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Installation of a system to heat the 32 m3 The pool had become indispensable for the Minetto family. Thanks to the sun the heating is not expensive and the pool water exceeds 18° C.

Make a solar water heater for the pool

install solar panels to heat the pool

Difficulty: 3/4
Cost: about 200 €
Time: 3 days
Equipment: mass, hammer, metal file, pipe wrenches, screwdriver, diamond, grinder, impact and column drill, screwdriver, arc welding kit, welding torch, plasma cutter...

Handyman unparalleled, Daniel Minetto took fifteen years to expand his house, transform a large outbuilding workshop... and install an above ground pool for a well deserved relaxation. But in Picardy, sunshine is not the strong point of the region... And it became urgent to find a solution to fully enjoy the joys of swimming! This is now done with this solar panel "homemade", which operates from a hydraulic network.

The system "unravels"

To design it, our recovery expert is looking for "good plans" and everything that can be recovered. Thus, apart from a few connections, pipes, screws and a complement of tube, all the structural elements and components of the hydraulic circuit are recovered. The frame of the solar panel comes from a deli storefront (woodwork and glass), the support frame of an old electric pylon, the plywood plate of an old billboard, the bastaings of a terrace, the rockwool from a false ceiling disassembled... Even the crown of reticulated polyethylene (PE) tube was recovered in a dump...

Effective design

Assisted by his sons, Florian, Nicolas and Julien, Daniel Minetto transforms the frame of the showcase, which dictates the dimensions of his panel (1,520 x 3,100 mm), taking care to keep the glass 6 mm. Plywood and bastaings are the formwork that houses the copper-clad rock wool (to store a maximum of solar energy) on which the PE hydraulic circuit (75 m) is placed. The set is covered with a black paint (for the absorption of calories), put out of air thanks to the glazing, then fixed on the chassis maintained by the foot sealed on the ground. The last step is to install the pump recovered from an old boiler, a thermostat and connect everything (power supply and water network) in a breeze block at the foot of the panel

Adaptation of recovered parts

dismantle the frame of the window

  • The work begins with the dismantling of the frame of the window.
  • Aluminum profiles are removed and set aside for later use.
  • The adhesions of the old putty are removed.
  • The glasses are deposited and stored.

cutting plywood with a circular saw

  • On a plywood board resting on trestles, the markers are marked and the cuts are drawn with a large mason's ruler.
  • Then the board is re-cut with a circular saw (1520 x 3100 mm).

cutting bastaings

  • The bastaings (45 x 120 mm) are debited and cut to incorporate the aluminum profiles that will be cut to the right dimension when installing the glazing.
  • The assembly is then assembled with polyurethane glue and stainless steel screws (Ø 4 x 30 mm).

cut the angles and profiles to the grinder

  • The pylon is dismounted.
  • Angles (80 x 80 mm) and U-profiles (60 x 300 mm) are cut on the grinder equipped with a specific composite disc.

grind U-brackets

  • Very rusty, angles and U-profiles are carefully ground.

application of a rust stabilizer

  • A rust stabilizer is then applied to the parts.

Assembly of the structure

weld angles and profiles

  • U-sections are drilled every 30 cm with a drill press.
  • Then the angles and profiles are welded to the arc.
  • Two perpendicular angles serve as support for the foot.

test the removable head of the foot

  • The removable head of the foot is placed on the central angles to test its fixing with bolts.

fill the game with nuts

  • The game is filled with nuts.
  • Then this part of the foot is removed for the next step.

paint for metal

  • The metal structure is covered with a special iron paint against rust and a wood paint is applied to the formwork.

assembly of elements

  • All the elements are then assembled to check the stability.

lay the copper plates on an anvil

  • The copper plates, placed on an anvil, are straightened to the mass and to the hammer.
  • Protective gloves are mandatory for this operation.

fill the form with rockwool

  • Copper is cut with shears to avoid overlap.
  • The edges are sanded for optimum welding comfort.
  • Then, the bottom of the formwork is filled with rockwool and the pieces of copper are placed on the whole surface of the insulation.

tin solder

  • The copper plates are then soldered together with tin with a gas lamp.

Installation of the hydraulic network

cut copper strips

  • Using a plasma cutter (more precise and effective) or, failing that, a shear, strips 12 mm wide are cut in the copper scrap to maintain the PE hydraulic network.

wooden wedges to hold the pipe

  • Wooden wedges (40 mm) keep the pipe (Ø 20 mm) difficult to bend.
  • They remain in place for the time to fix the copper strips with rivets and stainless steel screws (Ø 4 x 60 mm).

punch holes in the panel

  • Using a screwdriver and a special metal drill, two holes (Ø 22 mm) are made in the center of the panel to allow the entry and exit of the network.
  • The openings are then deburred with the metal file.

pump recovered in a boiler

Targeted recovery

The pump recovered in a boiler is cleaned and checked. Plastic bodies and stainless steel bodies are preferred over brass, copper or cast iron fittings that are not compatible with chlorinated pool water circulating in the network.

Sealing the foot and placing the panel

assembly of the solar panel foot

  • The foot is extended using a tube of the same diameter.
  • An armature, made of concrete reinforcing iron (Tor) is welded to the base of the foot and the extension to ensure a good grip on the ground.
  • The foot is then placed in a 70 cm deep excavation.

seal the foot

  • To seal it, concrete dosed at 350 kg / m3 is poured and smoothed with a trowel

fixing the solar panel

  • After complete drying of the cement, the structure is placed on the foot and painted white (special iron paint).
  • Then the panel is fixed on its support with lag screws in stainless steel.
  • A cleat is placed in the center to support the glazing.

cut the tiles

  • Two tiles are cut to size with a diamond.
  • Despite the thickness of the glass (6 mm), it is easily cut by lubricating the cutting line with white spirit.
  • The aluminum profiles are screwed into the grooves, then the glazing is fixed with a bead of mastic-glue.

thermostat installation

  • The thermostat is installed on the back of the structure and connected to the technical room, buried at the foot of the panel.

glove finger

  • Regulated at 30° C, its sensor bulb is placed in a "finger of glove" designed with three threaded connections and a piece of stainless steel tube welded to the TIG.


Video Instruction: DYI best info on Solar panels for inground swimming pool