NCS Pool Heating – covering the Central Coast, Newcastle, Hunter and Sydney

Below are some articles that we hope you will find interesting about pool solar heating and solar pool blankets. NCS Pool Heating has been providing pool heating and pool covers throughout the Central Coast, Newcastle, Hunter and Sydney for twenty years now so we regularly receive industry information about new or interesting developments.

If you have written any interesting articles on pool solar heating, please email them to us with permission to add them to the NCS Pool Heating website.

Aquatherm Industries, Inc. announced today it has set a world record in solar thermal efficiency with its newest flagship collector, Ultrasun. The collector was tested at TUV Rheinland PTL in Tempe, Arizona to ISO Standard 9806 and certified by IAPMO R&T (International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials).

Having achieved a performance rating of over 92% on the intercept efficiency curve, the Ultrasun Collector sets a world record in solar thermal collector efficiency. IAPMO testing protocol results in three distinct performance rating categories, representing several climate variables in order to most accurately model real-world performance. Of the three, Category B represents a temperature differential of 9 degrees F (example: 76 degree F air temperature, 85 degree F pool temperature), and is widely considered “normal pool heating conditions.” Under Category B, on a 1,500 BTU (“Mildly Cloudy”) day, Aquatherm’s Ultrasun Collector is rated at 1,000 BTUs per square foot, per day, the highest of any unglazed pool heating collector testing under ISO 9806.

Ultrasun Sample Image

Dramatically different from any other solar thermal collector, the Ultrasun product has been certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 50 and awarded three U.S. and International Patents. A glass-reinforced, insert-molded header design provides unprecedented strength and durability at the riser-tube connection, improving system performance and lifespan. Inside the header, a permanently embedded “stem-block” gives the panel precise, direct-metered flow, resulting in maximum heat transfer (even when using a variable-speed pump). This same patented technology is shared in two of Aquatherm’s otherproducts, “Sunlite” and “Ecolite,” which hit a milestone last year as the manufacturer surpassed 25 million square feet of collector area for those products.

When asked why IAPMO was chosen to certify the performance of the Ultrasun collector Aquatherm’s President, Dave Sizelove stated that “We chose the IAPMO certification program because of our long history with them and their exceptional IAPMO customer service.” He added, “One company has had a virtual monopoly on national collector performance certification for over 30 years and IAPMO has now given manufacturers a choice.”

Sizelove also credits IAPMO and their quality control procedures, which Aquatherm fully adopted in 2007, eventually leading to Aquatherm becoming an ISO 9001:2008 Registered Company.

Les Nelson, Director of Solar Heating and Cooling Programs at IAPMO stated, “With the demand for solar certification skyrocketing once again amidst the global push for environmental sustainability, IAPMO R&T remains a manufacturer’s best ally in showing compliance to the required standards in the United States, Canada and now internationally.”

About Aquatherm

Aquatherm Industries is the largest manufacturer of solar pool heating systems in the United States; the only U.S. manufacturer of NSF listed solar pool heaters, and the only U.S. solar collector manufacturer to achieve the ISO 9001:2008 quality standard. Aquatherm manufactures several of the industry’s leading brands of solar pool heating collectors, including the Solar Industries, Ecosun and Ultrasun solar pool heating collectors.

Aquatherm’s entire manufacturing process takes place at its 50,000-square foot technology center in Lakewood, NJ – the most modern facility of its kind in the world.

Solar Thermal on a Field

Solar Thermal

At Eglin Air Force Base in Valparaiso, FL, the nearly 14,000 square foot pool is used for recruit training and exercise, as well as recreation and leisure for those stationed at the base and their families. But for facility operators, the cost of keeping the pool warm enough to use was costing the base upwards of several thousand dollars each month. Pool Solar heating was proposed as the most cost-effective alternative to the existing gas-powered boiler, and an invitation to bid went out.

Sean Gardner, owner of Compass Pools , FL, has been selling and installing Ecosun Solar Pool Heating Systems for over 10 years, with a number of large commercial projects under his belt. Sean’s experience and dedication to quality has helped him achieve the elite distinction of becoming an Ecosun Master Dealer. Though the Eglin installation would be his largest to date, Sean eagerly threw his hat in the ring for the project. Sean explained to facility operators how his proposed design – an array of 164 black polypropylene collectors (often referred to as panels) – could dramatically reduce their operating costs by harnessing the sun’s free energy. Each collector is divided into just over 100 small tubes that water runs directly through. As the pool water circulates through the collectors, over 1,000 BTUs of thermal energy per square foot are absorbed by the water before returning to the pool.

Based on Sean’s comprehensive payback analysis and experience, Compass Solar was awarded the bid. The collectors were to be mounted on eight custom all- aluminium ground racks adjacent to the pool, ranging in size from 52′ to 104′ long. The racks would then be anchored by 160 2′ x 4′ concrete footers poured using round forms, allowing it to withstand three-second gusts of 140 mph winds. With the housing market stagnant and new pool construction still down, there has been a natural shift in most Dealers’ markets toward larger commercial pools and aquatic facilities. “This was definitely the largest solar pool heating project we had ever taken on,” says Sean, “but thanks to my crew and everyone involved, it was also one of the most fun.” When operational, the solar array is capable of heating over 650 gallons of pool water, per minute. The system generates 5.9 million BTUs daily, offsetting approximately 1.7 Megawatts daily. Capable of consistently providing temperatures of 85 to 95 degrees from March to December, the system can be adjusted by raising or lowering a simple thermostat.

The collectors will be drained during the colder months to prevent freezing, and the existing gas-powered boiler will handle the heating load. “The goal of the $177,175 project is to reduce gas consumption and up-keep on the existing boiler,” according to Pablo Cruz, of the 96th Civil Engineer Group. The solar heating system is expected to save the base $24,000 per year and should pay for itself in approximately seven years.

Solar Pool Blankets Finished Installation

Solar Pool Blankets

A Solar Pool Cover aims to extend your swimming season by making the water warmer, cutting down the evaporation and so the necessity to constantly top your pool up and finally, reducing the usage of chemicals which are lost in the evaporation process. Therefore, a pool blanket also makes life easier around your swimming pool and is environmentally responsible. In addition to the above, people with solar heating on their swimming pools very often purchase a pool solar blanket to further enhance the performance of the pool solar heating system.

The solar pool blanket can reduce the cost of running your solar heating by up to 70%.NCS Pool Heating uses Australis who is the only pool cover manufacturer to weld their blankets horizontally, for ease of rolling. Our blankets are made from a “Sealed Air Australia” Pool Cover plastic (Suncap), which is a Smart Watermark Approved material.

Benefits of Solar Pool Cover are:

  • Can heat your pool by up to 8 Degrees Celsius
  • Can reduce the rate of evaporation by as much as 97%
  • Cut your chemical usage by as much as 50%
  • Will keep your pool much cleaner
  • Make your Solar Pool Heating more efficient.

How does a Solar Pool Cover heat the pool? The Pool Cover is a translucent colour which allows the sun’s solar energy to pass through the blanket and heat the water. The blanket acts as an insulator, via the prevention of water evaporation. Almost 95% of the pools temperature is lost through the surface area of the pool. As the Pool Cover acts like a lid, you could almost say the pool cover traps in the heat. The stronger the sun’s energy, the warmer the pool. What about evaporation? The Solar Pool Cover should be cut to fit the pool so that there is no exposed water. Ideally there should be a small lip that rises up the side of the coping wall. A properly fitted pool cover can reduce the amount of evaporation by as much as 97%. Evaporation occurs from the surface of the water and as the cover is a protective barrier on the surface level, this is how it reduces the evaporation.

The two major sources of evaporation are:

  • When there is a major difference in temperature between the outside air temp and the water temp. Generally speaking this will occur when the water temperature is relatively warm and the nights are cool.
  • When there is a gentle breeze present. A light breeze can double the evaporative rate. It is estimated depending on your location that the individual pool can lose between 50% and 150% of the pools capacity in water per year.

A recent study by Sydney Water showed that coastal locations eg. Manly had significantly higher evaporative rates than their inner suburb counterparts eg. Castle Hill, due to the afternoon seabreezes. However, those pools in inland towns, would experience significant evaporative loss through temperature difference, caused by the cooler evenings.