No, solar panels may also be mounted directly on the ground on a rack. However, roof mounting is generally preferred for several reasons. It is usually easier to find an unobstructed area on the roof large enough to accommodate a solar panel array. There is less potential for shading on the roof. There is less risk of damage to a roof mounted system.
In most cases, no. Modern pools are being designed with 1 or 1.5 horse power pumps, enough power to run all of your pool equipment and water features with plenty of reserve to circulate through the solar panels.
A properly sized and installed system can add 16 degrees to your pool temperature at any time of the year. With regular use of a solar blanket, which slows evaporative heat loss, the temperature increase can be as high as 25 degrees. Here's how to relate to those numbers; in early spring when your pool is 62 degrees, solar heating can raise it to 78 to 87 degrees, very comfortable. In the late fall, the same numbers apply. Put another way, if the air temperature is warm enough to allow you to go outside, comfortably, in only a swim suit, then your solar pool heater will have your pool warm enough to swim in.
Good news! Solar has no operating cost. That's right, zero. A common misconception is that there is a small operating cost to provide electricity to the pump that circulates water through the solar panels, but this is not the case. The same pump that circulates water through your pool filtration system also circulates pool water through the solar panels, using no extra electricity to do so. As an added benefit, there is virtually no maintenance cost since solar heating uses a non-mechanical system to operate, unlike electric heat pumps and gas heaters, which have a relatively high long term maintenance cost.
Not necessarily. A west or east facing roof can work just as well with only a moderate increase in system size over the recommended size for a south roof. Flat roofs work well also.
No, because we install a thermostatic control, which automatically regulates the temperature of your pool. This thermostat works in much the same way as the thermostat in your house.
Yes, it can, and for pools that receive a lot of direct sunlight in the summer, this can be really useful. Imagine a 99 degree summer day and you want to jump in your pool for some cool relief, only to find your pool temperature at 95 degrees. Not very cooling or refreshing! By circulating pool water through your solar panels at night, they will actually radiate heat, thereby lowering your pool temperature. This can occur whenever the air temperature is below the pool temperature, which is usually at night. This cooling effect can be activated automatically by your solar thermostat, at your option.
Yes. Your attic insulation gets saturated with radiant heat from your roof deck that increases your air conditioning bill. Collectors mounted on the roof will considerably lower your air conditioning cost and increase comfort by putting the sun's radiant heat into your pool instead of you attic. Your property value and resale value increases according to Better Homes and Gardens, much more than an unheated pool.