Solar heat and solar cover

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Solar heat and solar cover

Postby mkelley » Thu 23 Mar, 2006 17:26

I'm new to both pools and solar -- we just put in our solar system so it's very early days, but I'm having some doubts about the cover.

Here in Florida the nighttime temps are not less than 65 or so, but even with a cover we're losing 3 degrees each night (from 78 down to 75) which means that I need to add more than 3 degrees each day to make some headway. Today was too cloudy to get more than 3 degrees, but I'm hoping that will change as the days go by and *eventually* we'll get there.

But here's the question -- with a cover should I really be losing this much heat overnight? I just started (two days ago) using the cover but it seems to me that before I used the cover a 3 degree loss was typical -- IOW, it doesn't seem like the cover has done one darn thing (other than to be a PITA and look unattractive).

When the cover is on there is also water on top of it -- some pools here and there but I can't remove them all like I can on the spa cover. Is this the problem? Is that water evaporating and then removing heat as if the cover wasn't there and, if so, what the heck do I do about it? Given the size of the pool it's impossible to get the cover on without having these water pools happen.

TIA for any help.

Pool Guy

Solar pool cover problem

Postby Pool Guy » Thu 23 Mar, 2006 19:04

The "pools" of water on the cover make very little, if any, difference. The amount of heat you are losing sounds about normal for the spring. Remember that the pool is also losing heat through its walls and floor (just like a home) so it will take a little time for the surfaces to heat up.

The days are still short and the sun, which seems great to us after the winter months, is actually still quite weak.

Ask around. I'm quite sure your neighbors are in the same position.

Remember that a solar pool cover is a compromise, and will never reach anywhere near the efficiency or effectiveness of solar panels, especially in early spring or late fall.

Postby mkelley » Thu 23 Mar, 2006 19:57

Thanks for the prompt reply -- you at least set my mind at ease concerning the pools of water.

We do have a solar system (with 5 large panels) -- the cover is supposed to be used with it whenever the nighttime temps drop below 70. However, you also said something that echoed what the solar guys had mentioned (and I had forgot) about the sides needing to heat up. The solar system has only been working for two days (and only one really sunny day) and I'm guessing after the pool has been heating for a while it may not lose as much at night (I hope). Or perhaps it will heat more in the daytime (during the first day it gained 6 degrees but lost 3, but today's cloudy day only saw a 3 degree gain, so I just broke even :>)

Thanks again for the information and help.

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