Without effective dehumidification and ventilation, indoor swimming pools are taking a risk - overly humid conditions can lead to condensation mould, corrosion and even structural damage due to chemicalsin the moisture-laden air. For pool users, there's an uncomfortable environment to contend with which can be even worse for swimmers with certain conditions. So getting the environment right is essential and thisissue, we look at some of the solutions on offer.
Providing the correct dehumidification and ventilation to swimming pool halls can be a real challenge but without it, problems will arise and one of the most obvious issues is condensation on the pool hall structure, something which if not dealt with will ultimately lead to damage of either the decor or even the structure of the building.
So it's essential that an indoor pool hall should have an well planned and appropriate dehumidification and ventilation system which will provide comfortable conditions for swimmers and spectators just as importantly, protects the building itself.
Thankfully, when it come s to what's on offer, there's plenty of choice, experience and advice available, meaning designers and installers should find choosing the most energy efficient way to manage the pool hall environment a breeze and is inline with building control regulations. This issue we take a look at some of the companies and products that are creating the right environment for indoor pools.
In addition, products such as the Calorex Environmental Control Systems' Variheat and Delta models provide intelligent dehumidifier and ventilation combination. Designed for energy efficiency as well as flexibility, these robust units allow for complete environmental control of pools - both commercial and domestic.
Choosing the right dehumidification is a task which can mystify the most competent of pool engineers. This is why using an established and experienced manufacturer to bring the right solution to each and every project is key to success. As one of the world's largest swimming pool equipment manufacturer's, Zodiac have been designing and building bespoke environmental control systems for indoor pools for over 30 years.
With two dedicated manufacturing facilities, in France and Germany, the Zodiac range can cater for the smallest pool hall and budget through to the largest commercial facility and the company are able to offer access to an unrivalled, extensive range of dehumidification systems from simple wall hung sirocco units to the most advanced SET fresh air recovery systems.
In addition, and as part of their dedicated service, they are also able to design all aspects of the complete air handling system, including bespoke CAD ducting drawings from customer plans, giving pool builders and designers the opportunity to provide a turn-key service to their clients.
With advances in technology, pool dehumidification is now just one part of the environmental control required for today's indoor swimming pools.
The key elements in pool environmental control include dehumidification ventilation, air quality, air heating and pool water heating.
It is therefore essential that environmental control systems utilise methods of energy recovery, often using refrigeration technology, to condense out excess humidity without the need to throw away the warm pool air.
Heatstar is a leading UK manufacturer of swimming pool environmental control systems and has been developing cutting edge technology for pool climate control for over 30 years.
For example, a Heatstar system such as the Phoenix EC encompasses all the available dehumidification and energy saving technologies and is fully compliant with the latest building control regulations for both residential and non-residential applications.
The Phoenix EC represents the optimum environmental control solution for the highest specification indoor swimming pools and combines three different technologies to achieve amazing performance.
'Blue EC* On Demand Fan Technology:The most energy efficient digital fans on the market also utilise auto-fan technology where the speed and power of the air re-circulation fan is managed automatically to enable significant energy savings whenever there is a low demand for dehumidification or air heating. This provides the lowest operating cost of any such system.
'Cross Flow' Recuperator: The recuperator passively conducts heat from the exhausted pool room air via a series of adjoining plates directly to the incoming colder fresh air. This process, in combination with the dehumidification heat pump, produces unrivalled levels of heat recovery.
Dehumidification Heat Pump: Creates a cold evaporator coil to condense the moisture present in the air to reduce humidity levels. Through this process the heat pump absorbs both latent and sensible energy which is then upgraded and recycled back into both the pool room air and pool water. Efficiencies of over 380% are possible through this process.
Complementing its range of swimming pool hall environmental control systems, Calorex FX systems offer clients a further choice of equipment specification - all from one source.
Suitable for hotels, wellness centres and private indoor swimming pools, the Calorex FX System is an effective fresh air ventilation system that uses outdoor air to provide dehumidification using a double pass heat exchanger that delivers up to 95% heat recovery.
Ensuring a comfortable, healthy indoor climate is obviously the most important job for a system like this, as this protects both the people who use the pool and the building. But operating costs are equally important, and the FX2 and 3 are extremely efficient.
The double cross flow heat exchanger delivers up to 95% heat recovery, combined with low-energy EC fan motors to ensure the lowest possible operating costs and low cost of ownership. The built-in mixing function and optimised control strategy takes care not to add any more outdoor air than necessary to provide a comfortable indoor climate.
Free cooling can be provided during summer, when the unit can add up to 100 % outside air into the pool area through an automatic by-pass.
Furthermore, the installation costs can be minimised with the FX2 and 3. The compact unit comes fully assembled, with built-in LPHW air heating coil and control system. The basic installation procedure is to position the unit, connect it to the duct system, power supply and plumbing system and it is ready to get to work!
"Choosing the right dehumidification is a task which can mystify the most competent of pool engineers. This is why using an established and experienced manufacturer to bring the rightsolution to each and every projectis key to success"
For peace of mind for years to come, the FX Systems contain only the most durable components to endure the aggressive environment encountered in swimming pools.
After commissioning a Delta 6 at Scarborough's Crown Spa Hotel, Anthony Houfe of Pool Heat Ltd gave his honest appraisal. "As proud Calorex approved service agents for the past 25 years, we maintain a very good relationship with Caiorex and Certikin, speaking with them daily. When we were made aware of the new PLC controlled Deltas coming to the market we watched closely for its release."
"In the meantime we had a very good customer, the Crown Spa Hotel in Scarborough, who we look after and maintained with a Calorex Delta 6B which was now approaching 14 years old. One day in passing I spoke with the hotel's Spa manager, Stuart Russell, about the new PLC Calorex model."
"He asked us to provide some more information so they could weigh up the benefits of the new model over the existing one and asked for a price. The hotel is very 'green' and environmentally friendly and wherever possible looks to reduce energy usage. They did the sums and an order was duly placed with us."
"I must say that it has not only met but surpassed our expectations. We monitored the equipment after installation very closely and the feedback we got from the Crown Spa Hotel was very good indeed. They can tell the difference in the environment, pool hall and water temperature. The Delta heats the air and water so efficiently and the humidity is very tightly controlled."
Ecor Pro is one of the few actual designers and manufacturers of dehumidifiers in the UK. The engineering team, including the technical director, designed and built most of the dehumidifiers for the Ebac brand, which is where a lot of the team originated from. What was realised when forming the company seven years ago was that if you take excellent British engineering and exactly transfer those designs to a modern factory in China, then you have an excellent product at a highly competitive price.
Ecor Pro used these skills to manufacturer on behalf of clients under their very well known brand names. They also sell a range of wall mounted and ducted dehumidifiers capable of extracting up to 190 litres of water per day. A range which is ideal for private swimming pools from home s to hotels and from changing rooms to gyms and great at keeping the humidity at a pleasant level.
The key part of Ecor Pro designs is their internal production quality with better use of materials that give longevity to t he product even in chlorine filled pool environments.
With the management team each having over 30 years hands on experience delivering quality products, it is no surprise that Ecor Pro probably supply more swimming pool dehumidifiers into the UK market than anyone else.
Martin Gray, Ecor Pro's Co-Owner, said that the company is set for further international growth (looking to Europe and the USA): "We cater for the people who have pools up to around 150m2.
Our position is simple. Target customers who demand good quality dehumidifiers at probably the most competitive prices around. We believe in our products and that's why with each dehumidifier from us you get a two year warranty. Whether ducted or wall mount we have a product to suit and we are just scratching the market in Europe and the USA." Unsurprisingly, Martin also worked at Ebac, 20 years ago.
ABOVE : With an all new counterflow plate beat exchanger at ifS heart the Menerga ThermoCood' Type 38 is setting new standards of climate control in swimming pool halls.
Menerga have been providing air handling units in the UK for more than 35 years and have learnt a lot about what works and what doesn't in the swimming pool environment.
For example, the climate in the UK is quite unique meaning that for most of the year the CIBSE minimum recommendation of 30 % outside air will meet all of the dehumidification requirements. A standard pool hall is usually maintained at 30°C and at 60 % rh.
In periods of warmer outside air temperatures, the humidity within the pool hall can be allowed to shift with no risk of condensation on building fabric or comfort issues. By creating systems with extremely high heat recovery efficiencies there is no penalty to be paid for bringing in this outside air and ventilation losses are one of the biggest consumers of energy within swimming pools.
Providing the correct dehumicatication and ventilation to swimming pool halls can be a real challenge but without it, problems will arise and one of the most obvious issues is condensation on the pool hall structure..."
The company offer a range of systems including the ThermoCond® Type 38 units which are optimally designed air conditioning systems for private, hydrotherapy, hotel, competition and leisure pool halls. With an all new counterflow plate heat exchanger at its heart, the Menerga ThermoCond® Type 38 is setting new standards of climate control in swimming pool halls.
One of the first pools in the UK to benefit from the latest counterflow technology in a Type 38 unit, was at the Hoburne Bashley holiday park in the New Forest. They monitor their pool energy usage closely and needed to replace some aging equipment. Their decision to go with the Menerga unit was largely driven by the low running costs for their indoor water park that operates year round at the heart of their holiday site.
Since installation they have noticed a reduction in energy consumption at the same time as an improvement in conditions within the pool hall with no condensation visible on the windows and doors. The ability for the unit to deliver 100 % outside air means in the warmer months the atmosphere remains fresh and healthy year round.