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Relax and Save Money With Your Own Solar Hot Tub

One of the most pleasant and fun ways to make use of solar energy is by getting a solar hot tub. Solar spas function based on the principle of solar thermal energy, whereby the sun’s rays, and more importantly its heat, is absorbed by a collector and used to heat water.

This same principle of solar thermal energy is what is used in many of the world’s largest solar power plants, albeit in a much larger scale. By using this principle, you too can enjoy the benefits of solar thermal energy while sitting in your solar hot tub in the comfort of your own home. 

Benefits of Solar Hot Tubs

  • Solar thermal heating elements are cheap to purchase
  • They are also easy to install and can be done without professional help
  • Can save you a lot of money on the high cost of heating your hot tub
  • Can make your spa completely emission free, which reduces pollution and lowers your carbon footprint
  • Require little to no maintenance once installed and should continue to function for years to come

Solar Spa Heating Explained

solar hot tubWhen deciding to use solar thermal energy to heat your spa or hot tub, you have several different options to choose from. To ensure that your hot tub or spa is fully solar powered, it may be necessary to use all of the options available to you to keep your water sufficiently heated. 

The first option is a solar hot tube cover which absorbs and traps a layer of hot air between the cover and the surface of the water, and this heat is then transferred to your water. If you already own a spa, then you probably know a lot about the importance that a spa cover will make in regulating the temperature of your water. In fact, nothing allows heat to escape faster than having your hot tub uncovered. 

 
A solar spa cover will still perform the vital function of insulating your spa to prevent heat loss, but with the added benefit that it is also able to absorb heat from the sun and transfer it to the water in your hot tub. Since a cover is necessary for your spa anyways, there is no reason why you shouldn’t invest in a solar cover to help offset your heating costs. 
 

This is definitely the cheapest option for solar spa heating, however it is far from the most efficient, but it still a good place to start for those unsure about solar heating or for those on a tight budget.

solar hot tubThe second option for heating your solar spa hot tub is to use solar thermal panels, which are usually placed on your roof. This option is definitely the most useful, and when used properly, can usually provide all of the heat needed to keep your spa at the right temperature. 

There are several different types of solar thermal panels that you can choose from, and the right type for you depends on where you live, as some systems can only be used in hot climates or else they must be completely dismantled and put away before they freeze.

Each system has slight differences in the way the collector is constructed, however they all basically function in the same way. The panels themselves are black so they absorb the sun’s heat, which is then transferred to the water after being circulated through a series of tubes running throughout the black collector panel. 

These panels can in theory be placed anywhere, but it is recommended that they be installed on your roof as this is usually the place where they will receive the most sunlight. The panels themselves are also quite large, so placing them on the roof is a good way to keep them out of the way and to ensure that the fragile glass tubes within the collector do not get damaged. 

Purchasing and installing solar thermal panels does require a bit of an initial investment, however if you ensure that the system you buy is sufficient for the size of hot tub you own, then it should easily pay for itself in a few years time. Overall, this is the most efficient way to heat your spa using solar energy. If you are really serious about reducing pollution and lowering your energy costs, then this is really the only way to go for solar hot tub heating and the only way to completely heat your hot tub using only solar energy. 

A Truly Solar Powered Spa?

So now you know how to heat your hot tub using solar thermal energy, which goes a long way towards eliminating the amount of pollution generated by your hot tub. Nonetheless, if you only use solar thermal energy to heat your spa, then you still cannot say that you have a truly solar powered spa. This is due to the fact that you are still using electricity to power your spa’s jets and filtration system. 

The only way to have a completely solar powered hot tub is to install photovoltaic solar panels to generate the electricity necessary for your spa to function. A small PV system should be sufficient for your spa’s electricity needs, although you could use a much larger system and power the rest of your home as well if you wish. You can even install the PV panel on the roof next to your solar thermal panels. 

If you are serious about converting your spa to be solar powered, then there are hot tub solar water heaters available which include all of the necessary components to make your hot tub completely solar powered. You can also buy the different components separately, or use only the ones you want. No matter what you choose, you will enjoy the benefits of relaxing in your solar powered hot tub. 

If you are an avid DIY'er, the following articles will be of use to you. The following websites all contain detailed step by step instructions for installing your own hot tub with a solar water heating system. All the necessary numbers, charts and calculations can be found here: 


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