No more chilly kids? Solar heating at the pool!

Our pool is chilly. It’s cold season here in Thailand, which means the nightly temperatures plummet to about 72 degrees F with daytime in the nineties. The pool stays at about eighty degrees, which is perfect for Paul and Bob when swimming laps … but not comfortable enough for any Thai person. The kids and the teachers are trembling too much. 

Happily, we live in the tropics where sunshine is abundant. And the pool building has a south-facing roof surface with very little shading by trees! We now have a pump that pulls cool water from the pool’s holding tank and moves it through new, black-painted pipes on the roof. The system is being tweaked: flow rate, flat black versus gloss black paint on the pipes, additional pipe runs on the roof. There is a massive heat sink working against us: the massive concrete enclosure that forms the pool. It’ll take a month or more, we guess, for the concrete mass to catch up to the warmer water that’s streaming in from the roof. That heat sink will eventually be helping the effort instead of hindering it.

Yes. Had we been asked, we would’ve advised: “let’s not bolt the new pump to the custom-made lifeguard chair.” But it’s functional. 

At 1030 am on a sunny day, even with cool pool water circulating through the roof pipes, they’re at 91 degrees F / 33 degrees C.

Please share with your friends!

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