Commercial pool winter heating expenses
The cold season has arrived, commercial pools are beginning to experience the burden of operational and energy consumption costs. This is exactly the time to consider heating the pool with solar energy. Solar heating will grant the pool owner the full potential of the facility and enable members to enjoy a longer and comfortable swimming experience. Winter is considered the season when energy costs are at their peak. Solar heating is most effective when it comes to energy cost savings. So, just in time for next year's budget, timing is perfect to plan and budget for a one-time investment in a solar pool heating system that has quick ROI and no operational costs! This is time or year is perfect to ask for quotes as pool builders are in their "low season" (from December until March).
It is important to know that the life span of the solar system is exceptionally long and requires no maintenance when left anchored to the roof, exposed to the sun. This article will review various types of commercial pools - outdoor pools that can only be used seasonally and indoor pools that can be used year round and examine how solar heating can benefit each type of pool:
1. Seasonal public pools-
- outdoor pools that are exposed to the elements. These pools usually belong to the municipality, the village or the community. A delicate balance exists in these pools' operation between the public's desire to swim before season officially begins and the budget for operating the facility, during which the pool usually opens around June (in the Northern Hemisphere). Seasonal heating such as solar heating would have enable an early opening and the luring of clients to the premises by extending the swim season beyond the usual 3 months. In Sydney, Australia for example, public pools that are heated with solar energy are open 6 months. However, it is important to consider the variable costs associated with operating a commercial pool - such as lifeguards, security and cleaning - that are enhanced as the season extends. That being said, investing in a solar pool heating system in a onetime investment that is able to significantly reduce heating costs and energy consumption and provide a unique and substantial service to bathers.
2. Outdoor pools at hotels -
similarly to seasonal pools these are also outdoor pools that are open only during summer. It is clearly a complicated task, for hotel owners to measure the worthiness of a solar pool heating that is why many ponder whether to invest in such a system that will enhance the enjoyment levels of guests. Magen eco-Energy's professional team offers to assist hotel managers in obtaining an energy consumption analysis for using solar to heat the facilities swimming pool. From our experience, hotel owners/managers that chose to upgrade to a solar pool heating system report happy guests that return time and time again for 10 even 20 years. It is a win-win situation: pure joy from swimming in a warm comfortable pool with minimum operational costs. Mexican hotels are an excellent example for such a behavioral pattern, the weather is warm and hotel guests start enjoying the pool a few months before season has officially started.
3. Indoor pools at sports centers -
public pools that belong to sports centers, universities, sport or country clubs operating year round. Many times these pools are operated by a concessionaire. In many of these cases the reasoning and considerations of the concessionaire may affect the decisions of long term investments in the property. If the pool owner chooses to invest in a solar pool heating system they will transfer to the operator a significant financial advantage as the savings are massive. A solar pool heating system is added to the existing heating method (gas, heat pumps etc'). This one-time investment results in lower energy bills when the sun is out and no energy consumption during spring, autumn and summer. Contrary to the fluctuating energy costs of gas, solar energy offers accurate energy savings calculations. When operational costs of a year round facility are closely analyzed, the solar system is certain to save 30-70% from the annual heating expenses, half a million to a million USD a year and the return of investment is between a year and half to four years considering the facility and pool condition.
4. Joined facility pools -
such as communal buildings or shared premises. These indoor pools are usually built inside a structure/basement and are not exposed to the sun; therefore they must be heated year round. If a solar pool system is installed it will take advantage of the suns' energy and the pool water will be heated for "free". Since the air in the enclosed structure is pleasant, there is no significant temperature or heat loss. During winter there is a need for backup heating but 8-9 months a year solar heating will provide almost full pool heating capabilities. If the possibility arises during the building of the premises to build the pool with a solar system infrastructure in place (a minor investment during the build). If a solar pool heating system is purchased after the building is completed and populated; the expenses are overset to the housing committee. Either way, this is an investment that is a significant money saver in the long run.