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What Can You Expect From a Solar Pool Heater in Harlingen, Brownsville, Corpus Chritsi or McAllen, Texas?
We have many installations in Southern Texas and many customers there have given us excellent feedback on their pool temperatures. We've found a pretty good correlation between what the computer simulations tell us and what happens in real life.
The curves above represent a full sized solar heater. We've plotted the daily maximum pool temperatures. Note that a cover doesn't help all that much in this area. We size systems higher if you won't use a cover but notice that 12 collectors and no cover (100% of pool area) equals the performance of 8 collectors (75% of pool area) and a cover. Also notice that it looks pretty much impossible to heat this pool December and January. The typical meteorological year weather data is taken from Brownsville so if it as few degrees warmer where you are you can scale those temperatures up accordingly. We included daily peak air temperatures on the plots so you could make that comparison more readily. Given regional climate fluctuation and the fact this is coastal weather you could conceivably be over 80 year round with a good sized solar heater even without a cover in this area.
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 only tell you the payback period. We don't care about payback period. 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.
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 (75% of pool area in collector area. 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 this software and its history. You can even download the software yourself and put it to use if you're an engineer type.