. You may have to use more that one of these boxes, but one would be good to experiment with.
Whatever you use to regulate the water flow, put it on the outlet of the hose so that the hose stays full all of the time.
If you wanted to get fancy and heat the water very hot, you could use black pipe instead of the hose and put reflectors in the back of the box to focus the sunlight on the pipes. For maximum effect this would also require that the box be continuously turned so that it is always exactly perpendicular to the sun's rays. I haven't tried this yet, but I'm thinking of using the junk CD's we all receive in the mail as reflectors. If you wanted to do this, the reflectors should not be placed flat in back of the box, but each one should be angled so that it focuses the reflected sunlight directly on the pipe.
What a fabulous explanation!
Go to www.solarguide.com I'm sure you'll find plenty of information here.
Thank you so much for all your help! :}
I saw one on a house rooftop. It was homemade, PVC pipe, painted black to collect more solar heat.
Google hoola hoop pool warmers or lilly pad warmers. Here is a link to a video. You can use black trash bags over the hoola hoops and they will float on top of the water.