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‘Pool Environment Control issues and innovations’
Recotherm ‘Brand Leader’ Interview Podcast 1 – Transcript to support learning
Every effort has been made to flawlessly transcribe the interview to support learning but please consider the recorded audio of the interview as the actual source of information for learning purposes
Hi this is Mick de Leiburne for BusinessNet Explorer.
And welcome to the latest edition of our Project Viewpoint series of interviews with Brand Leaders in the Construction & Building Services industry, where we look at the brands that are continually innovating in a marketplace ever hungry for state-of-the-art product and service solutions to meet specific industry needs.
So, more and more properties have swimming pools these days and they need to be ventilated to stop mold and condensation ruining building structures.
Swimming pool ventilation has come a long way and one brand at the forefront of this technology development is Recotherm.
We are joined today by Martin Killen, MD at Recotherm, an established driving force in the world of innovative ventilation technology.
Martin joins us on the phone….Hi Martin and welcome to the Project Viewpoint podcast for the Construction & Building Services industry and thank you for joining us today.
Hello and thanks for inviting me to talk about Pool Environment Control issues and innovations.
There are so many more swimming pools around now – what sort of locations are most popular?
We do hotel pools, leisure pools, hydrotherapy pools and spa’s but you would probably be surprised at how many private pools are built each year – so there’s clearly a lot of ventilation to be done.
Martin, as it is something all the architects, consultants and contractors involved in Swimming Pool ventilation specification need to consider, what is your view on dehumidify vs. controlled fresh air?
Some of your listeners may remember the oil crisis of the 1970’s. Before that all swimming pools were ventilated with fresh air, in fact the CIBSE guide recommended full fresh air for swimming pools. These systems were very expensive to operate so the idea of dehumidifying the air and recirculating it took hold and to be fair it saved about 60% of the cost of ventilating a pool, and we were one of the companies supplying refrigerant based dehumidifiers. But when I went to site I realised that for the vast majority of the year the fresh air was doing all the dehumidification required and the heat pump wasn’t operating, so I thought why don’t we just bring in the exact amount of fresh air that’s required instead of full fresh air, and why don’t we put that fresh air that we are bringing in over a plate heat exchanger to recover the heat in the air that’s in exhaust. We also added variable speed to the fans, so that the fans altered their speed according to the load. When we did all this and did the calculations on the running cost we found that these units were less expensive to operate than the dehumidifiers and because we were bringing in more fresh air gave you a much better atmosphere in the pool hall.
What would you say to those who think dehumidifiers to be more efficient?
This is a really big bug bear of mine, the problem is that they are marketed as Heat pumps and everybody thinks that a heat pump is efficient. But its actually just an efficient way of using electricity to heat, and as electricity is 3 to 4 times more expensive than gas it may not be as cost effective for your project. But these units aren’t heat pumps they are dehumidifiers. A heat pump takes heat out of something like a bore hole or ambient air and heats something else like your office or hot water. Now the important point to note here is that the heat ‘source’ and the heat ‘destination’ are completely separate. A refrigerant dehumidifier draws moist air over the cold evaporator coil of the system which cools the air down and condensation is formed thus dehumidifying the air and then the air passes over the condensing coil of the refrigeration system which reheats the air. The dehumidified air is then released into the room, but the important point is that the air that you are heating is the same air that you cooled beforehand, so it isn’t operating as a heat pump because there is no separation of the heat source and the heat destination.
What would you consider to be Best Practice in Swimming Pool Ventilation?
I would always look to be doing 4 air changes as a minimum and then 10 to 15 l/s per m2 of pool surface depending on the use. If your building is being built to building regs this will provide enough air to cope with the heat losses. If you are working on an older building you may need to cross check the airflow to ensure that you are doing enough air to cope with the heat losses as well.
What options are available for a Pool Ventilation system specification?
You can have the option of remotely controlling your ventilation unit from a mobile phone because we are a Trend OEM we can supply systems that are BACnet compatible and we can program these controllers to do exactly what you would like them to do. You could be sitting by the pool in Spain and tell your ventilation unit to cool the pool hall down. We also recently introduced ‘Scent solution’ an integrated system that dispenses a wide range of selected aromas such as alpine air, apple fresh, citrus, cherry blossom, cinnamon, jasmine, lavender, lemongrass, ocean breeze, to name but a few. It is situated within the main plant or externally to provide fragrances that make the pool hall experience more like an expensive spa.
Compared to other UK manufacturers of swimming pool ventilation units what is it that makes Recotherm ventilation units unique?
Everything in our unit is fully modulating, our competitors use step control on the fans or on/off control on the heating. To give you an idea of why this is significant, if you can remember the heating controls on a car before we had climate control. You had a slider with red and a blue section on it. When you got into your car on a on cold morning you slid the controls right over to full heat if you got a little too hot you didn’t move it all the way back to full cold you moved it a little bit back toward the cold and then if it didn’t cool you down enough you moved it a little bit more. You do this because you’ve got a brain and that is exactly the way our units operate where our competitors operate with an on/off heating control, where you get all the heat or none of it, there is no middle ground.
What new product innovations are you working on at the moment?
I’ve got a client who actually installs heat pumps, ground source heat pumps on large houses and he has brought a number of swimming pool ventilation units from us, he was having trouble getting a house ventilation unit big enough for these lare houses he was doing and he approached us and said could we build one. It’s basically a similar version of what we do on the pools so it just needed slight modifications to an existing unit to make it work as an MVHR unit. We aren’t actively marketing this at the moment but if there is a need who knows.
And Martin what is your vision of the future for Best Practice in Swimming Pool Ventilation – what are the next steps in the evolution of technology in this field?
I think filtration will become more and more important. You may have noticed in newspapers and on TV all the talk on air pollution especially in the big cities. The level of filtration in most units at the moment is the G4 panel filter which we supply in our units, but we can now supply an F7 filter which is far more efficient on these smaller particles. I can see in 5 years time all units having a minimum of an F7 filter or even greater, so I think that’s where the market will be going.
Well, Martin thank you for joining us today for this latest edition of the BNE Product News ‘Project Viewpoint’ podcast series. The Recotherm brand is clearly a leading light in the world of pool ventilation and setting the pace in many product areas with innovations such as fully modulated pool ventilation units and also the scent solutions that you have made available. It has been a pleasure talking with you and we wish the Recotherm brand continued success for the future.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate in ‘Project Viewpoint’.
You’re very welcome.
For more information about the Recotherm range of products go to www.recotherm.co.uk