Swimming pool owners quickly discover that the pool is one of the biggest causes of increases in electricity bills, but they also know that installing solar hot water panels is an efficient way to generate hot water for the pool and keep the electric bills in line. Swimming pool contractors in Virginia explain that in this area of the country where the sun generates a lot of heat, the sun’s energy can be harnessed from solar hot water panels are used to heat water or is directed to a heat-transfer fluid collector. The heated water is held in a storage tank until you’re ready to use it.
Unlike traditional solar panels, solar hot water panels are less expensive to install. This means you will see a return on investment more quickly. The swimming pool builders at Town and Country Pools explain the solar collection panels come in three types:
- Integrated collector storage – this combines the solar collector and storage tank in one
- The most commonly used solar panel type is the flat plate collector. These are the types that are most suitable when tank roof mounting is used
- Evacuated tubes are more efficient than flat plate collection systems and are best used in colder regions of the country.
Do your homework before selecting a solar collector; working with a professional that is experienced in the best solar collection units for your area of the country is advised. Evacuated tube systems perform better in colder areas of the country and those with lower light penetration.
- The evacuated tube systems are built to pull in more heat and store it during the days when the sun isn’t generating much heat, ie an overcast or cloudy day. Evacuated tube models have a greater surface area that is exposed to the sun to capture the available sunlight. The tube collectors are more durable and it’s easy to replace broken tubes. This type of system takes up less roof space and aren’t as prone to corrosion as flat plate systems.
- A flat plate system solar collector is typically less expensive than the evacuated tube system. As a way to measure peak performance, the flat panel systems can compete almost head to head with an evacuated tube system. If you have a lot of roof space available a bigger flat plate collector could deliver higher performance as compared to the smaller, more expensive evacuated tube systems. Conversely, if you only have a small amount of space available, you might get more energy generated per square foot from the evacuated tube system.
As with any upgrade or improvement you make to your swimming pool, you will want to weigh the cost against the benefit and you may find that adding a solar heating system means you can add another month or more to your personal swimming season — and that may be the benefit you’re seeking.