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Does solar pool heating work here in Ontario?


Yes! Solar pool heating works extremely well in Ontario. There are thousands of installations here. Solar pool heating systems have been installed in Ontario since 1975.:



How do I evaluate the different solar system sizing factors?


You have an experienced solar pool heating system installer provide an on-site feasiblity study.

It is a good practice to have at least two different feasibility studies done, to compare the different proposals made. Given that the solar system can last in excess of 15 years, the cheapest proposal may not always be the wisest way to go....



Is there a "Rule of Thumb" for sizing a solar pool heating system?


Yes. If all of the site factors are perfect, you start with a minimum of the equivalent of 50% of the pool's surface area.

For example, for a 16' x 32' inground pool, the solar collector area must be equivalent to an area 16' x 16' (256 sq. ft.) minimum, for maintenance heating.

NOTE: Not all solar collectors are equal in performance. This sizing is based upon the highest efficiency unglazed plastic pool collectors - smooth solid surface (not a series of tubes), not rubber. Other collectors are less efficient and if used will require a larger surface area to provide the same amount of heat. (i.e. 60 - 66 % of pool surface area.)



How large does a solar pool heating system have to be to be a maintenance heater?


There are many site factors which must be considered when sizing a solar pool heating system.

1.) The surface area of the pool.

2.) Whether a solar blanket is used on the pool. (Consistently)

3.) Shade on the pool or where the solar collectors will be mounted - 4 hours before and after solar noon.

4.) The direction and angle the solar collectors will face.

5.) The make (efficiency) of solar collector being used.

6.) How exposed the pool is to the wind.

7.) In-ground or above ground pool.

8.) Whether there is ground water movement around the pool.

9.) A number of other factors such as; maximum desired pool temperature, how close is the pool to large bodies of water, manual or automatic controller, type of solar cover used (and when used), roof or rack mounted, indoor or outdoor pool, pool volume, etc....



Is an automatic controller required for solar pool heating systems?


In our opinion, yes. Solar pool heating systems that rely on a manual controller will not perform well. They also have the potential to cause the loss of heat rather than collect it. If a solar system is not manually shut off at night or during bad weather, it will actively cool the pool off. We strongly suggest that an automatic controller is a necessity!