The SolaPool swimming pool heating panel is based on a 1975 invention patented and registered in the USA by Edward J. Hojnowski, 112 Lagana Ave., Plantsville, Conn. 06479 USA.
The original invention was a metal panel which was expensive and cumbersome to manufacture. The patent lapsed a few years later and a German company converted the original metal product into a 1200mm X 800mm polymer (plastic) panel. The panel could now be produced a lot cheaper and the black plastic substrate proved to be an excellent UV ray and heat absorb-er.
The inventor of the South African manufactured SolaPool, Jacques de Villiers, based his invention on the original design of Edward J Hojnowski. This design, combined with CREST’s knowledge of the local weather conditions led to the birth of SolaPool, a polyethylene molded product with appropriate additives (heat stabiliser and UV protection).
The challenge was using international technology and polymer panels and adopting this for Sub-Sahara Africa.
Aside from the major design work that had to be done, South Africa had never seen, nor even heard, of a polymer solar water heater and SABS had to be thoroughly convinced that “plastic” was the preferred material for economically viable solar water heaters.
Even though key players in the industry were passionately opposed to the idea of introducing a cheaper alternative to the market, SABS approved the product and Crest officially became the leading producer of entry level solar water heaters.