Choosing a Heating System for your Swimming Pool.
When choosing a heating system for your pool there are a number of factors to weigh up, including cost of installation, cost of running, convenience and the temperature accuracy, if there is a dependency on the weather, and your swimming season. The table and information below should help to weight these up for you.
Running cost implications.
To accurately identify the running costs on a pool there are a number of factors. These will largely depend on the outdoor temperature and the amount you use your pool. To give you a rough idea, in a 6 month swimming season a heat pump will cost approximately £5 per day to run a 10m x 4m compass pool at 28°C. This will vary through the season, costing more at either end when the weather is bad than in the middle when it could be considerably less. The table to the right will help you to compare this to other options.
Indoor pool costs are up to £10 per day for an average family pool when you take into account the environmental control costs as well.
Swimming pool running costs are a common question. There is no exact answer to “how much does it cost to run a pool” but this should help give you a guide.
Central heating system
Basic swimming pool heating can be achieved using a heat exchanger (radiator for pools) connected to your existing heating system. Compass will connect up the heat exchanger to the pool, you can then have a heating engineer connect this using a motorized valve to your existing central heating system. Costs similar to adding an additional radiator plus some electrical work.
The heat pump.
In today’s climate and economic conditions a heat pump provides one of the cheapest and most environmentally friendly ways of heating your pool. Using electricity heat is taken from the air and concentrated down into the pool water delivering an efficiency of up to 5 times the electrical energy put in. These can heat a pool up to 40°C in outdoor temperatures of 15 °C, and up to 30°C in ambient temperatures of 10°C. Essentially, in an average UK year it will perform well between March and October. For those looking to swim all year round a hybrid system should be considered using a fossil fuel to supplement during the cold weather. A heat pump will cost approximately 50p per hour and will range in operation from 4 hours per day to 24 hours in very cold weather. Running costs average out to approximately £150 per month depending on the ambient temperature and length of season. Compass use between a 14kW and 19kW heat pump (heat output not energy consumption) depending on the size of the pool. 19kW is the largest heat pump that can be installed on a single phase electrical supply found in most UK homes.
Gas or Oil
Compass can supply a conventional gas or oil boiler for your pool. This is only recommended for those looking to swim all year round, and not concerned too much with running costs.
New Direct Solar
New for 2014 Compass pools are introducing Direct Solar. Historically swimming pool solar heating systems in the UK have been quite ineffective as they have utilised one of two methods. The first is Black Panel matting where pool water is passed through a plastic mat to harness the energy from the sun. This is moderately effective when the ambient temperature is warm but becomes a radiator when it is cold, cooling the pool water.
The alternative method is Evacuated heat tubes. These are up to 98% effective at harnessing the heat from the sun, however up until now a heat exchange has been required to prevent pool water from passing directly through the tube as this will corrode them. This heat exchanger introduces an efficiency to the system.
The new compass pools solar panels are lined with Borosilicate (Pyrex) Glass which does not corrode and maximizes this efficiency even on cloudy days.
The frame is made of anodised aluminium and several panels can be coupled together. A small backup system is recommended for the beginning and end of the season and for unusual climate changes.
Other Energy Sources
Compass can use a heat exchanger to connect to any hot water source, including ground source heat pumps or even wood pellet heating! The source must be capable of producing 60°C water temperature to work effectively during the seasons you want to swim.
For those looking to swim all year round and willing to invest up-front, a hybrid system is the answer. With this method, we combine a primary system such as solar or heat pump that are ambient temperature or weather dependent with a fossil fuel or electric system to ensure a constant pool temperature is maintained. The hybrid system will monitor the outside air temperatures and heat output from the primary source. If this drops below a set threshold, the system will automatically switch to the alternative source. This gives the best of both worlds: energy savings where available, but a constant pool temperature when you need it.