Aquatic centre Background reading

The key to building or retrofitting a high efficiency aquatic centre is understanding what results you are seeking from the outset. If you are asking the right questions from your consultants and designers you have a better chance of having delivered what you

Measuring Existing Aquatic Centres

There has been some very good work done on energy usage in aquatic centres in recent years. This work is worthwhile reading to give you a better understanding of other energy systems and centres that may be similar to your council’s centre. 

Independent Consultant Reports – High Efficiency Heat Pumps

At the start of our journey investigating the use of high efficiency heat pumps we had some invaluable input from some independent consultants. These reports are very useful to frame the conversation for laypeople who have not had experience with heat pumps before. 
Jonathan Fryer- Iseco  Heat pumps in Aquatic Centres
Alan Pears AM- Research fellow at RMIT  Heat pumps- application to aquatic centres pdf
Alan Pears AM- Research fellow at RMIT Aquatic Centres and heat pumps Powerpoint

Other Useful Reading – A guide to improve the efficiency at your YMCA aquatic centre 
Amory Lovins- Integrative design for radical energy efficiency- A2EP Webinar 18 June 2020
Kishore low grade heat- some useful facts around low grade heat sources
Logan City Council LCA air conditioning system- David Spalc case study
Logan City Council air conditioning installation- Scantec case study 

Understanding the Passivhaus reports

These reports we carried out by Passivhaus under a large grant from the German energy agency. There are two centres in Germany built to Passivehaus standards: Lunen and Bamberg. Both centres were built around 2009 to 2011 and extensive study was completed on the Lunen centre in 2013. A second follow up study was completed in 2018 once modifications had been made.

The biggest takeaway from these studies is the value in designing and setting up the HVAC system for the pool halls to be as accurate as possible in holding the temperature and humidity at precise set points:
-Humidity at 65% RH 
-Pool air temp at +2 deg above pool temp (assuming that the pools are at different temps

The reports can be broken down into 3 elements:

Planning for an aquatic centre

Monitoring of the aquatic centre

Cheat sheet
Lunen Monitoring Report

Recommendations for the aquatic centre (fine tuning)

Cheat sheet
Lunen Recommendations Report part 1

Lunen Recommendations Report part 2
Lunen Recommendations Report part 3

Aquatic Centre Energy Reports

The rise in gas prices in 2018 for councils in Australia resulted in  councils revisiting the question:

HOW can we reduce the energy consumption of our aquatic centre’

Aquatic centres using gas as a heat source consume large amounts of energy with corresponding large maintenance bills. There are better alternatives to gas systems and we have been working with councils to evaluate the energy efficiency of these centres and where savings can be made for existing and proposed centres.

We have also been working on some hypothetical ‘ultimate designs’ for aquatic centres with particular reference to the high efficiency aquatic centres that have been developed in Lunen and Bamberg in Germany by the Passivehaus Institute. These centres have been closely monitored since 2013 and the results are clear : we need to rethink the design of these centres, how they are powered and what sort of integration of energy systems can be achieved to drive energy costs down for councils. 

It All Starts With The Data!

SmartConsult has now completed energy system analysis for St Albans aquatic centre (Brimbank Council), Richmond Recreation Centre (City of Yarra), proposed Clyde Aquatic Centre (City of Casey) and a four site review of centres for the Moreland Council. These case studies allow us to put firmer numbers around the energy usage of these centres and give councils clearer reasons to make long term decisions about where they are spending their money if they are aiming to ‘go off gas’ in the future. If you would like a copy of these reports please contact our office. 

How An Integrated System Handles Energy

This diagram shows the change in energy usage when a water heating system (gas) and an air conditioning system are integrated. The gas is fully removed and the integrated system has a lower electrical input. The added benefit is the surplus ‘cold’ produced by the heat pump can also be harnessed to assist with heat recovery and air conditioning.

These are round figures and do not take into account the inefficiencies such as discarding waste cold during winter. But overall, this is how the system handles the energy over a full year and is up to 70% more efficient when the systems are combined. These systems are not a ‘magic bullet’for aquatic centres and should be considered as part of an overall strategy for thermal efficiency, reduced maintenance in the building, thermal storage and optimising solar PV production. 

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