By Lisa Iannucci, Contributing Writer
A heated pool is an attractive amenity, but heating the pool with natural gas, propane or electricity, isn’t quite a green habit. Instead, consider a hybrid solar pool heater, such as the Ecosun Solar Pool Heating System.
A hybrid solar pool heating system heats the pool using solar, or energy from the sun, as the primary source of heat. It does use a gas heater or electric heat pump, but as a backup source. Why is solar heating a better way to go? Solar energy is free, so it enables you to significantly reduce operating costs, as opposed to using a standalone gas or electric heater. By using less fossil fuel, a hybrid system has less impact on the environment.
According to Ecosun, an Olympic-size pool which can be found as an amenity at many residential properties, for example, generally has about 12,000 feet of surface area and is typically heated for daily use. Aquatherm Industries uses polypropylene solar thermal panels designed specifically to heat swimming pools.
“In the past, the primary emphasis has been heating with fossil fuels, but the concept now, in this economy is if you are heating the pool with natural gas, propane or electric, you can save 40 to 60 percent if you’re heating year round and as much as 100 percent if you’re heating the pool only seasonally,” says Jody Gorran, chairman of Ecosun.
For example, a hybrid solar pool heater on an Olympic-size pool heated year-round with natural gas would save between 35,000 to 55,000 therms per year of gas and reduce carbon dioxide emissions between 400,000 to 600,000 pounds per year. The solar contribution is higher for pools that are not heated year-round and can save up to 100 percent of energy costs.
“Hybrid solar pool heating is so cost-effective that it would cost 10 times as much money to achieve the same economic and sustainability benefits through the reduction of the same number of therms of gas and the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions by a Solar Photovoltaic System (PV) for creating electricity or a Solar Domestic Hot Water System (DHW) for providing hot water for washing and bathing,” says Gorran. “So you get 10 times the bang for the solar buck when you invest in hybrid solar pool heating.
Gorran explains that it’s a five year ROI. Learn more about hybrid solar pool heating from Aquatherm Industries at www.hybridsolarpoolheating.com.