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Solar Pool Heating - Introduction

Solar Ontario has designed and installed solar swimming pool heaters and solar water heating systems in Southern Ontario. We have done commercial & municipal systems from Windsor to North Bay. We have regularly served residential customers in the greater GTA area including; Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington, Hamilton, Dundas, Waterdown, Milton, Georgetown, Brampton, Etobicoke, Vaughn, Toronto and Richmond Hill. We do consulting work outside these areas on a case by case basis.

Why Solar?

Solar Pool heating systems are designed to replace the heat that your swimming pool loses. If swimming pools didn't lose heat through evapouration, to the ground, to cold winds, and by radiating it to the night sky - there'd be no need to heat them at all!

In the past, pool owners have had to use the brute power of natural gas /propane, electric or oil fired heaters to replace the heat loss. Today the costs and the environmental damage associated with using these heaters have become too great!

Cabana mounted solar system

Solar Pool Heating Systems Work

However, solar energy is not as concentrated a form of energy as available in natural gas - so solar pool heating systems have to be large in order to be capable of delivering the large amount of heat pools need.

The average natural gas pool heater is rated at 250,000 BTU/hr. (gross) and, when new, it can deliver about 188,000 BTU/hr. (net) to the pool 24 hours a day. A solar pool heating system of that capacity would have to use at least 940 square feet of high efficiency solar collector (sometimes referred to as solar panels) to deliver that amount of heat in full sun. On a good day the solar system might deliver the equivalent of 5 hours of heat, or 1,200,000 BTU - enough heat to raise an average pool (16'x 32') 7.5 degrees (F).

Although this sounds as if solar systems are underpowered, this is not the case in most situations. Most "fueled" pool heaters (non-solar pool heaters) are operated in a "spot heating" mode, rather than being left in a "maintenance heating" mode. This causes the pool to cool off between "spot heating" episodes, and requiring the heater to add a great deal of heat to bring the pool up to the desired temperature. Solar pool heating systems are operated in a "maintenance heating" mode, very capably raising the temperature of the pool back to the desired point every day! This means more swimming in comfortable water! For more details on spot and maintenance heating, see the answer in our Solar Pool Heating FAQ:  How does a solar pool heating system replace a gas heater if it cannot heat as quickly?

The professionals at Solar Ontario bring over 40 years of solar product and system design experience, along with the practical knowledge of actually installing, servicing and maintaining over 1200 residential & commercial solar water heating systems, to address your specific solar energy inquiry.

Next: How does a Solar Pool Heater Work?