Here are some of the more frequently asked questions relating to our Products and Services
Using a pool blanket is an excellent way to keep the heat in your pool when not in use. A good quality pool blanket can reduce your heating energy costs by 50 to 70%. They are also an excellent way to keep leaves and debris out of the pool, which helps to minimise the amount of energy required to clean the pool. Pool covers also help to reduce the pool’s chemical consumption by 35% to 60% and can prevent 97% of natural evaporation. Therefore you can leave your solar pool heating system on all season and maintain the solar gain for as long as possible while not in use.
Outside of the busy season, you should receive a quote within days of your initial enquiry, with an average sized pool solar system being installed in a day.
However, like the air conditioning industry, solar pool heating installers become extremely busy over the summer. This can blow the quoting and installation time from days to weeks. It is best to contact your installer outside of this period or be understanding of the time-line blow-outs.
No, you will need a Solar Air Heater to heat your home. There are many different types of solar, the main domestic applications include:
You need to select the right type of solar product to suit your requirement.
What is the ideal temperature the pool should be heated to?
The ideal swimming pool temperature is between 25°C to 27°C, unheated pools usually sit between 17 and 20°C. An adequately sized Boss Solar system will provide a +4°C to +7°C temperature boost, but this can be as much as 10ᵒC with a pool cover. Actual results will depend on several factors including the size of the system, its location, orientation and any shading or wind it may be exposed to. In warmer climates, such as Far North Queensland or Darwin, solar pool heating can be used to cool an overheated pool!
|Average Pool Temperature*|
(Summer & Shoulder Months)
|Location||Without Solar Heating|
|With Solar Heating|
*Actual results may vary and will depend entirely on the size and type of system installed. The figures above are based on a Boss Triple Black system at 100% solar collector area, installed in an Australian southern state, on a north facing roof, with no pool blanket and minimal shading or wind. Summer and Shoulder months run from October to April.
Adding a swimming pool to your home can add value and improve your lifestyle. However, the number one factor determining how often you use the pool is water temperature. Pool water that’s too cold (usually below 21°C) is not comfortable to swim in. In Australia’s southern states, an unheated pool will sit around 17°C to 20°C during the summer and shoulder months. Adding a solar pool heating system can bring the average temperature up to 25°C to 27°C, an ideal swimming pool temperature.
To ensure your investment doesn’t go unused, some form of heating is essential particularly in Australia’s southern states. With exceptionally low running costs, a small pay-back period and excellent heating efficiency solar pool heating is an ideal choice.
Solar Pool Heating requires sunlight in order to heat the pool water. However, the system can be used at night to cool an overheated pool.
In a process sometimes referred to as ‘nocturnal cooling’ or ‘Tropical Mode’, the system switches on when the night-time air temperature dips below the pool water temperature. The overheated pool water is circulated through the collectors and cooled by the lower ambient temperature.
Just as your solar collectors are great for collecting heat, they are also excellent at expelling it, providing a cooling effect. Most digital solar controllers have a function called ‘Tropical Mode’ which will automate the process.
A common misconception is that solar pool heaters take ages to heat up the pool. The fact is, whether you select solar, gas or a heat pump it won’t work immediately, as each system requires time to bring the pool to temperature.
Immediately following installation, your solar pool heating system will provide a temperature rise of approximately 2.5 – 5.5°C per day until it reaches your desired temperature. This could take anywhere from 1 to 4 days, depending on the time of year, your location, the systems size etc. After this initial heat up period, there is no more waiting, as the system is ‘always on.’ Unlike gas or heat pumps which must be switched on well in advance of using the pool, solar pool heating’s low running costs mean that you can leave it on and enjoy the benefits all season long.
While solar will provide a +4°C to +7°C temperature boost (or as much as 10ᵒC with a pool cover) they will typically not be able to achieve the preferred spa water range of 37°C to 38°C. However, solar can be used to pre-heat your spa water. After the solar systems initial heat up period, there is no more waiting, as the system is ‘always on.’ This therefore reduces heat-up times and costs, as your expensive gas or electric heater only must increase the water by a few degrees to achieve the higher temperatures expected of a spa.
When it comes to sizing the solar system, it is generally recommended that you install up to twice the surface area of the spa or hot tub. However, this will be impacted by several factors, such as location, shading, exposure and customer expectations.
How does solar pool heating work? While the type of solar system may vary, the principal remains the same. Pool water is pumped through a series of tubes, known as a solar collector – or solar absorber – which is mounted on the ground or roof of a building. The solar collector absorbs the sun’s free heat and transfers it to the circulating pool water, before being returned to the pool at an elevated temperature.
A solar collector works much like a garden hose left out in the sun, have you noticed that when you turn the tap back on, the water inside comes out warm or even hot? This is due to the hose tube absorbing the sun’s energy and transferring this heat to the water inside the tube. Basically, the garden hose is acting like a solar collector.
Solar pool heating requires a very small amount of electricity to operate, usually under 1kW per hour to run the solar pump. The rest of the energy used to heat your pool is generated by the sun.
Boss Solar highly recommends an inspection and service every 12 months by an experienced, competent installer. This will ensure your solar pool heating and filtration systems continues to run smoothly.
Boss Solar highly recommends an inspection and service every 12 months by an experienced, competent installer. This will ensure the solar heating components of your pool heating and filtration systems continues to run smoothly.
As most of a pools heat is lost from the surface of the pool, the optimum solar collector area is proportional to the pools surface area. In Australian Southern states, the recommended amount of collector is approximately 80% to 100% of the surface area of the pool. In the Northern states, the recommended amount of collector is approximately 60% to 70% of the surface area of the pool. This may be scaled up or down depending on several factors including, your expectations, if you have a pool blanket, the collector’s orientation, the roofs pitch and the amount of shading and wind.
These are minimum amounts, so if you have a lot of roof space available you may as well take advantage of it! Larger solar pool heating systems will have you in your comfortably heated pool for more time of the year.
North facing installations are not always possible, this may be due to the presence of PV panels, extreme shading or if the north face is highly visible. While north facing roofs provide an ideal mounting location, they are not essential. Collectors should be installed in a position that will provide good sun exposure for a decent portion of the day. This may be on the roof, veranda, shed or on a rack at ground level. Flat roofs are a good option, as they provide the potential to be exposed to the sun for the longest period of the day. If this is not possible, west and east facing systems may be equally functional.
On average, Solar Pool Heating costs between $3,000 and $5,000 to install, including digital controller and dedicated solar pump. The final price will depend on many factors including the installer, the type of system, the pools size, it’s positioning, whether it’s retrofitted, and the height and slope of the roof.
After the initial installation cost, the only ongoing expense is the minimal electricity used to run the solar pump (usually under 1kW per hour); which is responsible for circulating the water through the system. This works out to approximately $50 to $100 per year in running costs. Compared to gas or heat pumps, the payback period for solar can be as little as two years. With the added benefit of an exceptionally long service period (usually 10 to 25 years) compared to gas and heat pumps (usually 1 to 5 years) solar pool heating just makes sense.
In Australia, the two most popular types of solar heating systems are:
Strip Solar Heating
Strip solar heating has been used in Australia for over 40 years and is Australia’s most popular pool heating option. Consisting of a series of soft flexible (PVC) tubes, strip solar heating is installed on the roof and absorbs the Sun’s free heat, transferring it into the circulating pool water and doubling your swim season. Flexible systems are ideal for those with limited roof space or irregularly shaped roofs.
Rigid Solar Heating Panels
Rigid solar pool heating panels are quickly gaining popularity in Australia due to their robust, longer lasting design. Manufactured from heavy-duty semi-rigid plastic, rigid panels absorb the sun’s heat and transfer it to the circulating pool water, doubling your swim season. Rigid Panels are typically designed to resist wind and weather dislodgement, cockatoo attack, hail damage and freezing cold conditions. Most come with a cockatoo warranty and extended warranty periods. Rigid Panels are a longer lasting, efficient and reliable pool heating option.
Both strip and rigid solar pool heating systems will heat your pool in a similar manner and for similar times throughout the year. The main difference is that strip systems are soft and flexible (PVCn) while rigid systems are relatively solid and inflexible (UV stabilised Co-Polypropylene). This means that strip solar pool heating systems can be easily customised to suit virtually any roof space, making them ideal irregularly shaped roofs. While rigid panels cannot compete with strip systems flexibility, their rigid design provides strength, making them a more robust, longer lasting choice. However rigid panels are more expensive to install, so if you are looking for a more budget-friendly alternative then a strip system may be for you.
|Strip Solar Pool Heating||Rigid Solar Pool Heating|
|Physical Description||Soft and flexible tubes||Relatively solid and inflexible tubes|
|Material||PVCn||UV stabilised Co-Polypropylene|
|Installation Orientation||Collector installed horizontally||Collector installed vertically|
|Advantages||More robust and durable with greater endurance to:|
|Average warranty||10 – 15 years||10 – 25 years|
|Cockatoo Warranty||Not usually offered||Usually supplied with a 5 – 12-year pro-rata cockatoo warranty|
*Both Rigid and Strip Solar Heating systems are cost effective options, paying themselves off in only a few years’ time.
As both strip and rigid solar pool heating systems have similar heating efficiencies, the question of which solar pool heating solution will fit your needs depends on several factors. This includes the available roof space and shape, the systems physical requirements, your budget and personal preferences.
Rigid panels are ideal for those seeking a more robust, durable and longer lasting solar pool heating system. They provide excellent resistance to wind dislodgement, hail damage, UV, freezing and are particularly popular in areas prone to cockatoo attack. However, they are more expensive to install than strip systems and may not be suitable for installation on irregularly shaped roofs.
Strip systems provide more flexibility and can be easily customised to suit virtually any roof space, making them ideal for irregularly shaped roofs. They blend into the roof’s surface and provide a more budget-friendly alternative to rigid panels. However, they are vulnerable to cockatoo attack (a rare occurrence) and do not offer the same warranty periods as rigid panel systems.
Each system must be designed to suit your individual needs, roof type, pool size, application and budget. Contact us now to discuss which option is right for you.
Unlike gas heaters or heat pumps, solar pool heaters do not require a cover. While BCA and VBA regulations state that a pool cover must be installed in conjunction with a gas heater or heat pump, solar pool heaters are exempt. This is due to their low running costs and minimal carbon footprint. However, pool blankets do offer significant advantages including minimising evaporation, chemicals, dirt and debris as well as minimising heat loss. A solar pool blanket can even help to heat you pool, adding months to your swimming season.
Combination pool heating systems are the ultimate choice for those looking to swim year-round without spending a fortune. solar pool heating is by far the most economical and eco-friendly way to heat your pool. While solar will provide you with reliable and cost-effective heating for 6 to 8 months of the year (depending on your system and location), it will not provide year-round heating. That doesn’t mean that you should forgo the benefits of solar, but you may want to consider a cost-effective, combination system.
A combination pool heating system involves combining two types of pool heating, for example using solar as the primary heat source and a heat pump or gas as a secondary backup for those cooler winter days. This allows you to get full scale, year-round pool heating while saving around 80% of the cost of heating if you were to use a fossil fuel heater alone.
If your budget is looking tight, and you can only afford to install one heating option, then solar pool heating may be the safer choice. Research by Pooled Energy found that pool owners with gas or heat pumps were not using them ‘as much or at all’ compared to those with solar heating. This was found to be the result of ‘the significant cost’ of operating them.