Solar Heater - How long to run

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TAZ427
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Joined: Sun 17 Jul, 2016 17:11
My Pool: 14,500 Gal, In Ground, Pepple Tec, Variable Speed Pump, Hayward 4 Cartridge filter...

Solar Heater - How long to run

Postby TAZ427 » Thu 05 Jan, 2017 19:57

I bought my house a bit over a year ago. It seemed like forever to get the pull up to really usable temp in May (still in the low 70's) and quickly died off again in early October. Only in August does it hit the low 80's.

I've got a variable speed pump that runs 6hrs a day. But the controller was setup by the previous owner to only run water through the Solar Heater for the first 2hrs (Noon - 2pm.) Being just outside of Sacramento, CA and having tons of intense sunlight during the majority of the year, should I be running the water through the pump longer?

The return water seems to be still warmer than the pool water at the end of the solar heater cycle.

I know it's using a bit more electricity to pump the water up the 2 stories to the roof and the top of the panels but if I can increase the water temp another 5 degrees it would extend my pool usage by at least several weeks on both ends of the 'pool season'.

Also, any inputs on Solar Covers and Solar Mats are welcome. We didn't use one last year as we have a lot of trees blocking the sun most of the morning, and then the house blocking the sun most of the later afternoon. But I know it will still provide benefit of heat retention if not as much heat gain from the limited sun it receives.


Denniswiseman
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My Pool: 10k inground fibreglass, Telescopic Cover, Hayward Powerline pump, Quality filter with glass media, 27kw output heat pump, K-2006C test kit
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Solar Heater - How long to run

Postby Denniswiseman » Sat 07 Jan, 2017 11:24

I would run the solar side for as long as there is heat gain from the solar panels.
They should have been setup with a thermistor so that if the temperature of the solar return was less than the pool temperature it would be cut off
The electricity cost would not be that expensive for the heat gained (I use a heat pump which runs 24/7 in the winter to maintain pool temperature, Expensive)
Being as you don't have a lot of solar gain on the pool surface go for a thermal cover to help retain the pool temperature
I use a 6mm Thermalux Foam Heat Retention Covers on this Page
I know that exact product may not be available to you but it gives you an indication of what i'm talkong about
TAZ427
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun 17 Jul, 2016 17:11
My Pool: 14,500 Gal, In Ground, Pepple Tec, Variable Speed Pump, Hayward 4 Cartridge filter...

Re: Solar Heater - How long to run

Postby TAZ427 » Sat 07 Jan, 2017 14:13

Thanks, after I wrote this post I ready through the Jandy AquaLink PDA Controller manual and found out that it will only enable the Solar Heat mode when the Solar Temp is 5deg above the pool temp.

I was a bit surprised when going through the variable speed pump settings that the speed for when in Solar Heat mode was the same as for when in pump (I've got a 1.5HP Jandy ePump 600-3450 RPM range.) Both 'pool' and 'solar heat' are set to 2750. Cleaner is set to '2850' but I never use it, I just leave in the Polaris 360 100% of the time we aren't in the pool because that's what my wife wants even though I know it wears out the belts and bearings doing it too much. I replaced the bearings and belts last swim season. Not all that expensive and I don't mind doing it and with the ton of tree cover it keeps the bottom clear of leaves. The 'Freeze Protect' was at least set down to 600.

Anyway, I think I'll set the Solar to run during the full pump run Range.

I'll look into the Heat Retention covers you mentioned. I have a very Irregular Shaped Pool so I'll have do a good bit of trimming whatever I choose.
Denniswiseman
Swimming Pool Superstar
Swimming Pool Superstar
Posts: 711
Joined: Tue 06 Sep, 2011 05:48
My Pool: 10k inground fibreglass, Telescopic Cover, Hayward Powerline pump, Quality filter with glass media, 27kw output heat pump, K-2006C test kit
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Solar Heater - How long to run

Postby Denniswiseman » Sat 07 Jan, 2017 17:52

It's a shame that you can't set it lower than 5deg because that is a lot of difference like the extra 5deg that you would like

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