homemade and professional solar panels for pool heating

ThePoolGuyJune 8, 2004

I just posted this message in response to another topic,

but I thought I'd post it again as a new topic so that it is easier seen.

I do a lot of smaller black pipe and also

a commercial solar panel system

see images here:


These images and the info I posted is now outdated as I have upgraded to a professional solar system, called Enersol that I bought in Canada. ( I live in Canada ), the panels push about 20 times the amount of my small black hose system you see here, but I still use these at the moment to really get the full benefit out of my land. I bought 6 professional panels ( each one is 40 sq feet ) but I only have space for 4 of them which is quite depressing. Anyway I hope to get the others hooked up later this summer if I build a small roof over part of my deck. By the way, the 4 panels I have running are 4x10 feet each, and I built them onto a mini false roof which is located behind my pool at the end of my property.

you may see an image here:



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I saw a home in New Jersey where the units were laid on the ground. Elevated about a foot at one side. It was an area behind the garage and happened to be on the south side. I also saw a home at Hunter Mountain which had pex tubing (same as radiant heat) laid under his black top driveway. Once the snow is gone he heats the pool for free. That black top gets really hot sitting out there in the sunshine. He just pumps the water through slowly. Of course he had to lay it all out carefully, but it works.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2004 at 8:07PM
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Hi bybill,

this is indeed interesting what you are talking about - about putting the ashphalt ( black top ) OVER solar panels, I wonder how the weight of black top wouldn't just squash down the panel tubing ? .... this is interesting indeed. I just don't get it though, most driveways have about 6" of black top, if the guy that does it knows his stuff. I had my driveway done 2 years ago after moving into my home and I tell ya, my panels would never survive that weight, we are talking about thousands of pounds here. In any event I'm glad you posted that, really interesting stuff indeed. It's amazing how much info you can get on the net these days.

thanks again for your post,


    Bookmark   June 9, 2004 at 8:20PM
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Mark------crosslinked polyethylene tubing (pex) is used under blacktop all the time for snow melt systems. In Aspen,Colorado and Amana,Idaho some of the downtown streets
have pex installed to heat the surface and melt the snow. Business continues during snow storms. When they are pouring concrete the trucks back right up on top of it.
Tough stuff.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2004 at 9:26PM
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Poolking what is the temp rise and gpm flow through the pro system?

You have a nice homemade arrangement. I see the professional setup has more area and runs through multiple tubes rather than your one-tube homeade system, so I can understand how it gathers more heat.

BTW, with tubes in the ground, the stuff around the tubes, either gravel or concrete, carries the weight. Like a french drain, which is weak plastic drain pipe with gravel around it.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 2:03PM
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What it the size and approx. cost of your new system?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 1:24PM
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Hi Measure Twice... not sure if I'm the PoolKing ( big grin ) but thanks if you are talking to me.

GPM is 20 gallons ( that's 20 gallons per minute that it's rated at ) - I'm sure it's pushing that much as I am pushing a ton of water, I did some tests last year on how fast I could fill up a jug with the output and the test results were out of this world, - to give you an idea, the flow from that pro system comes out like a fireman's hose, it's that fast.

Hi RatherBeGardening, - the size I have on that false roof I built is 16 feet x 10 feet.... there are 4 panels there ( Enersol brand ) - each panel consists of 4 strips each, I actually screwed up and there are only 15 strips there, and not 16 strips, so it's not a full 4 panels....
it should have been 40 sq feet per panel x 4 panels = total sq footage of 160 sq feet, but instead it's 150 sq feet.... - each strip that makes up a a panel is 1 foot wide x 10 feet long ( 10 sq feet of area )

Cost ? .... I paid almost $270 or so for each panel.

Where did I order from ? The place is called
Northwestwholesale.com , and they sell to the United States and Canada,
info on the solar panels is here:
Solar Panels 10' long - 40 sq. ft. per box $242.42 (Canadian funds )
$204.24 - American funds.

By the way, shipping is FREE ! , I forgot about that, so that's another great thing !
I spoke with Doug Charman but there are plenty of salesmen who will get back to ya. Each panel comes in a nice box, and if you are going to order any, they sell you one box that has the same panel in it, but it included stuff you need for installation, like a special key, straps, bolts and even a video ( VHS) .
I didn't install mine as of yet on my roof so no need for any of the hardware like straps bolts etc..

The official site for Enersol solar panels is :

Btw, you'll see a picture of the box you get with the stuff
included in the box like the video etc....


Here is a link that might be useful: Enersol Solar Panels

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 2:24PM
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Thanks for the links. I couldn't tell how they compare to the solar panels I have now, but they do cost a lot more. I have the 4'x 20' panels that are so commonly available.
I like the idea of having tubing in the ground instead. I wonder how large of an area I'd have to do and how deep it would need to be to heat a 17x30 above ground pool. I wouldn't want something as permanent as asphalt or concrete, so I thought of laying tubing in dark colored gravel instead. I'd think it would continue to heat the water for a while after the sun was off of it too, unlike the panels. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 12:39PM
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If anyone is interested, I still have images here:


if there is interest, I'll post images of my homemade solar panels I had installed in 2004, and will take images of my current system ( 2006) which is the same as 2006 )

Mark, thepoolguy

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 8:03PM
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