Elfin Technologies

An All in One Controller for Solar Heated Pools

SolarOne photo You've made the investment to heat your pool with the free energy from sunlight. Congratulations on a wise and economical choice! But while solar energy is free, electric power to run your pump is not. Your pool pump will have to run much longer than before to direct that energy from your rooftop panels to the pool. Its an expected expense, but there is a lot of waste, and the last thing you want to do now is throw your money away!

The problem

Anytime you are running your pump for heating while the sun isn't shining, you're wasting money! In fact if you run the system in the rain, you're now cooling your pool! And what about mid summer, when the pool starts to get too warm for comfort. Who's paying for that waste? YOU are! But do you really want to stay home all day watching the weather and water temperature, manually controlling your pool pump?

Our solution

Elfin Technologies now offers the ultimate pool pump controller for solar heated pools, to optimize the use of your pump motor and minimize operational costs. Here is what it will do for you.

  1. Your pump will be turned on or off based on availability of sunlight. The system employs a patented sun sensor that always knows when the sun is actually shining, and cannot be fooled by sky conditions or time of day.

  2. To protect the pump from excessive switching activity, the system only changes the pump when sun or shade has continued for a programmable delay period.

  3. You can set daily maximum and minimum run times. First It will shut down if your maximum time is exceeded. Or if the pump doesn't run at all due to inclement weather, it will run in the evening for the minimum hours you choose, when electric rates may be lower.

  4. In addition to sunlight, the system monitors the water temperature in the pipes flowing out from your pool. If a high temperature you choose is reached for a selectable amount of time, the pump is shut down for the day.

  5. Of course, the daily start time and "after hours" times are all programmable too, allowing you to completely replace your existing timer. And unlike many timers, our system maintains accurate time during power failures.

  6. Both manual pump over-ride and seasonal changes are fast and easy. All system activity is easily monitored by convenient LED indicators, as well as an illuminated display.

  7. Pump run time for the day as well as total run time since installation (or user reset) are recorded and easily displayed, so you can accurately track your savings!

  8. Bottom line and most important, this controller will save you money. Savings of $5 to $10 or more each month have been observed*

* This figure reflects the average savings experienced by the system's designer averaged over a multi year period. It is impossible to guarantee exact cost savings because weather conditions, desired water temperature, and electric rates all vary significantly. But considering your pump's run time may be cut by as much as 50%, the potential cost savings becomes obvious. Over time, this system will literally pay for itself.

The Back Story

This all started about 10 years ago, when my wife and I invested in a solar heating system for our pool. Of course we were very pleased with the warmer water and extended swimming season, but we sure were NOT happy about the electric bill! Before the solar installation, the filter pump only had to run a few hours each day, and could mostly be run at night. But to get the most out of the solar panels, the pump now had to be on all day long during sunlight hours, and those mid-day kilowatt hours were really adding up.

Of course an increase was expected, but we soon realized how often we were wasting money. If the sun wasn't shining, running the pump was just throwing money down the drain. Worse, if the system is running in the rain, we were paying to cool the pool at that point! It can rain unpredictable on any summer afternoon in Florida. I, for one, did not care to dodge rain and lightning to turn off electrical equipment when surprise storms start. And who can stay home every day to monitor the weather anyway?

Then there was more waste in mid-summer when the pool starts to get warmer than necessary. It would be nice if the system could shut down in those cases! Besides not needing the pool to be 94 degrees, chlorine and other chemical usage skyrockets at these temperatures. That wasted electric power is often more costly during the day, and is always a burden on your electric company!

Finally, there are times when the weather is rainy and sunless for days on end, but I'd need to run the pump for at least a few hours or so for filtering or running an automatic cleaner. In those cases its best to run the pump late in the day or after dark when electric rates are lower, but will I do it? Even if I'm lucky enough to remember to override my timer and run the pump after hours, there's a good chance I'll forget about it and leave it running all night.

So it was all these concerns that went into the design of this product. And like many good products, it was designed by a individual for their own real world use, before any consideration of a product came about.

Better than water diversion products

The most common product offering to owners of solar pool heating is an electrically controlled water valve, connected to a water temperature sensor. When the water temperature exceeds a desired level, the flow is diverted to bypass the solar panels. That keeps the pool temperature at a desired level, but does it turn the pump off? NO! Without the water flowing, it can't continue to monitor the temperature. So does it save you any electric costs? NO... not a dime. And besides the cost of electricity, pump longevity is compromised by longer run times.

Granted you would not want to switch a pump motor on and off 100 times a day. But you don't have to be an engineer to know there is no sense leaving a pump running all day when its not needed. The Elfin Technologies controller is, by far, a better and far more comprehensive solution.

The Latest version of the Elfin Technologies Pool Pump Controller has just completed final assembly details and multi year testing. We can install a system for you, or offer you the controller along with guidance and installation instructions, for those who prefer a hands on approach. A preliminary instruction manual is available online.

All Investor and Installer inquiries welcome. Please use our Contact Form for all inquiries or additional info.

PRELIMINARY Instruction manual

Uploaded Nov. 24, 2018

Last revision, 1.0

Firmware v.2.1

Click To View or Download User Guide

This is a PDF file, about 3MB is size, best downloaded on a broadband connection, and viewed on a desktop computer. If download fails, please use our contact form and request a copy via email. This is a PRELIMINARY doccument and is subject to frequent changes.

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