Solar Panel Pool Heater Angle Determination and Setting

What You'll Need
Solar panels
Stainless steel clamps
Collector mounting clips
Safety Helmet

Installing a solar panel pool heater can save homeowners huge amounts of money and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Solar panels have a lot of uses but one popular application for this device is pool heating. Solar panel systems used for pool heating are simple and inexpensive to install. This system makes use of affordable unglazed plastic collectors and the pool itself acts as the thermal storage for the system. The filtering pump of the pool, which most pools already have, will be responsible for circulating the water through the solar collectors. One of the critical steps in installing a solar panel pool heating system is the mounting of the collectors or solar panels. Though it only takes simple calculation, knowledge on the latitude of the solar panel location and determination of the direction one is facing are useful in the installation of your pool heater solar panels.

Step 1 – Check the Direction

Determine which way is south, the best direction for any solar application installations. If you are in the southern hemisphere, then the panels should face north. Look at the roof layout and ensure the placement will not have any obstructions that will hinder the panels from facing the right direction.

Step 2 – Get the Collectors      

Once the sections of the roof where the solar panels are to be installed are determined, get the collectors up on that area of the roof. Some believe that it is better to mount the collectors on the ground floor for easier orientation of panels and less damage to the roof. But putting the panels up on the roof will save a lot of space as well.

Step 3 – Connect the Panels

Connect the panels using couplings on the collector headers. Use stainless steel clamps to firmly attach the couplings at the end of the headers.

Step 4 – Attach the Panels

Attach the panels to the roof using collector mounting clips to hold them securely in place. To provide stability during strong wind conditions, use a strap to attach the panels to the roof horizontally.

Step 5 – Adjust the Angle

Adjust the orientation and angle of the solar panels. Solar panels need to be pointed at an angle that captures the most sunlight. In general, the tilt of the panels should be equal to the latitude of your location, minus 15 degrees in summer or plus 15 degrees in winter. But these settings can be improved to get the optimum energy from your pool heating solar panels. It’s challenging to set the panels during winter because this is the time of the year that has the least amount of sunlight.

To make the most out of the sunlight available, the panels must be tilted at a certain angle. The best angle during winter is your latitude multiplied by 0.9 plus 29 degrees. The resulting angle is how the panels are to be tilted. The best angle during summertime is the winter angle less 52.5 degrees. Solar panel angles during the summer are more or less 12 degrees more level than what is recommended. At a 25 degree latitude during the summertime, solar panels are most of the time tilted slightly to the north. To calculate the angle during spring and autumn, get the latitude and subtract 2.5 degrees.