Solar, In Floor Cleaning, and VS Pump

jskeyes2August 14, 2012


We are currently getting bids on a new in-ground pool. Free heat is important to me (as well and energy efficiency) so I believe we are going to go with Solar. Our salesperson at California Pools in San Diego indicated that using in floor cleaning, plus wanting to run water through solar is going to remove the benefits of a variable speed pump as you'll want to run fast for solar to get the heat in, and the in floor requires the high speed.

Anyone have thoughts on this? My assumption is that the in floor cleaning does not need to run at top speed all the time, and as far as solar, will running the pump at top speed allow the water to heat in the pannels adequately before going back in the pool, or is running at the lower speed sufficient to get enough heat gain? I am not sure if there is a pressure issue either in getting it up to the roof (meaning you have to run the pump at the higher speed just to get it up there).

Any feedback on how well folks like their solar heating system would be appreciated too.

We live in Carlsbad, CA.


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Floor systems and solar do require higher water velocities. If all you had were floor returns and no wall returns, for the floors to function properly, higher speeds will be needed or the floor returns won't pop up. The also increase head losses.

A robot, such as a Dolphin or Aquabot (not endorsing any particular brand), run for an hour or so a day, uses a lot less electricity than a pump providing the flow needed for a floor system or pool sweep like a Polaris or Legend.

I am not a big fan of in-floor systems.

If you have the Southern facing roof that solar requires and it's you have a two story or ranch style home, great. Solar will be good. If the pool gets too hot, additional run time at night will help cool it too.

Solar, when heating, does want the water to travel through the panels quickly. That doesn't always equate to a variable speed's top end. There will also be months that the solar isn't needed for heat. Running at half speed for them is usually sufficient and still saves energy compared to a single speed and often less than a two speed. Not needing the high speed for solar would mean you could run slower and longer for basic circulation with a couple of short periods at a higher speed for skimming during the day.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:17AM
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