How to Size Solar Panel Pool Heaters Like a Pro?

Professionally builders don’t need much to make an initial estimate about a solar panel heater for your pool. Usually, they need some basic information like the size of your pool, indoor or outdoor, above ground or underground, and things like that. Based on the info you give them, they will suggest these recommended heaters to effectively capture solar energy or whatever they think will work best for your swimming pool.

Here’s a glimpse into how they size solar panel heaters, and you should too if you opt to go down the DIY path.

Calculate your swimming pool’s area

First, you need to calculate the surface area of your pool. For example, a 10-foot by 20-foot pool has a 10 x 20 = 20 square feet surface area. If it is a round pool, then the formula to calculate the surface area of your swimming pool is pi (3.14) x R-squared. R stands for the radius of your swimming pool. For example, if the radius of your swimming pool is 20-foot, then the formula is 3.14 x 400 = 1256 square feet.

Calculate the number of solar panels

As for the solar panels, you should install enough of them so they can cover an area that is half the size of the pool. One of the best things about solar panels is that they are modular. Connecting them into one system is pretty straightforward. The more panels you have, the more heat you can generate.

Positioning solar panels

Ideally, the solar panel heaters need to be facing a southerly direction to receive as much sunlight per day as possible. However, that is not always possible. Sometimes that is because of the position of your house. Other times because of the design of the rooftop or some other restrains related to your property.

Fortunately, it is not necessary to place all solar panels together and alongside each other. You can place some in one place, let’s say mounted on the roof, while others mounted on a rack placed on the ground.

position of solar water heater panel

So, it doesn’t matter where they are. You can always interconnect the solar panels with pipes. You can even run pipes underground to connect your solar panels.

Other factors that can influence the solar panel sizing are:

  • Calm or windy weather can be a factor as well. If you live in a windy area, the constant wind will steal some of the heat away from your pool. Adding extra solar panels might be necessary to compensate for the heat theft.
  • Pools above the ground tend to lose heat through their wall sizes that are completely exposed. On the other hand, in-ground pools have no exposed walls, at least as not as much as aboveground pools.

Bottom line

Well, now you know how professional pool builders size solar panel heaters. Consider all the things mentioned here, and you will be able to calculate how many solar panels you need to heat your swimming pool properly. Moreover, if you decide to increase the size of your swimming pool or make it deeper in the future, you can always add more panels to the mix. These systems are practically modular, and you can always add more panels.

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