With fuel prices soaring and hydro prices following it is only natural that we increase our knowledge about how to run a modern “Green” swimming pool. When we are “Going Green” we not only save money and energy but we also do something for our environment, ourselves, and the future of our children.
Saving Energy Is Everyone’s Responsibility.
Going Green Is Easier Than You Think.
All manufacturers offer eco-friendly and energy efficient products. Changes can be made just by replacing one piece of equipment at a time. To make an even bigger impact, doing a full overhaul will yield a greater, positive and cost effective result. Getting rid of single-speed, sand-filtered pumps and old, gas-fired furnaces will make a big difference financially and environmentally.
Pumps and Motors
A single speed pump runs on 3,450 rpm and consumes approx. 2100 W. Using an average price of 0.15 $/kWh, a runtime of 10 hours/day and 5 months/year of swimming season, this pump would cost 3.15 $/day and consume 21 kWh/day or 472.50 $/year and 3,150 kWh/year.
By cutting the speed in half to 1,725 rpm, the power consumption will be 262 W according to the pump affinity law. The flow has been reduced by 50% which in turn will increase the runtime to 20 hours/day. The cost would be 0.79 $/day and consumption would be at 5.25 kWh/day or 118.13 $/year and 787.5 kWh/year. This is an annual saving of $354.37 or 75%. In less than four years you would see a return of your investment (ROI).
The variable speed pump (VSP) efficiency can be greater than 90% compared to a single speed pump. The return of investment (ROI) is approx. three to four years depending on the set-up and design.
Running the pump during Off-Peak hours saves even more money. Water feature pumps can also be switched to VSPs. #poolpump
Cartridge Filters filter particles as small as 10 to 25 microns compared to 20 to 40 microns with a sand filter. Cartridge Filters also don’t waste any water or chemicals. They, in conjunction with VSPs, have the biggest impact on energy consumption and water clarity. The pump runs on lower speed and moves the water slower through the filter which enhances filtration. The filter area of the biggest residential sand-filter is 7 ft2 the filter area of the smallest cartridge filter is 225 ft2 this equals 32 sand-filters.
One would not think of Sanitization as being Green. Chlorine is still a chemical after all, right? Right.
However, by using electronically controlled Sanitization Systems, the system produces clean, pure Chlorine. In addition, a computer controlled Sensing and Dispensing Unit will accurately measure pH and ORP levels and according to the result dispense acid and/or increase the Chlorine level in the Water. By using an electronic Ozone generator in conjunction with UV light, it will reduce the amount of chemicals needed.
Energy Savings can be great if a robotic pool cleaner is used.
Robotic pool cleaners run on low voltage and don’t need the pool pump and filter during operation thus reducing energy cost to up to 94% when compared to other pool cleaners.
Heating your pool with solar energy will have the biggest impact on your energy bill. Heating with solar energy costs $0 and the ROI is approx. three to four years depending on the usage, area and set-up. For more information please visit our Solar Heating section by following this link. #solarpoolheating
Standard incandescent lights use between 120 W to 500 W and last only 800 – 1200 hours. Modern LED bulbs have a life expectancy of up to ten times longer and use less than 40 W of energy. All LED manufacturers offer multi-colored LEDs which is another advantage over traditional pool lighting.
Just by installing a timer and running the equipment off-peak or mid-peak hours can make a difference. The ultimate energy and cost saver however is a fully controlled and automated pool. Companies like Hayward® and Pentair® offer a wide array of pool automation which can be tied into your home automation system. All systems are controllable by smart-phones, tablets, laptops and over the internet.
Evaporation, convection and thermal radiation account for about 95% of heat loss. Depending on the region and the length of the season a pool cover can save 50% to 70% of heating costs. Even pools without a heater should be covered at all times when not in use. The best solution is an automated cover. Coverstar offers a great variety.
Even a simple bubble cover can absorb up to 80% of the heat energy that hits the cover and transfer it to the water.
It is very unfortunate but even today most pool builders still use the traditional 1.5 inch (38 mm) diameter piping.
Research, tests and basic physics show that 1.5 inch (38 mm) piping is the worst choice to build a pool. The friction and energy loss is horrendous. Modern pools should utilize at least 2 inch (51 mm) piping or even bigger. As smaller the pipe gets as higher is the energy loss due to friction. This means the smaller the pipe diameter is the harder the pump has to work the shorter is its life expectancy. The friction loss in a 1.5 inch (38 mm) PVC pipe is 4 times higher than in 2 inch (51 mm) pipe. Builders should also utilize 90 degree sweep elbows since they have the least friction loss compared to 90 degree elbows or two 45 degree elbows combined.
Upgrading the pipe at the pump pad to 2 inch (51 mm) pipe and reducing the amount of 90 degree elbows can save money on energy costs, extend the life of the equipment and contribute to a cleaner pool.
Contact us today and book an appointment for an Energy Audit and to evaluate your system by our NSPF® Certified Aquatic Energy Auditor™ (CAEA™)
• The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals
• National Swimming Pool Foundation
• Consortium for Energy Efficiency
• International Swimming Pool and Spa Code
• Aquatherm Industries
• U.S. Department of Energy
• Hayward Industries
• Pentair Ltd.
• Consolidated Pool and Spa Industries Inc.