Yardley Voice – Going Green Solar Column – April 2012
by Mark Bortman
I see the world as divided into two types of people – those who jump right into a swimming pool and those who gradually immerse themselves as they “get used to the water.” I am squarely in the second camp. I enter a cool pool at a snail’s pace, which is a source of endless amusement and frustration to my children.
The warm days of spring are here and the swimming season follows. Imagine how nice it would be if there was a way to add 10 to 15 degrees to the temperature of a pool without adding costs for electricity, propane or gas. Then, think of solar energy and know that this is exactly what a solar pool heating system does.
By harnessing the power of the sun, you can begin swimming earlier in the year and you can extend the swimming season later into the fall. A properly designed solar pool heater will save you lots of money, function automatically and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The energy from the sun is free and the price will never go up – all you need is a way to capture that energy. The pool heating system captures the sun’s thermal energy and makes a pool more comfortable.
Pool heating is a perfect solar application. The pool itself is the thermal storage for the system and the pump you already use for filtering pool water will also circulate water through the solar collectors.
The collectors are the key component of the system. The pool water flows through them to absorb the sun’s energy and transfer the heat into the pool.
These collectors are made of a special type of black plastic which capture almost 50,000 BTU’s of heat each on a sunny day. In addition, the collectors come with a limited lifetime warranty.
Swimming pool heating costs can be significantly reduced by installing a solar pool heater. Systems are cost competitive with both gas and heat pump pool heaters and they have very low annual operating costs.
Swim in your nice warm pool…have a clear conscience…save money and…help the environment. Make a choice to make a difference!