Solar powered salt water chlorination is the greenest form of chlorinating a pool. Make your own chlorine out of salt that was added to the water and with an Eco-friendly solar panel there is no drain on the electrical grid. There is just the one time charge for the salt and the MC12 system which should last for years. A salt water chlorinator eliminates the need to purchase, transport, or store chlorine.
The MC12 electrode uses a solar panel that can be purchased on Amazon or any online or local establishment. The MC is short for MegaChlor and the number is the nominal solar panel voltage. A 12 Vdc panel rated at 100 watts is perfect for the MC12 and on Amazon they are around $100. Simply locate the panel close to the pool, drape the electrode into the water and attach the electrode cable to the solar panel. The electrode can rest on the pool floor, directly over the side, extend further into the water with a board or in the skimmer if the skimmer is big enough. Installation takes minutes and no plumbing or electrical connections are required, the pool doesn’t even have to be on!
The MC12 can make about 0.3 pounds per day if it had power the entire day. When used with a solar panel cut the number in half to account for the system being off at night. That amount of chlorine should be good for the average size pool of 15000 to 20000 gallons.
The solar panel design makes this a DIY (do it yourself) project. The connection to the electrode should be periodically reversed to increase the life span of the electrodes and to also help keep them clean. As there is no circuit the reversing must be done manually. The MC12 includes standard solar panel connectors and two additional short cables that are used to reverse the connection.
There are also some techniques that can be used to adjust the power levels. If the chlorine is low the following can be done to increase the chlorine production:
- For a pool, add cyanuric acid to protect the chlorine from UV
- Adjust the solar panel, make sure that it is unobstructed and clean
- Increase the salt level in the water
- Place the electrode by a pool jet. The water will help to force the chlorine out of the cell quicker increasing the performance.
- Remove the end cap from the electrode cell body. This will allow the gasses to exit quicker, especially if lying flat on the pool floor.
- Make sure the electrode plates are clean
- Not recommended, but something to try: Remove the electrode from the cell body and place the electrode in the skimmer if it will reach. This can produce 30% more chlorine but only works if the circulation pump is on. Do not do this if the pump isn’t on the entire time the electrode is generating chlorine.
If the chlorine is high, the following can be done to decrease the chlorine production:
- Lower the salt level
- Place the solar panel where there is less direct sun light
- Place the MC12 flat on the pool floor. If makes a little less in that position