Example of How Solar Hybrid Electric Pool Heating Performs

Analyzing Performance of Solar Hybrid Electric Pool Heating

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We have been tracking the performance of our Solar Hybrid Electric Pool Heating, and have been able to analyze several sites in detail. The great thing about these systems is we can gather tremendous data, quantifying actual solar production and pool heating electrical consumption. We use this to validate system designs. Consumers can track their energy use and make informed decisions about heating their swimming pools.

In one respect, there is nothing about SHEPH systems that couldn’t be done before. You could install a small solar electricity system, and track it’s performance. And you could hook up a separate data monitor to your pool heater to track it’s electrical usage. What we have done is integrated the systems so consumers have a convenient way to track and visualize how much it costs to run their pool and how much of that is being offset by solar energy production. This provides a convenient way to control and offset pool heating costs.

Here is a video showing two systems we have been tracking. The customers use their pools quite differently. It’s interesting to see how solar production and heating consumption correlate to these use cases.

Video Summary

The video titled “Solar Hybrid Electric Pool Heating Performance Examples – REAL DATA!” on YouTube, presented by Jason, the Principal Solar Designer at Florida Solar Design Group, offers an insightful exploration into the realm of Solar Hybrid Electric Pool Heating. This innovative approach combines electric heat pumps with solar electric panels to offset the energy consumption of heating a pool, presenting a modern alternative to traditional solar pool heating methods. Let’s delve into the details:


Jason begins by contrasting traditional solar pool heating with the solar hybrid electric pool heating system. Traditional methods rely on passive systems that circulate water through roof-mounted plastic panels, returning it slightly warmed to the pool. This method’s effectiveness is highly dependent on weather conditions, making it less reliable for consistently reaching desired pool temperatures.

Solar Hybrid Electric Pool Heating (SHEPH)

The SHEPH system integrates an electric heat pump with solar electric (photovoltaic) panels. This setup aims to utilize the electrical energy generated by the solar panels to power the heat pump, which then heats the pool to the desired temperature. This method provides a more consistent heating solution that’s not as heavily influenced by weather variations as traditional solar pool heating. Excess solar energy is used by other appliances in the home, so no solar energy is wasted. The ultimate effect is a reduction in utility electricity, which is intended to offset whatever electricity the heat pump uses. The solar production and energy consumption do not need to be concurrent.

Real-World Data and Insights

Jason provides real-world data from clients who have installed the SHEPH system. One highlighted example is from a residence in Cape Coral with a 10-panel SHEPH system. The data showed how on certain days, the system generated more energy than needed for heating, allowing for energy credits that offset future usage. However, on days when the pool heater was active, energy consumption significantly exceeded solar energy production. Yet, over time, the aim is for the system to produce enough solar energy to balance out the consumption from heating the pool, essentially aiming for a net-zero energy cost for pool heating.

Important Considerations

  1. Energy Credits: On days when the pool is not heated, solar panels can generate energy credits by producing more energy than is consumed. These credits can offset days when heating is necessary, contributing to a more cost-effective operation.
  2. Sizing the System: The size of the SHEPH system is crucial. Jason notes that a 10-panel system is designed to cover the annual energy usage of the heat pump, factoring in days with high and low energy production and consumption. The sizing is based on anecdotal information provided by the client on how they intend to use their pool, and a combination of objective measurements and experience that Florida Solar Design Group has with pool heating costs in Southwest Florida.
  3. Energy Efficiency: The efficiency of heating water decreases as the target temperature approaches, meaning it requires more energy to raise the temperature of water from a higher baseline. This is a critical consideration for understanding the energy dynamics of heating pools or spas.
  4. Net Energy Use Over Time: The ultimate goal is for the system to produce as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year, making it a sustainable option for pool heating.


Solar hybrid electric pool heating presents a promising solution for those seeking a more energy-efficient and consistent method of heating their pools. By leveraging solar energy to power a heat pump, this system can provide reliable pool temperatures with potentially lower energy costs over time. Real-world data supports the viability of SHEPH systems, showcasing their ability to balance energy production and consumption through strategic system sizing and management.

For anyone interested in modern, efficient pool heating solutions, this video provides valuable insights into the advantages and considerations of solar hybrid electric pool heating. You can watch the full video on YouTube here.

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