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Solar Heating For Swimming Pools (DIY 2022)

How To Use Coroplast To Heat The Water Of The Pool? All You need To Know About Solar Heating Principle 101: Piping Plans And Set Up

coroplast heating principle calculations set up pool side solar water heating pipping plans

How To Use Coroplast To Heat The Water Of The Pool?

All You Need To Know About Solar Heating Principle 101: Piping Plans And Set Up 2022

A black surface exposed to the sun transforms the sun rays into heat equivalent to about 1000 watts per square meter (see Basic Theory for detailed information).

Simply apply this principle to heat the water of a swimming pool. In order to do this, we expose the black plastic panels installed outdoor to direct sunlight in which the swimming pool water is running.

The black surface catches up the solar energy and transforms it into heat which is transferred (passed on) to the swimming pool water. Therefore the swimming pool is self-heated.

The cold water from the swimming pool is pumped towards the panels, heated then ran back to the swimming pool. This ongoing cycle brings the water to the desired temperature. The water runs through the panels using the filter water pump. 

General Setup

As for the solar panels, we suggest using a ribbed corrugated plastic black sheet called Coroplast. This Coroplast is a chemically inert weather-resistant material. It is abrasion and UV resistant and also lightweight.

This material is among others much used in the artistic industries as for publicity panels. It is readily available at your local hardware dealers and is available in thicknesses ranging from 4mm, 6mm and 10mm.

Piping Plan

Each panel that you build is 4 feet(122cm) by 8 feet(244cm) with a 32 square foot (or 3 square meters) surface. It has 3500 watts (11943 btu/h) heating power. Your solar water heater will be made of several of these panels jointed together to have great healing power in order to heat your pool as fast as possible.

Test Results

Many tests were run on black coroplast panels to establish the water heating efficiency for a swimming pool.  The main objective was to calculate the maximum power produced by a single black coroplast panel of 4 feet by 8 feet by monitoring the changes in temperatures between the inlet and the outlet while the system was running. 

Solar Panel Used For The Test

We monitored the water temperature between the inlet (T1) and the water outlet (T2) using a high-precision thermometer.  Water flow was also carefully monitored during the tests. 

Using an equation, we easily found the power developed by the panel in Watts or BTU. Results were astonishing.  The tested solar panel has reached up to 3500 watts (11943 BTU/h).  

In fact, we could say that this single coroplast panel of 4 feet by 8 feet has heated the pool water as if we had used a 3500 watts electrical element, the equivalent of a conventional water tank heater or 35 electric bulbs of 100 watts each!

Your solar water heater will be made of several of these panels jointed together supplying a very powerful heating capacity. The second series of tests consisted of linking 4 solar panels to a pool 24 feet round in diameter and determining the elevation of temperature. The 4 solar panels used were constructed.

The result was again surprising. Indeed, the 4 solar panels have produced up to 14,000 Watts (14-kilo watts) of heat energy when the sun was at its strongest.

We, therefore, compared the water temperature of 2 identical 24-foot diameter pools. One was equipped with no heating while the other was equipped with 4 coroplast panels. After a day, the temperature of the pool with 4 solar panels was above 10 degrees Fahrenheit!

As you can see, it is possible to get very high water heating power by joining together many solar panels between them.  Imagine the speed at which your swimming pool could heat up!

Reading Tables

The tables below show the power developed by a solar panel of 4 feet by 8 feet made of coroplast under different flows. Note that the aim was not to determine the increase in temperature of a swimming pool but only the power of this type of solar panel. To learn more about how to calculate the power, see the “Basic Theory” 


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