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Solar pool heaters rely on a solar collector that you connect to your filter and pump through a flow control valve and circulate water around a mechanical device with a high thermal density that captures and retains heat. Many of these devices appear dark in color, normally made from metal, and get very hot when left out under the sun. Unlike a normal intercooler where you are trying to get heat away from someone, here we want to take the cooler pool water and move it through the device to draw away heat and put it back into the pool. This process works great whenever there is sunlight. Solar pool heaters are very effective at utilizing only solar energy. With gas or electric heaters you have to deal with the long-term energy cost and environmental impact.