Solar pool heaters are the latest craze. These devices absorb the sun's rays and then convert that energy into heat for your pool. You could have a warm pool all year round, even in winter (if you do not mind the cold and the snow while you swim!). Yet, there are a couple of different ways to collect the solar energy. Flat panels are the most common, but newer products like the solar tubes tout more warmth for extended periods of time. If you do not know which to buy for your pool, here is a comparison of flat panels to round tubes to help you decide.
First and foremost, you have to understand that the solar panels do not go on the bottom or sides of the pool. They never go in the water at all. They are separate and stand apart from the pool, channeling their collected energy into a box which converts the energy into heat. The heat is fed into the pool via a conductive and/or filtering system. The panels may stand alone on your property, or they may be mounted to your roof or side of your home. Short of a very gray and blustery day, your pool maintains a very consistent temperature, albeit a little less warm than if you were to use the round tubes to collect solar energy.
Round tubes for solar collection have the ability to collect and retain more energy for heating your pool. They, too, do not enter your pool in any way, shape or form. Instead, they are mounted to the roof. They do not stand alone like flat panels can (and often do). As such, the round panels are not subject to breaking, high turbulent winds, or being lifted up by a hurricane or tornado and being carried off somewhere.
The heating feed for your pool is wired into your home, as the round tubes are subject to a solar energy conversion box within your home. Then the converted energy (now heat) is sent to heating coils within your pool's floor and/or walls. It is a roundabout way of getting your pool heated, but it is also very economical and earth-friendly one.
Converting Your Whole House to Solar Energy
If you currently do not subscribe to solar energy for your entire home, you may wish to make that conversion if you are investing in solar pool heaters. It just generally makes the task of heating your pool this way much easier. It will also bring you a lot of savings for your home's electrical use.