Solar heaters for swimming pools prove to be a great investment for pool owners as they use the power of the sun to generate free heat for your swimming pool.
There are many different types of options available, all of which suit different needs and budgets.
Solar pods and domes are the most affordable type of solar heating systems on the market. Using the suction force from your swimming pool pump, water is pushed into the solar pod, which is then pushed through its internal, coiled black piping which is encased in a perspex dome. Both the black coiled pipe and plastic dome work like a mini greenhouse, heating the water that passes through it.
Solar mats can be slightly more expensive and work in a similar way to the solar pods, (expect they are not incased in a dome). Water is pushed into the black tubes (which the mat comprised of), is heated and is then pushed back into your pool.
The benefits from using solar mats is that you are not limited as to where you can position them e.g. they can be attached to slanted roofs. Because of this, you can apply your solar mats to a prime position facing the sun, which means that it is often more effective than domes.
The great thing about both of these options is that you can use them in conjunction with a pool heater. If you live in a more mild environment, unglazed plastic collectors such as solar matts are more efficient as a direct system.
In cold or windy environments, solar heating systems can be used in conjunction with a heat exchanger that transfers the heat to pool water. A simple differential temperature controller can be used to direct the water to the panels or heat exchanger either by turning a valve or operating the pump. You can also apply a double union ball valve to your swimming pool piping which can alter the direction of your pool water between your different heating methods depending on the weather conditions. For example, on a hot day, you may want to use solar only, and on a cold overcast day, you may want to use your heat pump/boiler only.