Capitalising on Green Technology: Can you heat a swimming pool in Sydney using only solar panels?
Solar Panels have been a massive innovation in renewable energy generation and are at the forefront of the green energy revolution. This technology is commercially available for homeowners and has been for many years as a way to reduce both the carbon footprint and energy bills of consumers.
If you have ever wondered if you can heat a swimming pool in Sydney using only solar panels, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you think. Yes, you can use free energy from the sun to help warm your pool, but there is a lot to consider in your investment in solar pool heating. There are several innovations within this field that mechanistically work differently but ultimately achieve the same overarching goal of heating your pool.
Three of these technologies are solar pool blankets, solar pool heating system, and utilising standard home solar panels to energise an electric pool heater. These options all use power from the sun to warm your pool and make your swimming season comfortable. This article will discuss the efficacy of different solar pool heating techniques and evaluate their effectiveness in enhancing the quality of your Sydney swimming seasons.
Solar Pool Heating
Solar pool heating can convert around 85% of the sun’s energy into heat for the pool.
These eco-friendly pool heating systems will take up a considerable amount of unused space on your roof. This is because they need a broad surface area to capture more of the sun’s rays.
An easy way to understand how it works is to think of it as a series of black pipes that run across your roof, and the water inside them becomes heated as it runs through the circuit. To get into the pipe circuit the water is pumped out of your pool and uses gravity to return.
To get technical, the pump that circulates the water requires electricity, so for this to be entirely run-on solar power, you could install additional photovoltaic solar cells to power it. However, this would be excessive unless you wanted it to run as an addition to your home’s solar system.
Solar Pool Blankets
A solar pool cover works as a complementary addition to another heating source, but they are an effective heating option for the right situation. They act as a traditional pool cover in that you lay it out over the top of the water, and here they have two effects…
They actively absorb the sun’s thermal energy through their innovative design and directly transfer this into your pool’s water. Secondly, pool blankets provide a level of thermal insulation and evaporation protection so that both heat and water aren’t lost from the pool.
Loss of heat through evaporation is a major problem and solar pool covers stop Sydney’s harsh sun from zapping away all the water, and its associated heat. This saves you money on heating, water, and chemical costs. As pool covers, they also have the added effects of preventing debris, like leaves, twigs, and insects, from falling into your pool, reducing cleaning times.
Solar pool blankets for Sydney residents are a great way to complement other heating options. As mentioned, solar pool blankets do provide some level of pool heating. But, given Sydney’s climate is not tropical, they will likely be insufficient when acting alone.
Photovoltaic Solar Panels + Electric Pool Heater
A photovoltaic solar cell is what most people think of when they hear of a solar panel. It is the ones we install on our rooves that capture sunlight and turn it into electric energy to power our homes or venues. They come in various sizes and energy outputs depending upon the needs of the consumer. Check out this summary of how photovoltaic cells work
Given that these solar panels can power small and large structures such as residential houses up to the MCG, they obviously can run an electric pool heater. However, using solar panels in combination with an electric pool heater, otherwise known as a pool heat pump, is unlikely to be your best option. Unless, of course, you are already using rooftop solar to power your home.
This is because you need to install the solar panels, which in and of itself is an investment, then secondarily install the pool heat pump, culminating in a large associated cost. If your only goal with solar power is to heat your pool, then this is likely not a very efficient option.
Photovoltaic units, while consistently improving, currently are only able to convert around 20-30% of the sun’s energy into electricity. The electricity is then converted into heat. Pure solar pool heating is much more effective at performing this process.
At Sydney Solar Solutions, we pride ourselves on providing honest, reliable, and informative advice to our customers about pool solar products. Within this article, we have discussed three types of solar pool heating options to answer the question of whether you can heat your pool with solar panels. To summarise, you absolutely can use the electricity generated from photovoltaic solar panels to heat your pool completely off the gird, however, it would be better value for money to install a solar pool heating system. If you would like to discuss the options presented within this article, please contact our friendly team today.