How to build your own solar pool heater, step by step guide.
On the left is the front of the panel. It measures 34" outside and 30" inside the frame. That is the smallest I could make the frame and still fit a 100' coil of poly tubing inside. The frame is made of 2" x 2" aluminum extrusion that is manufactured for screen porches and pool enclosures in the South. I cut 4 pieces with a 45 degree angle at the corners and then held them together with 4, 2" x 2" angle brackets. On the right, the back of the panel is covered with aluminum coil ( 2- 16" wide pieces) and then reinforced with 1" x 2" aluminum extrusion. I am a contractor and specialize in Pool Enclosures and that's where I get the scrap aluminum. If you live in the south you might be able to get this stuff for the price of scrap metal or less if you go to an aluminum screen enclosure company.
On the left, a panel freshly painted with Rustoleum black paint. On the right a 100' roll of 1/2 " poly tubing is carefully coiled up and held down with a 1 x 2 extrusion screwed into the center area. I had to really work at making the tubing coil this tight and stay in place. I ran hot water thru the tubing to make it soft and used lots of bricks to hold it down till I finally got it in shape. It is important not to kink the hose as once kinked, it is hard to get it not to kink again.
I laid 2 x 4 's painted black on the roof and fastened them down to angle brackets installed under a shingle tab. Each panel was then screwed down into the 2 x 4 with 3" screws. On the right you see the manifold made of 1 and a half inch PVC with inch and a half by 1/2 " threaded T's. The splices and connections for the tubing are in the irrigation dept at the building supply store. I may one day cover this array with clear corrugated plastic, but for now it's working as is
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