Listen Up: Let’s Talk Solar Water Heating

Outdoor pools are great on hot summer days — the kids are occupied and the water is refreshing. And as the summer progresses, the water heats up to a comfortable level. But on chilly spring and fall days the cool water in that pool amounts to nothing more than a 30,000 gallon decoration in your back yard. Plus you still may need to run the electric pool pumps to keep the water clean.

Listen To Podcast

Now that we’re past Labor Day, for many people pool season is over, too. Now your options are to swim (or not to swim) in cold water, burn $50 in extra natural gas to heat your pool, or install a solar pool heating system. It’s no surprise that my preferred solution is to install solar pool heat collectors. These pool heat collectors are easily connected into your pool’s existing circulating pump system, and can easily maintain your pool at a comfortable 80 degrees F for most of the year.

My guest this week is Freeman Ford, one of the founders of FAFCO. FAFCO is the oldest and largest manufacturer of pool heating systems in the U.S. They are based in Chico, California, and have been manufacturing their special black polymer pool solar panels for over 40 years. In addition to their pool solar panels, FAFCO also has a line of solar DHW panels as well as a new hybrid solar thermal-PV panel. Please join me on this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy World as Freeman talks about our country’s lack of commitment to clean, renewable energy — and the solar industry’s perseverance in the face of political paralysis when it comes to a transition to a clean energy economy.

Find more episodes of The Energy Show here.

About The Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don’t have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we’ll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices. 

About Your Host

Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He’s been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Lead image: Green microphone via Shutterstock

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