Storage

Pool Heating in 2003

RE Outlook 2003Solar swimming pool heating has been a viable and thriving business since its inception in the 1970s. The economics against natural gas have always been attractive but more importantly, it competes as a pool heating appliance not just as an energy saving device. Stereotypical environmentalists don’t have swimming pools.

RE Outlook 2003 – January 28, 2003Solar swimming pool heating has been a viable and thriving business since its inception in the 1970s. The economics against natural gas have always been attractive but more importantly, it competes as a pool heating appliance not just as an energy saving device. Stereotypical environmentalists don’t have swimming pools. Technically this represents a nice match. The low horsepower pool circulating pumps of the well-designed pools of the last 30 years are perfect for moving the water through the solar collectors. That has changed in the last decade as pools have become more complex and pumps have become larger to do more than just filter the water. Marrying solar into these more complex and variable mechanical situations has become technically challenging. The need for expertise in the solar field has become more pronounced at a time when the costs are coming down and the systems are being sold through a more technically diluted sales machine. Meanwhile the consumers have become smarter with more information accessible to them. In 2003 look for the smaller suppliers with better experience and expertise to take market share away from the sales-based organizations that have dominated for decades. Look for more separation of the pool business and the solar business with better cooperation between the two as the pool industry learns to accept that there is more to solar than diverting water through collectors when it’s sunny. Overall sales should hold steady in this mature, established market depending on the economy. Pool heaters do fall into the category of discretionary spending. About the Author Ken Wright started as an installer. He took over a small manufacturer, Powermat Manufacturing Inc. in 1989 and built that organization for 10 years. He has a degree in mechanical engineering and applied that education to the science and implementation of solar pool heating with his own product and others. Currently, he owns Hot Sun Industries Inc. of San Diego, California a nationwide solar pool heating business. He can be reached at [email protected]