Consulting since 1992

 

Solar PV for pools

It is often said by anyone that owning a boat is like pouring money into ‘a hole in the water’. It doesn’t seem to matter how you organise yourself and your boat: you end up paying through the nose for maintenance with a bit of fun using your boat in between times. Owning a swimming pool was talked about in the same terms, but with automated systems now available for pool maintenance, pools have become less of a chore and allow for swimming year round without having to rob a bank. And people like heated pools!

Pools are complex things

Heating swimming pools has been a goal for a lot of home owners and is often thrust upon commercial operators who are left to manage pools that are very large ‘white elephants’. These pools can consume vast amounts of energy and drain any maintenance account in record time if not managed effectively. This is not surprising, as these larger pools have a few energy elements to them that are ‘unseen’ for pool operators and require close scrutiny of seemingly unimportant details. Pools also have an element of ‘black magic’ about them, as balancing pool chemicals, pool heating, pool ventilation and pool use is a difficult act to get right on a given day.

The bottom line for heating pools is that it is going to cost you are going to be losing heat to the environment in a spectacular fashion, as the surface of the pool cannot be insulated while there are people using the pool. This heat loss can be reduced, but in the case of outdoor heated pools, you are going to have a hefty power bill. Solar is a great way to heat pools, and in the past heating water on the roof of the pools has been a cost effective way of reducing pool heating costs. But with the price of solar PV panels now dropping further, PV is becoming the system of choice for more pool owners with the use of air source heat pumps.

It’s all about flexibility

The success of Solar PV systems for pools lies in the fact that Solar PV can be used in a variety of ways. Power from these systems can be used to heat the pool, run ventilation systems, pool pumps and pool cleaning. As with any Solar system, by considering the needs of your pool, the usage times, the energy costs that are fixed and variable and your budget, Smart Consult can help you find the best solutions for fit your needs. As always, we study the interval data for your electricity and gas usage and get to the bottom line of how to best manage your pool.

Pools are variable environments

When you are managing a large pool there are quite a few things to consider:

  • the temperature of the pool
  • the chemistry of the pool
  • the maintenance of the pool
  • the circulation of the water
  • the cleaning of the water
  • when people are swimming
  • how many people are swimmng
  • the air around the pool
  • the safety of the people in the pool

Just from reading that list, you can start to get an idea of what is involved in the effective operation of a large pool. Working out the energy requirements of these items requires a good grasp of the data available and the skills to present the data in a meaningful way. Smart Consult is able to assist clients in getting an accurate picture of what is required to run their pool efficiently on Solar PV and recommend systems that can maintain this. And don’t forget that a pool’s energy usage changes with the times of the year that it is operating. Winter is when heating costs are up, but basic operating costs are with you all year round.