Saturday, March 25, 2006

Solar Pool Heater

I've been hunting around for a solar pool heater. I was staggered with their cost so I looked around for designs for a build your own heater. Not much available.

I want to put a black poly tubing heat collector on the roof of the carport in the background. I can lay black poly tubing in the valleys of the corrogated iron roof in lengths of about 12 metres. I could fit about 40 of these lengths on the roof. I will use a pair of saddles to secure each of the manifolds to the roof.

I went to a local rural irrigation store today to check out some options for making a manifold at both ends - PVC fittings or rural poly pipe fittings were my thoughts about options. Mike, the bloke in the shop was a great help. We quickly eliminated rural poly pipe fittings. T pieces in rural poly would cost about $25 each where as PVC fittings would be about $5.75. Mike then had an idea of using grommet fittings. For these you drill holes in the PVC pipe and then fit a grommet arangement to feed the poly tube from the PVC pipe. These are only about $1.60 each. I like this option for two reasons - it is cheaper and I will be able to use every valley in the iron. The size of the T pieces would mean that I might only be able to use every second valley. Mike was great value and so I will get my parts through his business - "Davison Drilling and Irrigation." As we live in town he reckoned that he would be able to organise the delivery of the pipe.

I will connect the manifolds to the pool inlet via PVC pipe. I need to research the diameter of the existing PVC supply pipe and use the same size for this project. To be nice to the pump, I could opt for a size larger but definitely not smaller.

I'll go back next weekend with an offcut of the pipe that I need. He gave me prices for 40mm diameter Class 6 PVC pipe. I might only need 32mm though I think. I need
  • 44m of the PVC pipe - $15 for each 6m length
  • 13 PVC elbows - did not find out - I expect maybe $4.50 each
  • 2 PVC caps - $1.16 each
  • 200 metre roll of 19mm diameter low density black poly tubing - $74
  • 32 grommet arrangements - about $1.60 each
  • 1 tap to suit the PVC pipe - $15
  • 4 saddles
  • PVC adhesive

Hopefully I will have change from $350.

PROJECT: Solar pool heater.