I started my search for a solar pool heating vendor/contractor when I was told Union Gas that I was not able to install a larger NG meter without paying an astronomical fee ($20K). So, I decided to look into solar heating and received multiple quotes. I had a contractor representing Enersol product line come and give me a quote for ~$4400. I did a bit more researching and discovered that EcoSun had much higher performance rating of 1,100 BTU per square foot per day than Enersol. I seeked an EcoSun representative and found Solar Wave located out of Burlington, ON! The first time I called upon Solar Wave for a quote, Jesse came out and took measurements and after a thorough review said solar heating was not possible as I did not have sufficient roof space in the southern direction. Initially, Jesse turned me down to avoid an upset and disappointed customer, but I asked him if a hybrid solar and NG heater solution was possible. Jesse came again and explained in detail that it would be possible, but I would only get limited results with the solar panel themselves. He also took the time in explaining the differences between the Enersol and Ecosun products at which time I was able to inspect samples of both and can say that Enersol product is not as robust as the Ecosun product based on the connection mechanism used. I was impressed by Jesse’s honesty and integrity and hired him for the job. His crew was on-time on the day of the install and completed it within a day. We had a few minor issues that required my assistance (cracked PVC housing and missing O-ring in union), but in all the installation was done well. However, we had a major problem when the Pentair Intelliflo pump failed to communicate with the solar controller. Jesse tried many times himself to fix it, but it was obvious that the Pentair Intelliflo pump had software issues and the pump manufacture Pentair needed to be contacted. After three months of Jesse’s perseverance and multiple trips by him and Pentair representatives the issue was resolved. Jesse continued to show his commitment to quality and Customer Service and did not give up or charge me the remaining amount standing balance until the issue was resolved. I strongly commend him for that as others contractors may have given up! My only recommendation or wish would have been if Solar Wave also painted the white ‘eye sore’ PVC piping coming down to my equipment. They did a great job in matching the paint colour to the roof and painting the PVC plumbing on the roof, but stopped short on the piping going towards the ground.
The performance of the solar heater is amazing. My pool water temperature has reached 34 Celsius or 94 Fahrenheit with a solar blanket on and without the use of the NG heater. However, the limitations are that it needs to be sunny and a few cold days with cloud overcast can result in poor performance, but then again I have my NG heater to make up for it! The automation is now seamless and the controller speaks to the pump to ramp up the flow/pressure of the water prior to switching the valve and pushing water to the solar collectors on my roof. In summary, my family and I are happy with the system and I highly recommend Solar Wave for your pool!
Pool size: ~14’ x ~36’ (irregular shape)
Estimated pool surface area: 450 Sq.Ft
% of solar collector to pool surface: 62%
Total rated solar BTU output: 308,000
Total Cost: ~$5600