This award-winning 2011 Saratoga Springs project combines radiant, HVAC and solar thermal technology. It was the first project within the United States to include solar thermal driven radiant in a green, high-efficiency pool. Solar thermal collectors mounted on the customer's roof provide heat to a radiant tubing loop embedded inside the concrete of their outdoor pool.
The 28,000 gallon radiant pool was constructed almost entirely from expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) and aluminum. EPS contains no environmentally damaging CFCs or HCFCs and is 100% recyclable. Aluminum, for its part, is the most commonly recycled post-consumer metal in the world. Finally, the entire pool was insulated using R-10 wall panels (R-value is a measurement of insulating ability). The materials chosen for this project ensure that the radiant pool is both environmentally sustainable and highly energy-efficient.
Advantages in Design:
Radiant tubing serves as the sole source of heating for the entire pool. We were able to accomplish this because concrete is a natural conductor. By using concrete as our method of heat transfer, we are able to heat huge volumes of water using only a small solar thermal system (a relatively modest 4 collector array). This setup has several advantages over traditional solar pool heating arrays, which do not incorporate radiant technology. It's both more cost efficient, since less energy is being expended to heat a larger volume, and more versatile, because it can be integrated into a home mechanical system rather than being restricted to a standalone purpose. In this case, the 4 collector array keeps the pool at comfortable swimming temperatures during the summer, while doubling as a heating/domestic hot water source during non swimming seasons.
Multiple Renewable Energy Inputs:
The integration of two renewable sources utilizing innovative equipment and cutting edge hydronic piping strategies, including our own proprietary methods, allow the consumer to eliminate their need for fossil fuels. The combination of photovoltaic (electricity-producing) and solar thermal collectors has helped the homeowners achieve their goal of a net-zero carbon footprint.
Ultimately, the project demonstrates that by properly incorporating alternative energy systems into your design, you can reduce your energy consumption without sacrificing comfort.