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What Can You Expect From a Solar Pool Heater in Honolulu, Hawaii?
Welcome to Hawaii, one of the best places in the world for warm swimming pools heated year 'round with the help of the sun and the Hot Sun team. Our Powermat collector rolls up for compact shipment that is within USPS guidelines. Cost is $60 per collector in shipping by priority mail, which takes about 3 days. Historically, we've been surprised how well our undersized systems have performed there. Now that we've looked at the computer simulations carefully we can see correlation. You simply don't need a big solar heater in Hawaii.
The curves above represent a full sized solar heater for a typical 16x32 pool with 25% shading in Honolulu, Hawaii. 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.
It appears that our sizing is overkill in this climate so lets go to the other end of the range of typical sizing which is 75% of pool area without a cover and less than 50% with a cover. Now this is more like it.....
As you can see a cover helps a lot but solar without a cover sized at only 75% of pool area does 5 degrees better than just a cover in the early and late months when you need that boost. Interestingly a solar heater matches what a cover does thru the main season.
Note this is only 5 collectors on a 16x32 pool and with a cover you're over 80 degrees year round. The alternative fuel is expensive and the sun is plentiful and the season is long. If you have the space available for a solar heater and you have a pool then the decision to go solar is simply a question of whether or not you want year round pool use in exchange for a big black thing on the roof.
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 1 year in Hawaii for a do-it-yourself system like this. 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) (then 5) 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 this software and its history. You can even download the software yourself and put it to use if you're an engineer type.