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What Can You Expect From a Solar Pool Heater in Orlando, Florida?
The curves above represent a full sized solar heater for a typical 16x32 pool with 25% shading in Orlando, Florida. 8 collectors represents 75% of pool top surface area in this case. 12 collectors is sizing it at 100% of pool top area. We've plotted the daily maximum pool temperatures. Note we size systems higher if you won't use a cover. In this region we believe that you can full make up for not using a cover just by upsizing solar to 100% of pool area. That's good value. The extra cost of 4 collectors is less than the cost of a cover and roller set up and there are a million other reasons why you don't want to have to bother with a cover. The realistic season to expect in this area is March through November. Even by sizing larger we still aren't going to get enough sun to match the heat loss. This is just reality. If you've tried to heat with gas through the 3 bad months here you'll know how expensive it can be. If you must swim at 80 degrees year round then use a cover, use solar and use gas. We can help you get the maximum benefit of all three but if you're a typical human being with typical motivations, you'll just not expect the pool to be warm through the winter holidays.
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 2 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.
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.
Please feel free to call me personally at 858-627-9007. My name is Ken Wright. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. First contact is best made if I have some information on your pool.