The indoor pool environment presents a host of unique challenges from a humidity control perspective, from managing high levels of chloramines to maintaining comfortable pool and air temperatures. Unfortunately, many indoor pool facilities are using HVAC systems that are simply ill equipped to tackle these demands, inviting risks to patron health and the building structure.
Some facilities are even trying to make do with simple air handling units, which lack sufficient corrosion protection and cannot handle a high latent load environment.
With such a unique set of challenges, it’s important that the dehumidification system be purpose-built for this environment. This means specifying a number of vital features…
When using a refrigeration-based approach to control humidity, the dehumidification process captures energy in the refrigerant at the evaporator coil. This energy can be returned to the pool water to provide free heating.
A dehumidifier with the pool water heating option can contribute considerable energy savings over the life of the system and help the unit operate more efficiently overall. This generally has a tremendous payback that alone should make it worth considering.
Due to increased energy savings, the pool water heating option typically pays for itself in less than one year.
The dehumidifier should act as more than just a dehumidifier. It needs to act as the brains of the entire natatorium environment.
Many facilities are using microprocessors that offer little more than a simple on/off function. A proper microprocessor controller has a full range of unit-mounted sensors, pressure transducers, and remote sensors that can all be accessed from the keypad, building management system interface, or over the Internet. All necessary information regarding the conditions in the space and system operation should always be at the fingertips of the operator and support team.
Web monitoring redefines the concept of factory service and support by remotely monitoring, analyzing, and reporting all the critical functions of the dehumidifier 24/7 – in real time via the Internet. All necessary information regarding unit operation can be viewed from any web-enabled device. Setpoints can be adjusted, sensors can be recalibrated, and unit performance can be monitored.
PoolPak units connected to WebSentry benefit from advanced remote monitoring, control, and logging capabilities. WebSentry is standard on every PoolPak unit and is free for the lifetime of the equipment to ensure peak performance.
A lack of corrosion protection is one of the most visible shortcomings of HVAC systems that are not designed for the indoor pool environment.
The humidity and chemicals in an indoor pool environment create some of the harshest conditions for dehumidifier operation. Off-gassed chloramines have a strong attraction to the airborne humidity and will combine with moisture in the air. Consequently, any condensation of the space humidity will become corrosive.
All HVAC components and coils exposed to the pool air must be corrosion protected. It is a best practice for all coils to be fully dipped to ensure the entire coil is protected from corrosion. Coil coatings should also have hydrophilic properties to allow the condensate on the evaporator to drain more efficiently.
The above features are just a sample of what needs to be included in an indoor pool’s dehumidification system. There are hundreds of differences between a purpose-built dehumidifier and a standard dehumidifier or even a custom air handler, from special internal unit airflows and damper locations to the smallest construction details.
Specifying a system that includes all these vital elements will ensure optimal unit performance and the creation of a first-class indoor pool experience.
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