When Solar Energy Fails to Make the Cut

Posted on: 16 December 2016

An indoor swimming pool might well be considered the epitome of luxurious living. In this regard, a heated indoor pool might well be the cherry on top of the cake that happens to be your luxurious life.

Installing a solar-powered heat pump will allow you to get the most out of the indoor pool with minimal operational costs. However, think twice before you disregard electric-powered heat pumps for their higher operational costs. Find out why electric heat pumps have stood the test of time even though solar energy is free.  

Pump Installation

For maximum efficiency, solar-powered heat pumps need to be installed in a location that allows solar panels to receive maximum sunlight. Solar heat pumps can be mounted on the roof or at ground level.

Draw a mental picture of your residential landscape. Tall tress growing right next to your house might block the sun's rays from reaching roof-mounted solar panels just as they might shade ground-installed solar panels from direct sunlight.  If you're to expose the solar panels to maximum sunlight in such a situation, several trees might have to face the axe.

Electric heat pumps can be mounted on the roof or at ground-level without any qualms.

Demand and Supply

You create the demand for a heated pool, and your preferred type of heat pump supplies the heat needed to meet this demand.

Heat pumps that rely on solar power are disadvantageous in the sense that they're often unable to meet the constant demand for a heated pool. A solar-powered pump will heat the indoor pool for as long as its stored energy will last. Once the stored energy runs out, the pump's batteries will need to recharge before you can continue to enjoy a "warm swim".

If the batteries run out of juice after sunset, the water inside your pool will only begin to get warm when the sun rises.

In contrast, an electric-powered heat pump will provide heat to the indoor pool regardless of the time of day or night and regardless of prevailing weather conditions.

Simple Logic

Water from your indoor pool needs to be pumped to the collectors (panels) of a solar heat pump. Here, the water gets heated before it flows back to the pool.

Installing a solar heat pump doesn't eliminate the need to rely on your electric pool pump. You might not save as much as you had anticipated by settling for a solar-powered heat pump as opposed to its electric equivalent.