Swimming pool circulation pumps use a considerable amount of energy to maintain the pool flow rate, costing thousands of pounds per year to run. Most swimming pool circulation pumps have been oversized at the build stage due to the limited range of pump sizes available. Due to the inherent friction losses in the system, from the design pipe and filter sizes the result is a build-up of pressure not an increase in flow within the system, which in turn can cause poor filtration. In the past this was regulated with the system valves, and whilst improving the overall flow through the system did nothing for the costly energy consumption. This energy consumption can be regulated and reduced by installing an inverter drive which will control the frequency of the power to the pump motor. Reducing the frequency of the power supply slows the pump speed and the system will work to the ideal flow rate and pressure, therefore improving filtration efficiency.
Maintaining the original design flow rate, calculated from the ‘instantaneous bathing load’ governed by the number of bathers over the square area of the pool, is a simple process of slowing the drive until the flow is achieved ( a flow meter is a prerequisite at this point). Although when the pool is empty the original flow rate is not absolutely necessary, and the wasted energy consumption is much the same as heating an empty house all day just in case someone comes home. However, it is not possible to arbitrarily reduce the flow based on a time clock or a manual switch, as the operator cannot tell what the current pool water conditions are. And so to ensure optimal disinfection control, with a varying flow rate, Topline recommend that the TEC2000 chlorine and pH controller is used to monitor the pool water conditions and actively control the speed of the drive, compensating for the change in flow through the controller flow cell.
As a rule of thumb the cost of the pump itself represents only 5% of its whole life costs, and by reducing the frequency of a drive by 20% the energy consumption will reduce by 50%. Typically a new drive, including installation, will pay back the costs in between 12 and 24 months, with a 10-12 year life expectancy. For the most part, where a valve is being used to regulate flow a variable speed drive will achieve that same flow control, but will also save money.
In recent years it’s become apparent that filter sand does not necessarily need to be changed every seven years, as was traditionally thought. Much of the drop off in efficiency in a sand filter can be directly attributed to a bio-fouling, which both clumps the sand grains together and harbours micro-organisms. By intensively cleaning the sand, then routinely keeping it clean, the sand is retained and maintains a high efficiency, reducing energy consumption, minimises chemical consumption and keeps pools safe, clear and sparkling.
Ancillary Backwashing Laterals
Topline have recently introduced a new innovation in backwashing swimming pool filters. In order to minimise the amount of water used to backwash a pool filter Topline retro-fit an additional set of filter laterals into the filter, monitored through a digital pressure gauge, and used for backwashing only. These ancillary backwash laterals are designed to penetrate immediately below the most heavily loaded part of the filter bed, and reduces the amount of water required for an effective & efficient backwashing.
Swimming pool and spa underwater lights are ubiquitous across all swimming pool market sectors, from domestic to health clubs & hotels, and from water parks to public pools. The use of underwater lighting is provided to increase the ambiance of the pool, however it is easy to overlook the cost of running and replacing the lamps, and so a change to an energy saving unit will cut the running costs and offer a good payback period against the installation upgrade works.
Compare the life expectancy and running costs of a typical 300w PAR56 lamp per year against the life expectancy and running costs of a Topline low energy 36w LED light, with a five year guarantee*, and the whole life costs, at around 16% of the traditional lamps, begin to mount up, even before the labour and ‘engineer-miles’ (and their associated carbon footprint) to get to site are added.
* It was almost inevitable wasn’t it. There will be some degree of terms and conditions to qualify for the 5 year LED guarantee, please contact us for further details.