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What Can You Expect From a Solar Pool Heater in Pensacola, Florida?
Welcome to sunny Florida. Northern Florida is one of the best places in the world for heating your pool with solar energy.
The curves above represent a full sized solar heater for a typical 16x32 pool with 25% shading in Pensacola, Florida. 8 collectors is 75% of pool top area in this case and 12 collectors is 100%. We've plotted the daily maximum pool temperatures. Note we size systems higher if you won't use a cover. We could go even higher. As you can see a cover helps a lot but solar without a cover bumps the pool temperature about twice as much as a cover alone. A pool with a full sized solar heater and cover will peak out daily 16 degrees higher than an unheated pool. Solar bumps the daily peak temperature of a covered pool about 10 degrees. Solar bumps the daily peak temperature of an uncovered pool about 10 degrees. This is a great set of curves. We have confidence in this data. There is nothing like this anywhere else.
All these curves are based on a typical meteorological year which is hour by hour values of air temp, solar radiation, wind levels and humidity based on 10 years of real weather data but the "tmy" isn't average weather data. It is typical weather generated using a complex algorithm and perhaps manually to some extent. This is the kind of graphical output we've been telling the Enerpool folks we wanted for years but Enerpool and all the other solar software out there only tell you the payback period. We don't care about payback period (much). We know solar pool heating's economic numbers are good and payback period is no longer than 3 years. What we're interested in is the daily peak pool temperature (because the average doesn't mean anything to us) over what extended season. These plots show you don't need a gas heater if you can use a solar heater and a cover and in this particular climate it is possible to get close to year round heating without even using a cover, just an appropriately sized solar heater (appropriate for no cover).
The above curves represent a typical 16x32 inground pool with a little shade (25%) heated or not with an aged solar cover and an 8) 4x12 solar collector system. We assumed the cover would always be on the pool 20 hours a day and for 4 hours the cover would come off (for the 2 plots with covers) and moderate pool activity would occur. We created these charts using Enerpool solar simulation software. We do not have confidence in any other computer program like this. Click here to learn about the Enerpool software and its history. You can even download the software yourself and put it to use if you're an engineer type.