How to pay back the cost of an Autopool® in a few months
Fig.1 – An Example of a Autopool® pool controller
The CRONOS® and CRIUS®4.0
Autopool® pool controllers (Fig.1) provide two control mechanisms for the pumps.
The first is an overnight setting; most pools have ‘downtime’ overnight when it isn’t necessary to run the pumps above the ‘minimum’.* When doing this, pool operators may be advised to install an accurate flow meter, whose output can be fed directly into the pool controller.
*It is important to determine the minimum pump speed that results in the minimum acceptable flow rate for the pool, this is done by taking various factors into consideration such as pool volume and the filter type.
When the chlorine residual is at its set point (within band 1) the pump is set to run at the minimum flow rate. When the residual drops into band 2 (indicating greater use of the pool), not only does this increase the chlorine dose but also the circulating pump rate. As the chlorine dips into band 3 (indicating even greater pool use) the pump is turned up again, and further still in band 4, to its maximum setting. By optimising these bands, the pool operator can ensure that the circulating pumps are always operating at the minimum flow rate required to maintain pool water quality, thereby minimising energy costs and CO2 emissions.
After 8 months of exemplary dosing control, Crow Wood then implemented the inverter control option to reduce circulation pump power usage. Data from October 2015 has shown that the conservative settings within the control algorithms have produced an average power saving of 38%. This equates to an average saving of 94 kWh/day or approximately £5550 (€6311, $6879) per year*.
During the initial installation period, chlorine and pH control was monitored closely (fig.4). Peak pool usage occurs during Friday mornings with an aqua-aerobics class, and on Saturday mornings when the pool is heavily used by families. The graph below shows that even in these high demand situations Chlorine and pH control have been easily maintained.
Crow Wood Leisure in Burnley, UK is a high quality, award winning, private leisure facility running a number of pools and spas. In a drive to increase bathing water quality and to reduce CO2 emissions, Crow Wood installed two CRIUS® pool controllers (Fig.3) in 2008 and renewed them in 2022.
Implementation of an Autopool® pump control package can greatly reduce the power consumption of the pumps (10%-50%) providing a pay back of anything from 3 months to 2 years. This calculation does not include the savings that can be made by reduced wear and tear, reduced maintenance, and the resulting longer pump life.
Fig.3 – A picture of one of the Autopool® pool controllers installed at Crow Wood Leisure
*Figures derived from a 1 month trial on a 25m pool at Crow Wood Leisure. Anecdotal evidence on many other installations suggests that pay back would be considerably quicker for a bigger pool.
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