A Customer contacted Aquatherm with questions regarding solar pool heating. I would like to share this email because I get asked these questions from many interested customers and Dan Sizelove of Aquatherm Industries is answering them for me in this email to Doris P. of Ottawa.

Hello Doris,

Thank you for your interest in Aquatherm Industries Solar Pool Heaters. I will be happy to answer your questions.

1. Do you have a dealer/installer for these panels in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada?

Yes, Poseidon Pool Service Ltd. (http://poseidonpool.ca/) is located in Ottawa, and sells/installs our Ultra-Swim brand. Jens Altmann-Hughes, owner of Poseidon, can be reached at 613-832-1233 or by email at jens@poseidonpool.ca

2. How does your venting of the panels work? Have these been tested in Eastern Canadian Climate?

The Ultra-Swim Solar Pool Heater has integrated venting slots in the absorber plate of the collector. These slots allow for wind-load relief as well as ventilation. There is more information on the design of the Ultra-Swim collector at Poseidon’s FAQ page – http://poseidonpool.ca/solar-pool-heating/solar-pool-heating-faq/. Our collectors have been proven in practically every climate on earth.

3. Please tell me why your panels are superior to the Heliocol Panels?

Heliocol collectors , which are made in The Middle East specifically for dry desert climates, are what is referred to as a “loose-tube design” – that is to say the tubes that pool water flows through are separated. While they would have you believe this is an advantage over other “full-plate” collectors, that is unfortunately not true. In fact, the separated tubes result in more collector surface area exposed to ambient temperatures and wind. The moment a cool prevailing breeze hits the collectors, it is able to circulate around each individual tube, resulting in heat loss. It is by no coincidence that Heliocol has the lowest certified performance ratings in the industry.

The standard to which solar pool heating collectors are tested is ISO 9806, and is then certified by an independent third-party organization (SRCC or IAPMO). I have attached the SRCC summary sheet for Heliocol as a PDF, and the Ultra-Swim IAPMO summary sheet is available here. I understand these summary sheets are extremely technical, so I will point out exactly where to find the performance rating. The way these certification bodies structure their ratings is in a matrix, which is composed if several different climate variables and also solar radiations. The most widely accepted rating as far as normal pool heating conditions goes, is Category B/1500 Btu’s Radiation. For Heliocol, under Thousands of Btu Per ft² Per Day, Category B/1500, they are rated at a 0.6, or 600 Btu’s Per day per square foot of collector area. On Ultra-Swim’s IAPMO summary sheet, you will see it is rated at a 0.9 in the same Category B/1500, or 900 Btu’s Per day per square foot. Our collectors provide more heat than Heliocol.

Apart from the performance of Heliocol, I must point out some additional product differences. Heliocol likes to say their product requires less penetrations on the roof, since their collectors do not require strapping – this is also false advertising. Each Heliocol bracket requires two penetrations, and each collector requires four brackets – that’s a total of 8 penetrations per Heliocol panel. Each Ultra-Swim collector bracket requires two penetrations, and each collector requires one bracket. Ultra-Swim is installed with polypropylene-coated, stainless steel strapping across the absorber plate, requiring an additional two penetrations per collector – for a total of 4 penetrations per collector. The Ultra-Swim system would require one additional set of header and strap brackets at the end of the array. The bottom line, a 10 collector Heliocol system would require a total of 80 penetrations. A 10 collector Ultra-Swim system would require 44 penetrations.

Lastly, the tubes in a Heliocol collector are not metered – meaning the flow of water from your pool will follow the path of least resistance, and potentially not fill the entire collector array, leaving collectors empty at the end of the array. Ultra-Swim collectors utilize metered-flow, meaning every collector will be transferring heat to pool water throughout the entire array.

4. Is There any concern with snow build up on these panels in the winter time (We get A LOT of snow).

Snow will not affect the collectors in any way. In situations where extreme snow build-up is a worry, our Dealers will typically use supplemental mounting brackets to mount the array directly into the roofing rafters.

I hope I’ve answered your questions. Please let me know if you have any additional questions, and I’ll be happy to assist.

Best Regards,


Dan Sizelove
Marketing Coordinator
Aquatherm Industries, Inc.
(732) 905-9002, Ext: 228

“Live Green. Swim Warm.”