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Swimming Pools

Solar Swimming Pool Heaters can significantly reduce pool heating costs. The unit cost is competitive with both gas and heat pump pool heaters. As an added benefit, they have low annual operating costs, making pool heating one of the most cost-effective uses of solar energy.

A typical solar pool heating system includes a solar collector(s) through which pool water is circulated to be heated by the sun; a filter to remove debris from the water; a pump that circulates the water through the filter and collector and back to the pool; and a flow control valve that diverts pool water through the collector(s). During peak summer months the collector(s) can also be used to cool the pool by circulating water through the collector at night 1.

Pool covers can save 50 to 70 percent of the pool’s energy use, 30 to 50 percent of its makeup water, and 35 to 60 percent of its chemicals. For hotel swimming pools, indoor pool covers typically have a one year payback period. For outdoor pools and hot tubs the payback period is even shorter.

Indoor pools require simultaneous heating and dehumidification. Heat pump water heaters (HPWH) can efficiently serve both of these needs by heating the water while producing cool, dehumidified air for the room housing the pool. Using an HPWH can reduce heating costs for gas- and electricity-heated pools as much as 40 and 80 percent, respectively 2.

Variable speed pumps can save up to 90% over single speed pumps. Additional benefits include prolonged pump life and cooler running, quieter pumps.

1 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF Energy – Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
2 Environmental Protection Agency – Energy Star
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