geothermal heat for a pool

kitschensinkJune 22, 2005

I'm researching different heat exchangers to heat an indoor pool. The pool is 25' X 50' and 6' deep at the deepest point. I think I need a water-to-water system, but not sure how big and/or how many. Also, I've read the debates between DX systems and non-direct systems, and don't know which I should use for this specific application.

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Ground source heat pumps are very expensive to install but cheaper to run as they are 300% efficient. Whether this offsets the higher installtion costs requires some simple economic modelling. The problem is that a pool requires a lot of heat (read BTU's - Britsih Thermal Units) to raise the water temperature and that means a very large source of heat for the GSHP. As most pools are used in mild weather an air source heat pump is, all things considered likely to be cheaper to install than a ground source. The equation changes when you want to use the pool in colder months. By the way a BTU is the energy required to raise 1lb of water by 1 degree F and there are about 2 lbs. of water per litre, so get out the conversion charts and enjoy calculations. Don't forget that a gas pool heater is not 100% efficient. I think (but do not know) that they are about 60-80% efficient.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 12:33PM
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I asked my HVAC about this - he recommends using Solar panels to heat the swimming pool. Says it's the most efficient way.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2005 at 9:46AM
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There are more factors to consider when putting in a pool heater. 1. What climate are you in? 2. Do you have a spa connected to your pool? 3. Are you heating your pool or spa occasionally or daily? 4. Start up costs versus operating costs are based on your personal need and use versus company propaganda. I live in Florida and have a pool and spa connected. I have a natural gas heater. I only use it if I want to use the spa or over winter holidays if family is visiting. I can heat my spa in 20 minutes to 104 degrees and my pool to 85 degrees in half a day. Neither a heat pump or geo thermal can do that! You need to either heat it all the time or put a date on the calendar to get it warm when you want to use it. You need to consider these issues. Research has shown neither a heat pump or geothermal is very effective in northern climates.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 9:26AM
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Very interesting topic. If you are air-conditioning your home you can use a geothermal heat pump to heat your pool with the Âwaste heat from your home by sinking it into the pool rather than venting it to the outdoor air. This way one integrated system does both as opposed to two separate systems. The rather high COP of a GSHP is effectively doubled. While youÂre air-conditioning, your pool heat is free; the heat extracted from your home has to go ÂsomewhereÂ.

Re: surf1 scott

"Research has shown neither a heat pump or geothermal is very effective in northern climates."
Please reference the source for this Âresearch as this statement is patently absurd!


    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 10:28AM
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We installed a 5 ton geothermal water-to-water system to heat the radiant floors in our house. In our Maryland climate, our pool (25' x 50', 60,000 gal) gets too hot in the summer, so I ran supply and return lines from the house geo unit 400' underground to the pool for cooling in the summer. It works great! We also heat the pool during the shoulder seasons and that works great too. We turned the heating back to the floors in the house in late October, but we swam until then in 90 degree water. Geo works great for heating and cooling a pool, and our unit is 3 tons undersized for the quantity of water we heat and cool in the pool.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 6:57PM
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