Here Comes The
Keeping your pool warm and comfortable throughout the year, colder months included, can be a costly feat both monetarily, and for the environment. But it doesn’t have to be – using a combination of innovative products, you can significantly reduce your impact on the Earth and in turn, your household energy bill. Here, director of Supreme Heating, Colin Mauger, shares his expert insight with Sydney Pool + Outdoor Design’s Jacqueline Foy, to uncover how pool heating can be both sustainable and effective.
One of Australia’s longest established, innovative pool heating companies, Supreme Heating started operation in 1990 in a Melbourne backyard shed. Today, it has evolved into an organisation servicing the heating needs of the national residential and commercial swimming pool industry. As the founder and director, Mauger has been a major driving force to develop and introduce eco-friendly products to the Australian pool industry. From diamond-shaped pool covers to hybrid heat pumps, using one or a combination of Supreme Heating’s different solar pool heating products can help you curate a heating system that can warm your pool sustainably, without costing the planet, and saving you money at the same time
Ongoing changes in customer expectations and government regulations to meet emission reduction targets have resulted in a shift towards more sustainable practices and products for the industry as a whole. “Sustainable products are critical for achieving success and creating positive outcomes for the industry,” Mauger says. “We consistently pioneer new, energy efficient heating products, most of which did not exist in the marketplace back in the early 1990s,” he says. This innovation resulted in a range of solar-focussed products, a combination of which can greatly reduce your emissions and in turn your energy cost.
The amalgamation of a correctly designed solar pool heating and heat pumps, along with pool covers and solar electricity panels, also known as photovoltaics (PV) panels, can be used to heat the pool sustainability and for free. “We call [it] the Zero Energy Pool,” Mauger says. “The combined heating power of solar and [a] heat pump will result in rapid recovery of overnight losses,” he explains, ensuring reduced operating costs for the homeowner.
HARNESS THE SUN
Solar pool heating is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to heat your pool and reduce your carbon footprint. Using solar power instead of fossil fuels to heat water significantly lowers your heating bills and doesn’t require any fossil fuel combustion, instead using the most renewable energy source of all – the sun. “Solar pool heaters have almost the same upfront cost to install as an electric heat pump, but without the ongoing running cost,” Mauger says, making them the most sustainable and cost-effective pool heating solution for an extended swim season.
But how do they work, exactly? The chilly water from your pool is pumped up to the roof and is heated by the sun, “the water [is circulated] through flexible tubes that are usually installed on the roof,” Mauger explains, “these black tubes heat up on sunny days and increase the pool temperature quickly and efficiently,” he continues. After that, it’s returned to your pool at a much higher temperature.
Supreme Heating’s patented design, the Heatseeker Plus features an elliptical profile for the flexible tubes of the solar absorbers. “The elliptical profile provides increased exposure to the sun by up to 30 percent compared to the round tubes,” Mauger says, making them more effective to use. Best of all, once your solar pool heater is in place, the sun will continuously heat your water for free across its lifespan.
Pool covers are essential to achieving higher pool temperatures with solar systems and to reduce the operating cost of electric heat pumps. Blankets provide pools with thermal insulative properties that maintain the pool’s temperature for longer, not only saving money on heating bills but valuable energy resources too.
The main benefit of pool covers is the reduction of water evaporation, which in turn reduces the evaporation heat loss as well as preserving the water in your pool. This becomes a more important issue for heated pools in winter, where your heat pump is working in overdrive to keep the water warm. “The rate of evaporation increases when the pool is 20 to 30 degrees warmer than the air, making it impossible for a heat pump to work efficiently in colder months,” Mauger says.
No matter what type you choose for your pool, Mauger believes it is integral to have a cover. Solar pool covers are semi-transparent and allow the sun’s rays to naturally heat the pool with the added benefit of thermal insulation and reduced evaporation heat loss. Using a solar pool cover or a well-insulated cover like Supreme Heating’s Diamond Pool blanket can reduce the daily water loss in your pool significantly – by up to three times.
TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK
The combination of a correctly designed solar pool heating system, with a heat pump along with pool covers and solar panels, can be used to heat the pool sustainability – Supreme Heating’s hybrid pool heating solution is very popular because of the mix of techniques, really optimising its efficiency. “The traditional solar pool heater reduces the load on the heat pump and ensures [that] the surplus PV power can be stored or used elsewhere,” Mauger explains. You can use any combination of methods to make your pool work for you. “We recommend using a pool cover as a minimum to reduce water and temperature loss,” Mauger suggests, also stating that overall, a solar pool heater is still the most sustainable way to heat a pool.
Images courtesy of Supreme Heating