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Swimming Pools And Heat Loss

Heat loss from the water can occur in several different ways, such as conduction through the walls, but most is lost by evaporation. When compared to evaporation, all other losses are comparitively small.

Evaporation uses up huge amounts of energy, so to restore water temperatures, that energy has to be put back in to the water. Research conducted by the United States Department of Energy, shows that to raise 0.22 gallons of water up 1°F requires 1 BTU unit of energy. However, for every 0.22 gallons of water, heated to 80°F, that evaporates, 1048 BTU energy is lost. The metric equivalent means that it takes 0.001163 kilo watt hour of energy to raise one litre of water 1°C and each litre of water at 27°C that evaporates wastes 1.218 kWh of energy.

Tests conducted on outdoor pools have revealed that evaporation has a huge influence on the total energy consumption. Typical Heat Loss: 20% radiation into the air, 10% conduction to surrounds, 70% evaporation.

Evaporation rates are determined by four factors: The temperature of the water. The temperature of the air. The humidity of the air. The wind speed at the surface of the water. The evaporation rate is greater for higher temperature water, high wind speed, and low humidity and air temperature.

How can this energy problem be addressed? The only real answer is to make regular use of a pool cover. To reduce evaporation to the absolute minimum, the water should effectively be sealed, by a cover, at all times when the pool is not in use.

Covers are available in a variety of different weights, materials, colours and designs. Any type of pool cover, whatever the fabric, will achieve:

Reduced energy consumption by up to 50%. Lower chemical usage by up to 60%. Eliminate water evaporation by 98%. Potentially increase water temperature up to 8°C. Inhibit algae growth. Absorb the heat of the sun. Reduce filtration/pump time by up to 50%. Reduce debris contamination and subsequent cleaning costs.

Suitable Covers. Solar covers offer the advantage of solar gain, raising the water temperature, in addition to the evaporation reduction of sealing the surface of the water. These covers are usually used on domestic outdoor pools. Typical life times for a solar cover are between 5 and 10 years. The initial cost of buying these covers is therefore more than recouped during the life of the cover.

Heat Retention covers are usually made using a 5mm thick layer of foam. These covers are very durable and an excellent barrier to evaporation, but they provide no temperature rise through solar gain.

About Author Francis Lowe :

Francis Lowe is a leading expert in swimming pool maintenance with a huge wealth of experience developed from 40 years in the industry.
To see a full range of pool equipment, including <a href="" target="_blank">pool covers</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">solar covers</a> please see the website of specialist supplier

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Article Added on Saturday, February 25, 2012
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