How Warm Can a Pool Get With a Solar Heater and Cover

How Warm Can a Pool Get With a Solar Heater and Cover

Article posted by Gregory Grochola (physicist) on 16th May 2019

So we've looked at how much heat a solar pool heating system can add to a pool, and we've looked at how much heat a pool cover can add to a pool.  We also explained the synergistic affect from using a solar heater and a cover at the same time.

In this article we explore how much a solar heater used in conjunction with a cover will ultimately add to a pool for all Australian capitals under various heating loading scenarios. So if you don't have either and you're looking to install both a cover and solar pool heater (which is highly recommend due to the previously mentioned synergistic effect between the two), this is what you can expect depending on your location and pool specifics.

To study this we calculated the pool temperature increase from a 67% coverage OKU panel pool heating system (equivalent to approx. 100% coverage of an older style well spaced PVC tube system), used in conjunction with a transparent bubble type pool cover on 100% of the time, using our new heat loading simulator (validated against the heat loading standards AS 3634-1989 and ISO TR 12596 1995 here).

We average the temperature boosts over shoulder pool heating months only (not including peak hot summer months) for all Australian capitals.

Solar Pool Heating Water Temperature Boosts for a Covered Pool

In the table: "Shade" means shading on a pool. "Windy/Exposed" or "Clam/Sheltered" specifies the pool is either fully exposed to a windy area or fully sheltered and situated in a wind clam area respectively (two extremes). "Light/DarkWalls" refers to the colour of the pool floor and walls.

State Capital
Windy/Exposed
Light Walls
50% shaded
Windy/Exposed
Light Walls
0% shaded
Ave Wind/Sheltering
Light Walls
0% shaded
Clam/Sheltered
Light Walls
0% shaded
Clam/Sheltered
Dark Walls
0% shaded
Hobart
5.1
8.0
12.3
17.2
17.7
Melbourne
5.8
8.9
12.9
17.1
17.6
Canberra
6.2
9.3
13.1
17.3
16.8
Sydney
4.9
7.4
11.2
15.5
15.9
Perth
5.9
8.8
12.8
17.1
17.6
Adelaide
5.3
7.9
11.9
16.6
17.1
Brisbane
6.0
8.8
11.9
14.9
15.4
Darwin
7.1
9.9
13.7
17.7
18.1
Temperature boost from a 67% coverage OKU panel pool heating system using in conjunction with a transparent bubble pool cover on 100% of the time.

So again as before, we see quite a large spread of results depending on the heat loading scenario. The first column shows the temperature boost (in heating months) if one was to install a solar pool heating system with a pool cover on an unsheltered, wind exposed pool, in a windy area (like a hill or beach front) with 50% shading on the pool. The last column shows the temperature boost for a wind-proofed pool, in a wind sheltered area (like a valley), with dark pool walls and floor, and no shading.

As can be seen you can get temperature boosts anywhere from 5°C to 18°C depending on the heat loading specifics and location. For an average pool you're looking at an average 11-14°C temperature boost depending on location. Remember though these are averages - averaged over night and day, cold and warm spells; most people tend to swim in the afternoons during a warm spell, so during those time, you're going to see larger boosts.

Do you want to know how well a solar pool heating system will work for a specific set of conditions? Head over to our simulator and have a play with it :)