Pool Energy Management
Pools lose energy in a variety of ways, but evaporation is by far the largest source of energy loss in both indoor and outdoor pools (accounts for about 70%). In addition to evaporative heat loss, outdoor pools also lose energy through radiation to the sky, convection to the air, and conduction to the ground. This means that areas with low humidity and cool clear nights will have the highest pool heating costs.
A common misperception is that indoor pools do not use as much energy as outdoor pools. Actually, indoor pools use a considerable amount, and in some cases, even more energy. Indoor pools are not subjected to the fluctuations in day and night temperature like outdoor pools, but they do require significant room ventilation to control indoor humidity caused by the large amount of evaporation. The costs associated with running and maintaining these large ventilation motors can add considerable cost to the indoor facility. Therefore, the energy savings can be far greater for an indoor pool.
Since evaporation is the chief culprit of both indoor and outdoor pool heat loss, the best way to reduce the effects would be the addition of a thermal blanket. A properly sized thermal blanket can reduce evaporation over 90 percent while also reducing radiation and convection. On an outdoor pool, the use of a thermal blanket translates into an energy savings of 60 - 80 percent. On an indoor pool, the use of a thermal blanket translates into an energy savings in upwards of 85 percent.
Other energy saving measures that can further reduce energy costs are:
- Windbreaks for outdoor pools
- Solar pool heating systems
- Heat recovery ventilation for indoor pools
- High efficiency motors for pumps and fans
- High efficiency heaters
Energy Smart Pools is a program that was written by the U.S. Department of Energy to determine the annual cost savings generated by the use of pool blanket systems. The software takes into account the surface area of the water, the flow of air across the surface, whether shading is present, the water and room temperature, the size of the pump and ventilation motors, the activity level, the relative humidity and fuel costs to derive the approximate operating cost of the facility. The system will calculate monthly energy costs and also yields comparison costs for the same pool with a cover. This information is invaluable as it relates to budgeting for a pool blanket system. Generally, the payback time is 9 - 18 months. Please print and fill out the following form and fax back to Knorr Systems @ (714) 754-1405 for your free U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Audit.