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What Can You Expect From a Solar Pool Heater in Las Vegas, Nevada?
The curves above represent a full sized solar heater for a typical 16x32 pool with 25% shading in Las Vegas, Nevada. We've plotted the daily maximum pool temperatures. Note we size systems higher if you won't use a cover. We could go even higher. As you can see a cover helps a lot. In this region, there isn't much humidity so a pool loses a lot of heat by evaporation. That's why a cover alone does almost as much as an oversized solar heater of 12 collectors. A pool with a full sized solar heater and cover will peak out daily 20 degrees higher than an unheated pool. Solar bumps the daily peak temperature of a covered pool 13 degrees. Solar bumps the daily peak temperature of an uncovered pool about 13 degrees as well. This is a great set of curves. We have confidence in this data. There is nothing like this anywhere else. This data co-incides with what we've found in real life. Note that we wouldn't let the pool get so warm thru the summer. We have control of the high temperature either by turning solar off, reducing pump run time, setting the auto controller to a maximum and we can even run the solar at night to bring the pool temperature down if we want. We're showing what would happen if we didn't limit the pool temp because the data is meaningful.
All these curves are based on a typical meteorological year which is hour by hour values of air temp, solar radiation, wind levels and humidity based on 10 years of real weather data but the "tmy" isn't average weather data. It is typical weather generated using a complex algorithm and perhaps manually to some extent. This is the kind of graphical output we've been telling the Enerpool folks we wanted for years but Enerpool and all the other solar software out there only tell you the payback period. We don't care about payback period (much). We know solar pool heating's economic numbers are good and payback period is no longer than 3 years. What we're interested in is the daily peak pool temperature (because the average doesn't mean anything to us) over what extended season. These plots show you don't need a gas heater if you can use a solar heater and a cover. It would be very costly to keep a pool above 80 with a gas heater in the months solar can't do the job here. Note that the use of a cover will allow a few extra weeks of pool use in the fall and spring and thru the summer you can forget about the cover. Solar can make up for the need to use a cover.
The above curves represent a typical 16x32 inground pool with a little shade (25%) heated or not with an aged solar cover and an 8) 4x12 solar collector system. We assumed the cover would always be on the pool 20 hours a day and for 4 hours the cover would come off (for the 2 plots with covers) and moderate pool activity would occur. We created these charts using Enerpool solar simulation software. We do not have confidence in any other computer program like this. Click here to learn about this software and its history. You can even download the software yourself and put it to use if you're an engineer type.