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Which Solar Pool Heating System is BEST FOR ME?

Which solar pool heating system will work best for me?

Getting honest advice from a sales person will be your most difficult task in the process of making your decision

It is tough to wade through fact-less web pages and feel forced to make an informed decision on the product quality because there are so few facts to work with.


To get an answer on your question, let’s look at some FACTS on the various pool heating systems available.

What are you really going to pay for?


This is the one item on the list where you need to place your main focus.

If you place your effort into ensuring that this is exactly what you require, everything else will become secondary.

The first step then, is to scrutinize the most varied and expensive component of the whole solar pool heating system:

What are the differences between the various pool heating panels?

It is good practice to look at a sample of the design of the solar pool heating panel – before deciding to buy – you may be surprised when you see how some solar pool heating panels are put together!

As a general rule, the more individual parts anything has, more likely it is to have complications. Complication is naturally something you are trying to avoid

If a solar pool heating panel has too many individual parts, each separate part weakens the overall quality of the panel.

When looking at each part, ask how long will all those separate parts last in scorching sun, gusting wind, pounding hail and corrosive chlorine?

The ideal solar pool heating panel should be one completely sealed unit, using as few components as possible. The components of the pool heating panel should preferably be welded or at the very least glued together. 

Every part of the panel needs to be UV resistant, Chemical resistant (only poly propylene and poly ethylene fall into these categories) and impact resistant

Let’s continue looking at the facts.

There are two basic designs in solar pool heating panels:

1. Plastic / Rubber Tube type pool heating panels

2. Solco’s Fully Wetted solar pool heating panels.

Each design has advantages and disadvantages.

The tube type panels are generally constructed using a combination of polymers and rubbers

Solco’s, fully wetted solar pool heating panels are constructed ENTIRELY from UV-stabilized polypropylene.

With most tube type solar pool heating panels, small holes are drilled into a large pipe and smaller individual pipes are fixed into the holes using rubber grommets.

Solco’s Fully Wetted solar pool heating panels are welded together, combining the manifold pipe and extruded sheet into one solid product.

Thus Solco’s Fully Wetted pool heating Panels have no individual parts.

 Advantages of each solar pool heating system are:

 Tube Type Panels

1. Wind can flow freely between the tubes – offering little resistance to wind in areas where wind speed is in excess of 45 km/h
2. When the tube type solar pool heating panels spring leaks on the tubes, they can be repaired by blocking off individual channels.
3. Tube type solar panels that use a LDPE (Low Density Poly Ethylene) in the midsection offer a great lifespan on the LDPE part of the panel.
4.. Tube type solar pool heating panels are inexpensive, easy to manufacture and commonly available.

 Solco Solar FULLY WETTED solar pool heating panels


Advantages of Solco’s fully wetted pool heating solar panels:

1.      Solco’s Fully wetted pool heating panels have no spaces between channels.

2.      The entire surface of each panel generates heat and transfers the sun’s energy into the water.

3.      Because there are no gaps between the channels, Solco’s Fully Wetted solar pool heating panels occupy less space on a roof because the channels are inside the panel and not spread out.

4.      Fully Wetted pool heating panels are more efficient, because all the internal channels are generating heat collectively.

5.       Fully Wetted panels are more aesthetically pleasing for two reasons: fully wetted panels use less roof space than other panels and blend in easier in most estates as a high tech water heating solution.

6.      Solco’s fully wetted solar pool heating panels are manufactured entirely out of one  single type of polymer –  UV-stabilized polypropylene.

7.      Each one of Solco’s fully wetted panels is thermally welded, combining the components into one single unit.

8.      Each panel is pressure tested to ensure a watertight seal

9.      Solco’s fully wetted solar pool heating panels are made from  UV-stabilized materials, offering excellent outdoor resistance to UV rays from the sun for extended periods

10.   Fully wetted solar pool heating panels can be turned upside down. After 10-12 years,  Solco’s fully wetted panels can be turned upside down. Most polymers left out in the sun for more than a few years are impacted by photo-oxidation and may not be effective after exposure to the elements and harsh chemicals. Because fully wetted panels have no gaps between channels, the bottom side of the panel has not been exposed to any UV rays and is still ‘fresh’. A Solco pool heating system is turned upside down to give the customer a genuine ‘renewable’ energy experience.

11.  Fully wetted panels are resistant to hail, frost, wind, UV rays, intense staring contests and most corrosive chemicals.

12.  With a properly sized fully wetted panel system sufficient heat is generated without the need for a pool cover

13.  Fully wetted panels have been in use since 1986 – it is a tried and proven system for heating swimming pools effectively.

14.  Solco’s fully wetted panels are constructed from materials manufactured in SABS and  ISO9002 compliant factories.

Click here for a quote on Solco’s pool heating system

Click here to see how a Solco’s fully wetted panels work

Disadvantages of different pool heating systems

Tube type systems:


1.      No welding or adhesive is used to hold all the individual components together.
2.      Rubber grommets used to make connections between the manifold pipe and the tubes, offer little resistance to UV rays, pool chemicals and pressure.
3.      To heat up even a modest sized pool, a lot of roof space and panels are required.
4.      Individual channels are far apart, so each tube has to generate heat separately – thus adding to inefficiency.
5.      The tube type panels cannot be turned upside down, as too much exposure to the sun makes them brittle.
6.      When tube type pool heating panels leak, entire channels have to be blocked off, reducing the panel efficiency.
7.      The rubber grommets used in connecting the tubes to the manifold pipe can disintegrate due to photo-oxidation and chemicals and cannot be replaced once they have been compromised.
8.      Because most tube type panels are not resistant to pool chemicals, the panels deteriorate from the inside. This is evident when a black powder is noticed at the pool outlet and collects on the bottom of the pool
9.      Because the tubes are individually placed it means they are isolated and exposed to wind blowing between them, thus having a cooling effect on the water flowing inside.
10.  To compensate for a lack of efficiency, a pool cover is generally recommended. Pool covers may not always be practical or feasible.

Solco Fully Wetted panels:

1.      Improper installation by pool builders and contractors can result in the panels to be damaged easily.
2.      If the panels are damaged, only Solco has the equipment to repair the panels successfully.
3.      Fully wetted panels are sometimes more expensive than most of the other types of solar pool heating systems, but due to the fact that Solco is committed to delivering products that are simply superior, this is not any real disadvantage to the customer.
4.      In high wind areas like at the coast, extra measures need to be taken to ensure the panels don’t separate from the roof.

Facts prove that Solco’s fully wetted solar pool heating panels offer the best value for money.

Fully wetted panels are different because they are the only pool heating panels specifically designed with efficiency, aesthetics, longevity and durability in mind.

Solco installs swimming pool heating systems all over Johannesburg and Pretoria.

We deliver DIY pool heating systems all over South Africa

Click here for a quote on Solco’s pool heating system

Click here to see how a Solco’s fully wetted panels work

 The following table should help you to gauge approximately how many SOLID FULLY WETTED PANELS are required to get the pool comfortable. (we do recommend calling us for a free consultation)

Pool size   |   Volume    |     Panels
3 x 5                22,500                    2
4 x 6                36,000                    3
4 x 8                48,000                    4
5 x 8                60,000                    5
5 x 9                67,000                    6
5 x 10              75,000                    7

Here are some examples of recently installed systems.

This is a HUGE 90,000 litre pool and pool heating system.

This system has pipes running under the eaves – between the tiles and the beams.

For added aesthetic value, Solco also build a conduit box to shield the pipes and to conform to the estate regulations concerning exposed piping.

Click here for a quote on Solco’s pool heating system

Click here to see how a Solco’s fully wetted panels work

Click here to contact us