Solar Pool Heating 


  • A solar collector -- the device through which pool water is circulated to be heated by the sun

  • A filter -- removes debris before water is pumped through the collector

  • A pump -- circulates water through the filter and collector and back to the pool

  • A flow control valve -- automatic or manual device that diverts pool water through the solar collector  


You can significantly reduce swimming pool heating costs by installing a solar pool heater.

They're cost competitive with both gas and heat pump pool heaters, and they have very low annual operating costs.

Actually, solar pool heating is the most cost-effective use of solar energy in many climates.


How They Work

Most solar pool heating systems include the following:

Sizing A Solar Pool Heater - Sizing a solar swimming pool heating system involves many factors:
  • Pool size

  • Length of swimming season

  • Average regional temperatures

  • Desired pool temperature



Solar system contractors use worksheets and computer programs to help determine system requirements and collector sizing.  Basically, the surface area of your solar collector array should equal 50%–100% of the surface area of your pool. In cooler and cloudier areas you may need to increase the ratio between the collector area and the pool surface area. Adding collector square footage also lengthens the swimming season.

For example, a 15-by-30-foot outdoor swimming pool in Florida typically requires a collector that equals 100% of the pool's square footage to accommodate year-round use. This equals 450 square feet of collectors. In northern California, most people use outdoor pools 6–8 months per year, so they typically size their systems at 60%–70% of the pool's surface area.  In any climate, you can usually decrease the required collector area by using a pool cover.

  • Site's solar resource

  • Collector orientation and tilt

  • Collector efficiency

  • Use of a pool cover​


The proper installation of a solar pool heating system depends on many factors. These factors include solar resource, climate, local building code requirements, and safety issues. Therefore, it's best to have a qualified solar thermal systems contractor install your system.


After installation, properly maintaining your system will keep it running smoothly for 10–20 years. Consult your contractor and read your owner's manual for maintenance requirements. Your collector should require little maintenance if the pool's chemical balance and filtering system are checked regularly. 

CA Lic. 910460                                     © 2014 by CleanTech Energy Solutions, Inc. (CTES)