Renewable Energy > Solar Thermal
Siting a Solar Swimming Pool Heating System's Collector
Collectors can be mounted on roofs or anywhere near the swimming pool that provides the proper exposure, orientation, and tilt toward the sun. Both the orientation and tilt of the collector will affect your solar pool heating system's performance. Your contractor should consider them while evaluating your site's solar resource and sizing your system.
Solar pool heater collectors should be oriented geographically to maximize the amount of daily and seasonal solar energy that they receive. In general, the optimum orientation for a solar collector in the northern hemisphere is true south. However, recent studies have shown that, depending on your location and collector tilt, your collector can face up to 45º east or west of true south without significantly decreasing its performance. You'll also want to consider factors such as roof orientation (if you plan to mount the collector on your roof), local landscape features that shade the collector daily or seasonally, and local weather conditions (foggy mornings or cloudy afternoons), as these factors may affect your collector's optimal orientation.
The angle at which a collector should be tilted varies based on your latitude and the length of your swimming season (summer or year-round). Ideally, collectors for summer-only heating should be tilted at an angle equal to your latitude minus 10º–15º. Collectors for year-round heating should be tilted at an angle equal to your latitude. However, studies have shown that not having a collector tilted at the optimum angle will not significantly reduce system performance. Therefore, you can usually mount collectors flat on your roof, which might not be at the optimum angle but more aesthetically pleasing. You will, however, want to take roof angle into account when sizing your system.