Heating pools is a headache for most pool owners as if you want to swim in heated water you are going to be expending energy: and that can cost money. Solar is a great fit for pools as it can soak up spare capacity from your solar system and raise the temperature of the pool. There are a few ways to do this and solar with an air sourced heat pump is a very efficient way to do this.
What is a heat pump?
You may well have a few of these around the house already- your fridge is a heat pump, and if you have air conditioning then add another one to the list. Pool heat pumps are transferring heat from the air to your pool water: air conditioners reverse this process and make things cooler. The latest generation of heat pumps are a lot more efficient than they have been in the past, with some variable compressor models achieving a COP of 15 with light loads. This translates into 1kw of electricity giving you 15kw of heat to the pool. These efficiencies mean that the heat pump is now a long way out ahead of any other pool heating system as they can leverage the solar from your PV system to extend your pool swimming season.
The cost of running a pool heat pump has to be factored in early for home and commercial pool owners as there are a few things to consider:
- when is the pool going to be used?
- are you going to use a cover?
- at what temperature is the pool water going to be maintained?
- how much solar is available for your pool use?
Often these questions are answered by your budget and the allowance that the client has for budget pain: if a pool is used commercially, then these questions are ordered differently on this list, as the pool has paying clients using it and this can negate some of the cost factors. As with most projects that Smart Consult undertake, it all comes down to interpreting the interval data to get a better idea of where to spend money to save money in the long term. Pools are expensive things to operate and own, but there are savings to be made with them if you understand which questions to ask.