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412 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 222846 31-Aug-2017 11:35
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I'm helping a mate with a project for his kids as per title as we realised we had most of the ingredients laying around to give it a go.

 

The basic design we have as below with main considerations being maximum solar energy absorption, insulation and ability to assist heating with wood burner / BBQ:

 

 

What improvements would you make?


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mdf

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  Reply # 1855869 31-Aug-2017 11:52
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Cool idea.

 

We have a hose tap for hot water on the outside of the house (the removable handle type) and use it all the time to fill our padding pool with warm water. One of the better home reno decisions we've made. That said, we've got continuous gas hot water and our paddling pool is *way* smaller than 5500L.




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  Reply # 1855877 31-Aug-2017 12:00
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One thing I was wondering was if adding some sort of "thermal mass" in the form of heavy concrete pavers etc to the bottom of the pool would help to store heat or if it'd have the opposite effect.

 

Also whether floating some black plastic balls on the surface would help absorb & trap heat more so than making the bottom black.


 
 
 
 


mdf

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  Reply # 1855878 31-Aug-2017 12:03
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Wouldn't the water already be a reasonably good thermal mass?


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  Reply # 1855885 31-Aug-2017 12:14
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poolI have a pool that size in the picture, I use a black polyurethane sheet that does the trick.  After 1 hot sunny morning the water temp is over 22c.

 

The trick is not to sink the sheet to the bottom, have it slightly submerged.


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  Reply # 1855886 31-Aug-2017 12:18
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You will need a better pump, if you are planning to have to coil on the roof.

 

The pump provided with the pool will be $hit and will die if you use it to pump 5500l up any significant head....




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  Reply # 1855890 31-Aug-2017 12:29
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wellygary:

 

You will need a better pump, if you are planning to have to coil on the roof.

 

The pump provided with the pool will be $hit and will die if you use it to pump 5500l up any significant head....

 

 

I imagine once the system is primed there shouldn't be any extra head? Air bubbles may cause issue though..




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  Reply # 1855900 31-Aug-2017 12:41
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mdf:

 

Wouldn't the water already be a reasonably good thermal mass?

 

 

Relative to concrete? Another option I'm thinking is to stick the whole thing in a greenhouse...

 

Already have a ton of clear plastic sheet to re-purpose a cheap 3x3m Gazebo.


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  Reply # 1856092 31-Aug-2017 18:33
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I say definitely upgrade the pump. Those pumps struggle to push water higher than 1m or so. This was from a camping trip up north when me and some friends made a heated version of one of those pools. Using an old car radiator, modified 200L steel oil drum, and a washingmachine drum as the fire pit. It easily got the water in the radiator to boiling point as that pump couldn't push enough flow. And then the radiator failed as some of the tubes melted due to them steam locking. And heat output quickly went down due to the radiator filling up with soot. It sounds like a good idea, but in practice it takes alot to keep a pool nice and warm. Using a "bodge" system Biggest heat loss is from water exposed to the air - far bigger than from the sides, even if the sides were uninsulated steel.

 

You need 1KW/Hr of energy to heat 32L of water on a 25deg temp rise. So to heat 5500L to a nice spa temp, you will need 172KW/hr of energy. And in reality more to counteract thermal losses during heatup and while you are using it. Either way you are going to need some serious heating. See if you can find a secondhand wood chip heater, with a high output wetback fitted.






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  Reply # 1856999 1-Sep-2017 22:22
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I saw someone using an old freestanding wetback fire to heat their spa pool. Thougt that was a good idea. They paid $10 for it on trademe.

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