Do It Yourself Solar Pool Heating
From 1996 to about 2014 our primary business model was manufacturing and supply direct to self installers all over the world. The skills required to do the installation are not extraordinary but there are design aspects of this that can be tricky. Hot Sun provides the expertise needed as part of our diy system offering.
Warning: You are working at height, and you are working with toxic adhesives and PVC cements. You must have experience and knowledge in safety and related trades.
We have supported thousands of DIY projects completed over the years. We’ve run into many variations and it's always best to configure and adapt our technology to the situation case by case. That makes us unique and it's why we can’t sell through pool equipment distributors. We sell through expert installers in parts of Southern California and Western Canada but everywhere else, we do the engineering, customize the instructions, and you just have to do the labor.
Hot Sun's tile roof methods are world class. No roof penetrations and we can fit the available space. Take a look at the manuals and video in the reference section and look at the part of our web site dedicated to tile roofs. Our flat roof technology incorporates off the shelf patio stones, chain link fence top rail and shallow slotted unistrut, all available at hardware stores locally, ballasting the system down so that no interference with the roof is required. For a ground level rack we use a bed of gravel with a flat roof system plunked down on top. Many other combinations are possible to accommodate shake, shingle, metal pergolas and even hill sides. Tap into Hot Sun's extensive expertise spanning 4 decades.
Hot Sun will size and price your system in minutes. We just need a brief discussion with you about your situation while looking at the overview on google earth if that imagery is available. Please start by giving us some basic details under contact. Then let's discuss it on the phone because there are so many unique aspects of every unique situation and you will have many questions and misconceptions. No obligation or pressure. We just want to get a smart quote in front of you so that when you are ready, pulling the trigger will be easy.
Its very common today that there is no room on the roof for solar pool heating because PV is in the way. We have the best solution for that and it is a do it yourself option. People like you are putting their own PV systems in. Its tough to get PV Thermal done professionally because of the confusion of liability between the city, the pv installer, the pv manufacturer, the fire marshall and the solar pool plumber but there are situations where do it yourselfers can overcome barriers.
Our unique and superior method for cooling PV and using the same space to heat the pool or provide a source of heated water for a heat pump or whatever else you want to do with low grade heat is to bond our flexible vinyl based fin tubing to the back of the PV panels. Its a retrofit so it can be adapted to an existing PV system. That's unique and important. Its thermally bonded for much better heat transfer. That's key as well. How? Its a method we developed using silicone as the thermal bond. We'll show you how.
The rows of PV are flipped over and the fin tubes siliconed onto the back with an electric caulking gun and a special silicone nozzle. The rows of PV are then flipped back into place. Some sites are easy. Some are difficult. It depends on the pitch. Notice that the fin tubes can extend beyond the footprint of the PV to use up other available roof space. Call or email to learn more.
How To Install Off-The-Shelf Grid Style Cheap Solar Panels
There are many low cost diy solar pool heating solutions available online. You will be tempted to buy "panels". There are some good quality "panels" on the market but most of them are only available as an installed system through an authorized trained exclusive installations team with a territory. Regardless of the quality of the "panel" you will learn that mounting it to the roof is pretty much up to the installer. If it flies off the roof or causes a roof leak, that's not a warranty. We used to sell panels to diy customers but had to cease because they would get damaged in shipping or they would leak over time and they are not repairable. Nothing sticks to polypropylene.
There are many things you need to know to install any solar pool heater. If you want to install cheap panels we will actually still help you. We have better hardware and methodology than the suppliers of the panels. One key consideration is expansion and contraction with temperature. Strap down methods used by the panel people require a bolt into the roof between panels holding the strap down but the manifolds expand and contract side to side quite a bit and the panels have to go along for the ride so the key here with this method is to limit the number of panels in one row. This will limit the movement proportionally.
The proper way to mount regular polypropylene grid style collectors to the roof is to first secure a bar across the top. Hot Sun can supply the following hardware which allows for properly flashed secure roof connections for a piece of chain link fence top rail. We supply all the pieces except the actual bar. You get that locally. Then the collector system can hang from this bar. Don't forget to put wear plates under the roof contact points to prevent wear on the shingles as the manifolds move side to side. This method takes the cyclical load off the individual roof connections normally associated with off the shelf mounting methodology.
Hot Sun roof brackets do not have to hit the rafters. These brackets are only 1.5" wide because you want to tilt this interface bar because you want the air to escape to the top where water exits the collector bank. With the narrow bracket all the brackets can go on the same row of shingles.
Learn about this important plumbing requirement of a conventionally oriented solar pool heater by visiting our plumbing guide.