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Helping swimming pools go green

7 min read
Insights Content green pool

Discover how, by using the right air handling unit, it is possible to strike the right balance between preserving optimal humidity and temperature levels in a swimming pool and saving money through effective energy savings.

Across Europe, regardless of industry or location, there is a massive push to “go green” and work in the most sustainable, energy-efficient way possible.

The swimming pool industry is no exception to this. Standards like EN 13779 and EN 13053 set the tone for what performance was required by air handling units across Europe – and most countries have gone beyond this by setting even greater target values for both Specific Fan Power (SFP) and heat exchanger efficiency.

Historically, substantial sums of energy have been required to control humidity and temperature around the swimming pool, not only protecting the wellbeing of users and staff, but also the structural integrity of the building. However, this also creates a lot of potential for significant energy savings – if you know how to achieve these.

That is what we aim to unlock in this article. Here, we will highlight several ways that you can update, adapt and renovate your air handling systems to deliver the best possible blend of climate control and energy consumption, and why Dantherm air handling units help you realise these substantial energy savings.

Containing energy consumption in your air handling unit

An indoor swimming pool is a complex, delicate environment that needs constant control and maintenance. Finding the right balance of humidity, temperature and air quality will differ from location to location, and will naturally require an air handling unit specifically chosen and adjusted to meet these unique requirements.

Of course, to create this consistent, comfortable climate around the pool area, the air handling unit will rely on energy. Yet, the amount of energy it consumes can vary significantly based on how effectively the unit is designed and the control strategy behind this.

Below, we will break down 4 important factors that can greatly influence energy consumption of your air handling unit, without compromising on the quality of climate control around your pool:

4 ways to improve energy consumption

1. Using high-efficiency motors and fans

First, assess the efficiency of the various components of your air handling unit, namely your motors and fans. These are not all created equal – as these systems and the technology behind them has evolved over the years, more high-efficiency fans and motors have been developed that deliver the same performance at much lower running costs.

Reduce overall energy consumption by 25%

Consider the following, especially if you have an aged air handling unit – the use of a low-efficiency motor (80% efficiency) and belt drive (80% efficiency), compared with a normal fan motor (87%) and direct driven fans (92%), could result in up to a 25% increase in overall energy consumption.

So, it is critical to evaluate the performance of your air handling unit’s motors and fans, and whether introducing more efficient components will save you significantly more in the long run.

Utilising more efficient motors and fans in your air handling unit can greatly cut down its running costs, while not compromising on performance.

2. Reducing pressure drop

Secondly, substantial pressure loss in both the air handling unit itself and the ducts can make a big difference to how much energy it consumes on a daily basis. Designing your system to minimise this drop as much as possible during its regular use can lead to sizeable energy savings by maintaining a consistently low pressure level.

For example, if the duct pressure was at 400Pa for 10 hours of full air volume during the day and 14 hours half-air volume at night, this would increase energy consumption of your air handling system by a further 20%.

Again, this demonstrates the importance of an air handling unit specified by professionals that understand your environment, the needs of your pool and the capabilities of air handling units. With 40+ years’ experience using and understanding this technology, Dantherm is well-suited to tailor your system around your exact requirements, delivering both total climate control and maximum energy efficiency.

Preventing significant pressure drop in your air handling solution cuts down energy consumption, keeping pressure levels at a consistent, stable level.

3. Heat recovery efficiency

Heat recovery is another notable way for an air handling unit to cut down on energy consumption. By capturing a greater percentage of the heat from the exhaust air and transferring this over to the fresh air coming in from outside, this can save huge amounts of energy that would otherwise be spent warming that cold air up.

Heat recovery efficiency

This difference over time will lead to substantial savings, especially at busy times where a lot of fresh air is required due to the number of people using the pool.

However, this again depends on the circumstances surrounding your swimming pool. For instance, if your pool’s use is quite infrequent, investing in a unit with high heat recovery might not be financially beneficial in the long term.

Harnessing an air handling solution with strong heat recovery reduces the need to use additional energy to reheat the fresh air entering the pool area, saving costs and cutting down emissions over time.

4. Robust control system

Finally and arguably most importantly, an air handling unit’s energy-saving potential largely lies in the control strategy and solutions surrounding it. An experienced supplier like Dantherm will always take the time to understand the factors surrounding your pool – size, occupancy, water temperatures, etc. – to determine a unit that will deliver you the best balance of performance and energy-efficiency.

Plus, by enabling you to monitor performance and track data/occupancy at all times, this means your control strategy can quickly adapt to maintain this optimal balance. Pool environments change regularly – you could have 50-60 people in there one hour, and only 10 the next. The fresh air demands would be remarkably different, and consequently so would the energy demands on your air handling unit.

Having the means to quickly monitor and adjust your climate control settings based on what's happening in the pool means that you are always in control of how much energy you are spending, ensuring this stays within boundaries that meet your financial expectations and your environmental obligations.

By proactively monitoring conditions in the pool area and adjusting your air handling unit’s performance accordingly, you can ensure you are achieving both optimal performance and maximising energy-saving in all circumstances.

We hope that these suggestions have illustrated what difference can be made by designing your air handling unit around maximising energy efficiency, and that it inspires some thought over the potential savings you could be making with the right system in place.

Of course, it is crucial that the pursuit of energy efficiency does not come at the expense of total climate control around your swimming pool. Failing to manage high humidity levels can both dramatically worsen the experience for customers and place their wellbeing at risk, and cause water damage that gradually hurts the quality and strength of your surrounding building.

Back by decades of experience supporting swimming pools of all shapes, sizes and applications, Dantherm air handling units can be adapted and tailored to deliver the perfect balance of effective climate control and minimal energy consumption.

Our experts will consider your unique circumstances and the nature of your swimming pool(s) to determine the most suitable solution from our wide range to suit your needs – ensuring your environment is at no risk of humidity-driven water damage, while unlocking energy-saving opportunities wherever possible.

Plus, we can provide powder-coating both inside and outside of your unit, adding an extra layer of protection against these harsh environments so your unit runs longer, saving you further on maintenance and repair work.

For more information on our extensive selection of air handling units, get in touch with our team using the contact form below.

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