Do you own a pool? Sorry…! No, really – we had a small one at our house in Las Vegas, and I swore “Never again…” The work required to keep it clean, the costs for supplies, energy, and those inevitable pump repairs just weren’t worth it to me… and I really enjoyed a quick dip after a long, hot day. That’s me, though… you may enjoy your pool more, but still want to keep the expenses (and the environmental impact) down. Obviously, a pool requires water, but you can cut the cost of keeping that water warm (which does require quite a bit of energy) with the awesome floating DIY pool heater. From sister site Cleantechnica, Jo Borras has all the details…
There’s nothing better than a swimming pool for beating the summer heat and spending some quality time with friends and family outdoors, but keeping a pool warm can be prohibitively expensive and incredibly wasteful. Fortunately, these simple-to-make, DIY pool warmers concentrate the energy of the sun to release up to 500 BTUs per hour into your pool. Each!
All you need to get started making these lily-pad style pool warmers are hula hoops, some readily-available polyethylene film, a few clamps (or an extra set of steady hands), a sharp blade, and a slightly modified soldering gun to get everything to stick together.
Keep in mind, it might take a bunch of these lily-pad pool warmers to keep your pool warm, and the original Make article seems to think that 50% coverage is what you’re really after. Still, given the bargain-basement unit cost of these things and their high potential output/heat-retaining insulation, you’ll probably make your money back in no time. You can check out the super-over-simplified version of the instructions for making your own zero-energy pool warmers, below …
Oversimplified Step 1
Cut the polyethylene film to the approximate size of the hula hoops you bought.
Oversimplified Step 2
Clamp (or find someone willing to hold) the polyethylene film to the edge of the hula hoops.
Oversimplified Step 3
Use the slightly modified soldering gun to melt, or “spot-weld”, the film to the edge of the plastic hula hoop. Next, use the pointed tip of the soldering gun to puncture 9 small vent holes in the film, one in the center and the rest distributed in a circle of about 24″ diameter. This is critical, because, without these vents, air bubbles would form under the stretched polyethylene and reduce the heat transfer.
Oversimplified Step 4
Trim the edge of the film so it more neatly aligns with the hula hoop. This is purely an aesthetic step.
Oversimplified Step 5
Toss those DIY lily-pad pool warmers into the pool and start making that freeloading sun work for you!
… if that’s not enough, just head on over to the original article on Make.com for a much more in-depth, step-by-step guide to lily-pad construction. In the meantime, you can watch Make’s lily-pad pool warmer promo video, below. Enjoy!
DIY Solar Pool Warmers
Source | More Photos: Make, via Pinterest.