Solar energy keeps temperature in outdoor pools on a comfortable level

Logo_solpool-kl06.03.2008 - Pool heating in balance with environmental and economical demands

Tags: solar energy, outdoor pools, SOLPOOL

Jumping in the blue water of a pool is one of summer´s greatest pleasures. Providers and owners of open-air swimming pool in Europe pay several million Euro per year to maintain water temperature. Rising costs for fossil fuels and ecological disadvantages from their use give owners - mostly local authorities - a real hard time. The use of solar energy offers a convincing alternative that meets also economical requirements. Scientists from ttz Bremerhaven and their international partners from the EU-project SOLPOOL will accelerate the spread of solarthermal systems. On march 14th 2008, the first Workshop in Germany will take place in Munich. The partners will encourage knowledge-transfer with similar workshops in eight other countries.

Bremerhaven, Februar 2008. On a hot summer day, the pool is the hot spot for young and elderly people. Everybody who is looking for a cool refreshment appreciates a temperature of 68 degrees. The necessary energy for heating up the water is provided for free during the summer time: the power of the sun guarantees comfortable temperatures even on cloudy days. A lack of reliable information and only few network activities in the industry are the reasons for a slow increase in spreading solarthermal systems. The participants of SOLPOOL will change this situation by providing information on potentials, sponsorship and economic aspects in free workshops.

„The material costs for implementing solarthermal systems are relatively low, because the temperature the absorber has to tolerate does not exceed 77 degrees. Since water runs through the facility during the heating process, additional tanks for storage are not necessary, reports project manager Leire Sarachaga from Umweltinstitut, part of ttz Bremerhaven. Nevertheless, only 725 of 3.500 public swimming pools in total have been equipped with solarthermal systems in 2004. In other European countries, implementation of solar systems for warming water is even more in the fledgling stages. When the project ends in April 2009, the use of solar energy in the testing regions should have mounted 10 percent regarding the objective target of the SOLPOOL partners.

In order to facilitate getting into contact with users and experts in the testing regions, a database is build. Another additive developed by SOLPOOL is a calculating tool named “Impact Advisor”. It considers the details of the individual case: pool size and climatic factors for a feasibility study. The third important approach is to offer workshops for owners and providers, later on also for installers of solarthermal systems in Germany, Greece, Czech, Slowenia, France, Hungary and Italy. The project partners intend to reach half of all people in charge of public outdoor pools with this offer. After a period of vast data collection, the partners thrive for establishing solarthermal systems as best available technique for heating outdoor pools. If it is accepted as industrial standard one day, the number of users will rise renoticeably. With reference to ecologic aims for Europe, a vital progress could be made from this initiative. Especially if private pool owners follow the successful example of public providers, the effect would be even more outstanding.

 


Press pictures for editorial use (foto: ttz/pr)

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ttz Bremerhaven regards itself as an innovative provider of research services and operates in the field of application-oriented research and development. Under the umbrella of ttz Bremerhaven, an international team of experts is working in the areas of food, environment, health and consulting services.