2. Calculate Needed Solar Coverage
Expressed as a percentage of your pool’s total surface area.
“50% coverage” means you are matching 50% of your pool’s surface area to solar collectors (panels).
If your pool has a total surface area of 400 square feet, 50% coverage means you will need a total of 200 square feet of solar collectors (panels) to heat it.
- IE: A 4×12 solar panel has a total surface area of 48 square feet. If six of these panels are used, the total solar collector coverage is 6×48, or 288 square feet.
Summer months - 50% solar collector coverage should do just fine. If you are looking to extend your swimming season into the shoulder months of summer, look to achieve between 60-80% solar collector coverage. If you are looking for a full extension into the spring and fall, you will want to achieve a solar collector coverage of 80 to 100%.
Harsh Winter Conditions:
Not all climate zones are able to achieve a full spring / fall extension due to the harsh winter conditions. Solar systems do need to be winterized (drained and shut down) for the winter months. For this reason, if you are only able to keep your system running for 6 months out of the year, 60-80% should be enough for most circumstances.
*Solar pool heating systems are dependent on weather and sunlight. As such, these figures can only be used as estimations and cannot be taken as a guarantee.