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Solar Powered Water Heater

This water heater was made to keep our above ground pool warm to help teach our children to swim during lockdown. Now I am trying to improve its efficiency and sharing this info with you.

Newest Info at the Top


This has taken some time to put together, where I needed just the right weather to show all the data clearly.

I've put all the information into graph form from the raw data and shared all this in a PDF document



Plus my latest Video explains through this experiment and shows the truthful performance of these systems.

Pool Temp Logger?

It's all built and installed.

There are now 10 temperature sensors placed at various points on the equipment with readings sent to the receiver in the house, plus this data is logged to an SD card at the transmitter side every 15 seconds. I will now be able to track exactly what the system is doing and find the most efficient use of the solar heaters. I'll make another video with this data.

Plus when the panel temp drops below a set temp the pumps turn off.

I will share the code on GitHub once finalised.

What Next?

An Arduino project, I have ordered a couple of Arduino Nano's, wireless transceivers a few temperature sensors, display and a couple of relays. All this to measure multiple temperature points, log it onto a memory stick and actively control the pumps; this will ensure the pumps only operate when the solar heaters are warmer than the pool (sun goes in the pumps stop), plus will ensure the pumps wont come on if the pipes are frosty. I may do a new video on this...

Homemade Vs Purchased

Here I test and measure the energy recovered from the sun to heat up the water for each Solar Unit. Plus, provide all the calculations and explain what this all means. Also, with both purchased and homemade connected to our pool, show what is possible just from the sun (and during Spring in the UK).

Comparing the Homemade Solar Heater with a Purchased one

Well, I went full math on this over a few weeks and made sure all the calculations and measurements were correct. I am quite impressed by the homemade heater, where in just 7 days there was a significant increase to allow us to have a nice comfy 29ºC outside pool. Both purchased and homemade were connected to the pool at the same time.


There is a bubble wrap cover on top of the 4600 litre pool that has some heating affect, although this doesn't seem to do much heating (I will have to do some more testing). I think the next step after the comparison video, would be to test and log a number of temperature points with an Arduino (microprocessor) and show everything on a chart.


Making the Panel

Here is how I made the Panel and a short test of its performance, bear in mind this is May and in the UK. 

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