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Pool Application

Solar pool heating systems (below article provided by Natural Resources Canada)

A solar heating system for your pool is an economical alternative to conventional
heaters. Solar collectors capture free energy from the sun and use it to heat your pool.
They can extend your swimming season and reduce monthly fuel bills, without depleting
non renewable resources such as fossil fuels.

In fact, solar pool heating for your home is the most economical solar application in
Canada today. Solar heaters already make up over 10 percent of all new pool heating equipment sales. Because of our climate, many Canadian consumers are sceptical that
there is enough sunlight to support a solar pool heater. In fact, there is more than
enough solar energy for pool owners across Canada to heat their pools without a
backup heater from May through September.

The chart below shows what daytime temperatures a solar heater can provide for an
in-ground pool in Ontario during the swimming season. A solar heater in Ontario will
have no difficulty keeping a pool well above the desired temperature.

Five good reasons for using solar heating

From Victoria, British Columbia to St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canadians are using solar
energy to heat their pools.

Here are five good reasons why:

No. 1: Solar saves on pool heating costs
In the last two years, the price of natural gas has more than doubled.
On the other hand, the sun’s energy is free. Over a 15-year period, you could spend
five times or more on heating with gas what you would spend on installing a solar
heater today. Once your solar system is installed there are no more heating bills to
pay. Many pool owners switch to solar because it meets all of their heating needs. But
even if you continue to use a gas or electric heater as a backup, solar is a smart
investment that will save you money, year after year.

No. 2: Solar extends your swimming season
Whether or not you have an existing heater, you can keep your pool warmer and open
longer with free energy from the sun. In most areas of Canada, a solar heater used
in combination with a solar pool cover can add two to four weeks to the beginning and
end of the swimming season. You get a longer swimming season for free.
No. 3: Solar equipment is durable Solar equipment often lasts longer than
gas or electric heaters. With proper yearly maintenance, you can expect fuel heaters
to last seven to 10 years. Most gas heaters have a two-year warranty, and well-made
heat pumps carry a two-year warranty with five-year warranty on the compressors.
Solar panels have a minimum 10-year warranty and generally last 15 to 20 years or

No. 4: Solar requires less maintenance
Unlike gas and electric heaters, which should be serviced by a technician every year, a
solar heater requires very little servicing. Again, that means less cost and less hassle
for the pool owner.

No. 5: Solar energy is good for the environment
These days we hear a lot about the damaging effect that burning fossil fuels is having
on the environment. Burning fuels releases nitrogen oxides that cause the formation of
smog in urban areas. Using solar energy instead of fossil fuels can help reduce this smog.
Burning fuels also releases carbon dioxide, the main cause of climate change. Replacing
a natural gas or propane heater with a solar heater could stop three to 10 tonnes of
carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each season. That’s about the same
amount produced by operating your car for one year!

How does a solar heater work?
A solar pool heater is simple to operate and doesn’t change the way you operate
standard pool equipment.

Solar collectors are usually mounted on the roof of your home or another structure such
as a shed or a garage. This is the least expensive option and doesn’t take up extra
space on the property. When suitable roof space is not available, collectors can be
ground-mounted on a rack. The existing pool pump is used to circulate water
from the pool through the solar collectors and back to the pool. On sunny days, an
automatic or manual controller diverts the water to the roof.

Cost comparison of solar heaters, gas heaters and heat pumps
A solar heater is generally more expensive to install than a gas heater and less
expensive than a heat pump. But, once a solar heater is installed and paid for, the
energy to heat your pool is free.
The table below shows what a pool owner can expect to pay to install and maintain
a gas heater, heat pump and solar heater for 15 years. An owner installing a solar
heater would experience significant savings over time. Solar heating systems are very
easy for the homeowner to maintain – the only expense is your time. These costs are
based on a natural gas price of $9.13 per gigajoule and an electricity price of $0.08 per kilowatt-hour.

    Annual Total Total Cost
Type of Heater Installation Cost (Fuel &Maintenance) After 15 Years
Natural Gas $2,300 – $4,900 $350 – $1,200 $7,550 – $22,900
Heat Pump $3,100 – $6,400 $160 – $500 $5,500 – $13,900
Solar $3,100 $5,000 $0 – $50 $3,100 – $5,750

If you would like more information on our solar pool heaters please fill in our feed back
form for us to better understand your requirements.

A full copy of the this article can be found at Natural Resources Canada’s web site.

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