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How to build a solar heater

Even during warmer months, it is a wonderful feeling to step into a warm pool. But running all that heat from your gas or electricity system can be ridiculously expensive. Free photos for rescue! A solar heater can increase the temperature of your bathing water all year round, and after installation these extra degrees will not cost you a thing.

Step 1 – Mount the panels

Heating a pool with solar heating requires some solar panels connected to the filtration / circulation system. These panels can be made from sheets of 3/8 "(9 mm) plywood wrapped with 2x4s around the perimeter (Fig. 1


  Fig. 1 - My Solar Panel

Drill two holes in opposite corners of the box through the sides and not too far from the corner, for the inlet and return. A good coating of black outer paint inside and out helps to draw up the heat to heat the pipes.

The box holds 120 m (12 mm) black polyethylene pipe, but before start, some accessories should be prepared and ready to use. They can be made of 3/4 "x 2 1/2" (19 mm x 64 mm) strips. You will need two pieces that are 48 "(1220 mm) to make "Spacers".

Eight more pieces of about 18 "(450 mm) and six (or more) at 12" (300 mm) long are used to hold down the tube and keep it from collapsing. The two spacers will placed parallel to the long sides about 400 mm from the edge and centered with the ends of about 570 mm from the end walls. They should only be temporarily attached in place so that they can be moved later.

Step 2 – Attach the pipe

Handling the pipe is much easier if the hose is warm, since a cold pipe has a tendency to form kinks as you shape it around the corners. One end of the 1/2 "(12 mm) pipe should first be inserted through one of the holes in the corner of the box, with at least 10" (254 mm) of the end sticking out. The hose should then be placed against the long wall first, then curved around the corner and follow the end wall into the next corner where it continues to go around, taking care not to create a radius too hard to tie the hose. The 18 "(450 mm) tape is required to hold down the tube as work progresses. This is done by" bridging "one end of the tube and the other end on top of the 48" (1220 mm) spacers, screw in place with a screw only in the middle.

As the pipe is very soft from heat, make sure not to screw in too hard to avoid plating and damage the pipe. As you continue to loop the tube inside the collector panel, the distances need to be adjusted and moved to fit the needs, and usually more needs to be added, including the shorter pieces, wherever the tube tends to slide out or overlap. They must be screwed carefully by placing the screws between two pipes and making sure to separate the two pipes so that the screw does not touch and damage the pipe.

 Fig. 3 & 4- Solar panel pressure & outlet

The winding of the hose around the inside of the solar panel should continue to be wound towards the center until all the hose fits tightly and neatly. Some permanent spacers and retaining devices can then be made more precisely to their proper size, to replace the temporary ones and placed in their most advantageous locations on the solar panel. These permanent braces should be primed and painted black before installation.

Step 3 – Connect to the filter

The finished solar panel will connect to the pool's filter / circulation system. The method shown here to connect supplies the pool with warm water from the collector as long as the pump is running (fig. 2). The solar panel inlet takes its feed from the Tee mount on 38 mm (1 1/2 ") return pipe from the pool filter. The solar panel outlet then flows back to the pool that passes over its side (Fig. 3). By installing a valve on the main return line between tee mounting to the solar panel and the pool return (Fig. 4), sufficient pressure can be built up by partially closing the valve to create a flow through the solar collector installed on the roof.

 Fig. 5- Covered solar panel

The valve is adjusted by sensing the circulation in the pool's return outlet. However, before the first start-up, the valve may need to be fully closed, depending on how high the solar panel is installed, so that most or all of the pressure will push the water through to fill the 400 ° tube with water, and at the same time purify the air from within the system.

When multiple devices are installed, their inlets should all be connected in parallel with the same return line from the filter. As long as the return lines for each solar panel are fed directly into the pool, or in a larger tube that goes back to the pool to avoid creating a bottleneck that limits the flow, it will work smoothly. In the latter case, the combined surface of all the smaller pipes should be connected to a larger pipe with a surface area equal to or larger surface area for all return panels of the solar panels.

 Fig. 6 & 7- Temperature control

Step 4 – Glazing panel

Another thing with solar panels is that they are sensitive to the ambient temperature around them. If it gets cooler, all the heat collected in the pool all day will fall as long as the water flows through the solar panel. If there is a wind, the wind passing over the pipes will also contribute to a significant heat loss. This can be corrected by glazing the solar panel.

This is done by covering the box with a heavy plastic pulp or vinyl, thereby creating a chamber for the pipe layout (Fig. 5). A temperature control thermostat (Fig. 6) is then added to the solar panel to disable a N / C (normally closed) solenoid valve (Fig. 7) installed along the line going to the solar panel that cuts the water flow.

This ensures that when the water in the solar panel cools, the flow is stopped. This is where the benefits of solar panels really are appreciated.

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