Introduction: Solar Pool Heater
We got a small above ground pool for the kid's and so naturally Dad decided to find a way to heat it. Solar was the first step and a wood burning heater, the second step. Following is how I built the Solar Pool Heater.
The Solar Heater works by letting the water in the black pipe heat in the sun for one hour and then pumping that water into the pool (I found this takes about ten minutes). I installed it on my garden shed roof that is East West facing with a very shallow peek so both sides get sun almost all day.
Some of the Parts I used.
1. 300 ft of black 1/2" drip irrigation pipe. (three one-hundred foot rolls)
2. 12 volt dc utility pump (the connections fit garden hose quick connectors).
3. 12 volt Battery to run the pump (i had an old gel battery for a power wheelchair).
4. 12 volt timer with 17 programmable times ( off for one hour and on for ten minutes ).
5. 12 volt battery charger ( The plan is to replace this with a solar charger ).
6. Some 1/2" copper pipe; garden quick connection fittings; 1/2" PVC pipe and fittings; pipe clamps; wire and a roll of masons line.
Step 1: Join the Pipes
I wanted a way to join the three lengths of pipe with a smooth low profile this is what I came up with.
1. I cut a 1" piece of copper pipe and pushed it into the one end of the pipe to be joined. ( I let the pipe lay in the sun to get hot so it was easier to work with).
2. I then heat up the other end of the pipe to be joined with a small hand torch and then stretched it. ( I used the 1/2" end cap on the Wire Clamp Tool, which i made in one of my other instructables).
3. I then pushed this end over other end with the copper pipe in it.
4. Now I used the Wire Clamp Tool to make a clamp Joint.
I joined all the pipe before I made the coil because I pressurized the pipe with water to be able to make a good coil and make it easier to bind with the masons line.
Step 2: Make the Coil.
1. Used a garden hose fittings and old valves I had and clamped them to the two open ends of the pipe with hose clamps.
2. Connected one valve to the water supple for the yard and ran the water till all the air was out of the pipe. Then closed the lose end and then the end connected to the water supply so I had a water filled pipe.
3. Made the coil on a hard flat surface starting in the middle with the smallest radius the pipe would make without kinking.
4. Bind the coil in eight sections with some masons line as in the photos. I tied this off, melted the ends and added a cable tie.
5. Tied both ends of the pipe to the outer edge of the coil in the same place for the connection to the pump and pool.
6. Removed the valves and used an air pump to push out all the water in the coil.
7. Put in ninety degree barbed fittings on the pipe ends so they would not kink over the edge of the shed roof.
8. Any holes I patched with some electrical rubber tape.
The empty coil was easy to lift on to the shed roof.
Step 3: Connecting Pump and Timer
1. Connected two pipes to the ninety degree barbed fittings. One to the outlet from the pump. The other to an inlet pipe I made for the pool from 1/2' PVC fittings.
2. Used plastic garden hose fitting on the pump and pool to prevent corrosion from the pool chemicals. They fit nicely into the black pipe.
3. Used an old bucket with drain hole in the bottom for the battery and timers also to keep all the cables tidy.
I ran an extension cord from a Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) outlet, for safety. Also have the timer for the pool filter pump in the bucket.
The heater has been working all summer so far with out any problems and gets some heat into the pool. It's nice for day swimming but for night swimming it's still a bit cold so I added a Wood Burning Pool Heater into the system.