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What Can You Expect From a Solar Pool Heater in Los Angeles, California?
Welcome to sunny Los Angeles, California, one of the best markets in the world for heating your pool with solar energy.
The curves above represent a full sized solar heater. Full size we consider to be a collector area equivalent to 75% of the top surface area of the pool if you have a cover available in the fringe months. Use 100% of pool area in collector area if you are not willing to use a cover at all. We've plotted the daily maximum pool temperatures. As you can see a cover helps a lot but solar without a cover bumps the pool temperature about twice as much as a cover alone. 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 about 15 degrees. Solar bumps the daily peak temperature of an uncovered pool about 15 degrees as well in this climate. This is a great set of curves. We have confidence in this data. There is nothing like this anywhere else. We've verified this date with many real solar heaters in this region.
Note that in June the temperatures take a dip. 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. That dip in temperatures in June is the famous June gloom. You can see for yourself exactly the effect that June gloom has with our plots. You need a cover through June gloom to hold over 80 degrees typically. 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 only tell you the payback period. We don't care about payback period. 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. A gas heater would only be useful way off season and at times when pool use would be lowest and pool heating costs highest. Why spend maximum on gas heating to heat a pool at night or when it is raining? I know, it never rains in...
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 on a south facing roof. That's the top red line (75%) 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.