Heating Hydrotherapy pool – Sha’ar Ha-negev
The therapeutic traits of water have been renowned since ancient times. Since then, an abundant of treatments have been developed which all involve water for mental and physical relief. They are knows as Hydrotherapy (Hydro=water, Therapy=treatment). Amongst the best known therapeutic traits of water is the weightless feeling when immersed. Body weight significantly drops when in water so it's easier to treat the patient's pains without any weight on the spine.
Hydrotherapy treatments are conducted in a special pool. Water level, accessories and special instruments as well as a carefully monitored heating system are all a part of the operation necessary to maintain such a facility. The heating system is extremely important as water temperature is critical to the treatments. Hydrotherapy pool water is maintained at 34°C [93°F], close to body temperature. Due to the warm water, blood flow increases, muscles are loosened and can be treated and ultimately there is a feeling of relief on sore muscles and joints. Emotionally, warm water minister tranquility and assist in stress reduction.
The ultimate option for heating hydrotherapy pool water is using solar energy. Solar energy utilizes the abundant, free Sun source. It significantly reduces energy bills and enables full control on water temperature with minimal maintenance. Water temperature is constantly monitored by two sensors and an automatic controller responsible for its functioning.
We are proud to share a case study of one of our dear clients, the Hydrotherapy pool at Sha'ar Ha-Negev, whose been working with us for many years. The facility is a nonprofit organization bur the benefit of the local public, especially for the disabled community in the Negev region, focusing on rehabilitation.
Our solar pool heating system is active at Sha'ar Ha-Negev since 2006. When, 92 Heliocol (HC-50) collectors were installed. The center boasts two heated pools: a 135 cubic meters [35k gallons] Hydrotherapy pool heated to 34°C [93°F] and a 470 cubic meters [124k gallons] public swimming pool heated to 28°C [82°F].
Over the years the collectors have been replaced a number of times, most of the times were instigated by us due to our wish to test new brands, however in 2010, the reason for the replacement was a direct hit of a Qassam rocket. From a filed inspection conducted after the missile hit, it was apparent that the collectors were damaged from shrapnel, the direct hit and the high temperatures and blast shock that followed. The solar collectors as well as the inlet and outlet pipes were completely impaired, the pumps and controllers were intact. The damaged parts were replaced and the solar pool heating system returned to function.
In 2011, with the launch of our semi-glazed solar pool heating collector, 27 or the Heliocol collectors heating the Hydrotherapy pool were replaced with the beta version of eco-Spark. In 2018 during Sunique's launch (a newly developed, high efficiency solar collector) the remaining Heliocol collectors were replaced by Sunique. Today 27 eco-Spark and 65 Sunique collectors are installed.
There is no doubt a solar system is the most cost effective method to heat pool water at any therapeutic facility that requires warm water year round. The results at Sha'ar He-Negev speak for themselves: the return of investment of the system was only 3 years. They are experiencing 30%-50% energy costs savings. The energy savings for the Hydrotherapy pool alone is 50% - 15,000 NIS a year (about USD 4,000). The energy savings for the public pool stands at 44% - 45,000 NIS a year (about USD 11,000). Beyond the overall 60,000 NIS (USD 15,000) savings every year they are enjoying using a sustainable system that reduce CO2 emission and the pollution from burning gas for heating.
Oded Koren, the facility's maintenance manager, summarizes in his own words the solar system: "to this day, this system provides an excellent energy saving solution…..when we require service we are immediately being taken care of. For me, as responsible for maintaining the pool, it is extremely important to have a reliable system I can count on".