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Solar pool heating
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 4878
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:49 pm    Post subject: Solar pool heating Reply with quote

Has anyone seen/heard of Solarmatt ?

Quote:
Simple DIY on-site construction
The only solar collector that can be safely walked upon.
Expected Life exceeding 25 years
10 year no quibble guarantee
No maintenance or running costs
Swim all season over 80°F (27°C)
DIY Kit for an 8m x 4m pool for less than £750 including VAT

What do you think ?

The website gives that uneasy feeling of an amateurish organization, but intuitively, the system seems very smart to me - and potentially very economical for us in Southern Europe.

If its as good as their claims, why isn't everyone using it ?
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7104
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I've heard of them e-richard - here it is illegal to heat your pools with anything other than solar...so there are a few alternatives. The most popular is the dome-shaped heaters that hide in the flower beds (apologies I don't know their make)

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Giddy Goat



Joined: 12 Jun 2005
Posts: 9060
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No time to look at the website Richard but OH collected a brochure recently of something which may be similar: Poolsolar

You can download the brochure by going to www.paramountpools.co.uk
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 4878
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mousie, isn't this classified as "Solar" ?
It does not use any power for heating other than the sun Confused

Thanks GG, that looks similar in concept. Still looking for anyone with any sort of experience.
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Mouse



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 7104
Location: Balearics

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes - that's what I meant.

As it's a requirement here to only heat pools with Solar power there are a few companies advertising here as it's the only alternative people have...this co being one of them.

Sorry if I was confusing you!

Don't know anyone who has the system tho'

Mousie
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Richard D



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 563
Location: Charente-Maritime, France

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Richard, We've got solar heating. It costs virtually nothing to run and works fine as long as you've plenty of sun ! Ours is the "Sunheater" system ( American outfit and very reputable).
I found we needed 36m2 of panels for our 10x5m pool - the rule of thumb is you need at least 50% of you pool area in panels, but maybe you could get away with less in the sunny Algarve !

Your Solarmatt system looks similar to ours except I suspect that it's made of rubber rather than polyropylene. I removed a similar system a couple of years back and very mucky in the process - should work OK though. I suggst you check you square area of panels they're offerring and compare these with the sunheater system (manufacured in the US).
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Giddy Goat



Joined: 12 Jun 2005
Posts: 9060
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Solar pool heating Reply with quote

e-richard wrote:
Has anyone seen/heard of Solarmatt ?

The website gives that uneasy feeling of an amateurish organization, but intuitively, the system seems very smart to me - and potentially very economical for us in Southern Europe.

If its as good as their claims, why isn't everyone using it ?

What did you eventually decide on Richard?
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 4878
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We eventually installed a system from Pool Solar. I bought in the UK and had it shipped directly to Portugal.

It has transformed the shoulder periods allowing us and the guests to swim in May, June and September and October.

The point is that the water temperature is increased by between 5c -8c over that which it would normally be, and by adding a pool cover for overnight use, that further stops an overnight heat loss.

All in all one of the best investments to date, as we have also picked up additional rentals. The question "Do you have pool heating" is now appearing more often that "Do you have Internet?"

... but that's probably cos Internet is assumed Wink
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Giddy Goat



Joined: 12 Jun 2005
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Richard - glad you're happy with it and it's been a good move in marketing terms too by the sounds of it!
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visitslovenija



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 198
Location: Slovenia

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard - quick question:

Do these systems not generate the same high temps as the glass tube variety? In particular, how do they cope with a stagnation event?

Having just suffered one here on a glass tube version and found plumbing joints blown clean off, I wondered how these cope as it's all plastic. (My mistake was using some plastic compression fittings on the collectors.)

Nice simple set-up though and cheaper - wish I'd known about it before!

Thanks,
Ralph

www.visitslovenija.eu
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 4878
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually checked this with the supplier who told me that they are tested to something silly like 65C

My question specifically related to the rubber matting, not the pipework and joints; but I'd guess that they are even more resilient to high temps.

The only problem I've encountered so far is in mid-August, we have to "switch off" the heating (its very easy yo just turn the valves off so that water does not go through the solar panels) as the pool gets too warm, and we nearly lost it.. there was some cloudiness in the water.
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visitslovenija



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 198
Location: Slovenia

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, if you can stop the water flow in August and all is well then I guess the answers is - yes it can take it.

The system I have reaches over 150deg if there's no flow - generates super hot steam in fact, so all fittings (I now know) have to be able to handle that.

Yours sounds a lot less scary.

/r
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brendan



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 672

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am very interested in this subject. The system you have (e richard) seems efficient and relatively cheap to install BUT do you have to use a cover nightly to retain the heat? If so, what do you do ...do you ask the guest to roll/unroll it....a bit much to ask?? Please let me know how you manage it? Thank you.
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 4878
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I simply "invite" the guests to put the cover on each night and leave it up to them.

I explain to them.....
If they do, then they get a warmer pool in the morning.
If they cannot be bothered, then they will find the water temperature has dropped about 3-5C overnight.

I don't care if they don't put the cover on; the lost heat did not cost anyone anything Wink

Then around mid June, I roll it up, put a protective cover on the roll and wheel it well away from the pool not to be used in July/August. Mid September we wheel it back.

At the same time as wheeling the cover away, we also turn off the valves to the solar panels so that the pool does not overheat. According to the manufacturer, the solar panels will not suffer with no water running thru them.
(Actually, we try to run some water thru the system for about 10 mins once or twice a week while the poolman cleans)
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brendan



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 672

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much for the reply....you´re dead right of course, roll it out if you want a warm pool or not if.........! E-rich, do you have a link to this ´roll away´pool cover - I´d love to have a look at that cos´one of my problems would be the bulk of the pool cover marring an otherwise ´paradisacial´(? sp) experience!! Thank you very much for all your info.
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