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Replacement Pool Dehumidifiers for Hotels
The useful life of dehumidifiers from old technical hotel pools is coming to an end!
Thousands of hotels with indoor pools built over the last 30+ years have reached the stage of refurbishing or replacing their pool dehumidifiers that have reached the end of their life cycle. Many systems fell short of their operational lifespan due to poor pool chemistry; systems not designed or sized properly, poorly installed, lack of negative pressure, or poorly designed air delivery/duct systems. Many pool systems are no longer energy efficient and operating costs are high. For any hotel manager, it is an extremely challenging process to reduce operational and energy costs with indoor swimming pools. However, today’s technology in hotel pool dehumidifiers offers significant energy cost reduction, and many offer a wide range of improvement options over what was available even 5-10 years ago.
When remodeling your hotel, there are several significant areas to review to ensure your new pool dehumidifier will provide all the updated “GREEN” technology, energy recovery and benefits that support a longer lifespan and a healthy, stable pool environment.
It is not enough to simply pull out your existing pool dehumidifier and put the same system back in the natatorium. Before your ‘simply replace what’s in place’ purchase decisions are made, you’ll want to start with your pool data. Don’t necessarily rely on the pool dehumidifier in place, (although we would like to determine your existing tonnage and CFM), as equipment can be oversized or undersized, possibly lacking the necessary air changes, which was very common years ago. It was also very common years ago a size system that was not accurately based on the air and pool water temperatures hotel facilities actually maintain.
Let’s go back to the drawing board and start from scratch. When replacing a system, owners will review their existing pool system tonnage and cfm to size the next pool dehumidifier. This is a good place to start, however each customer should take a few more measurements to ensure the size, airflow and evaporation rate are met with the new system. The following data is recommended:
Square feet of total pool space?
Square feet of the pool and/or spa?
Other water features within the space
Ceiling height of the room (average)
a. Is there a drop ceiling in your room?
Water temperature and air temperature maintained?
Humidity levels in the space you are keeping (ie 50, 55, 60%?)
Maximum number of residents?
Hours of operation?
What Chemistry do you use? [ ] chlorine [ ] bromine [ ] salt [ ] another
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A NEW FINAL DEHUMIDIFICATION SYSTEM
(1) THE FUTURE FOR ALL FINAL DEHUMIDIFIERS is to reduce size, refrigeration and maintenance costs!
Today’s technology is much more advanced (called Secondary Refrigeration Technology). The future is in refrigerant reduction first and foremost because of the expense and environmental damage caused by hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerants, such as R-22, and other refrigerants. All manufacturers are aware that this will be a continually changing arena and as such it should be or are implementing pool dehumidification systems to meet the more “green”/Leed requirements that will utilize a fluid/dry cooler for the cooling side of the equation. . This technology is not new to the industry; KMART has used Secondary Coolant Technology for over 30 years in their buildings. Several pool dehumidifier manufacturers have been using this liquid cooled technology for over 20 years. Other companies are now beginning to understand the importance of reducing the refrigerants used in today’s pool dehumidifiers.
HIGHER MOISTURE REMOVAL capacity and higher efficiency:
The concerns that many engineers and contractors have is whether a reduced refrigerant charge is a trade-off for efficiency. When designed properly, reduced cooling systems are generally more efficient. They are as efficient as their DX counterparts in the high cooling demand on summer project days and as much as 5-6% more efficient than conventional DX pool dehumidifiers during the rest of the year.
However, we recommend all customers review carefully the claims of “up to 80-90% refrigerant reduction”, as this can be very misleading. Let’s use some comparisons: EC096 8 Ton pool dehumidifier with glycol/dry cool technology provides a total of 9.25 lbs. of R410A refrigerant in the completely installed system. NE08 series comparable 8 ton system (for example targets and controlled), even with a claim of “new” secondary cooling technology, uses almost 34 lbs. of refrigerant. That’s still almost 4 times the amount of coolant. DCA3600 Nominal 7.5/8 Ton unit does not use R410A. This system uses R407C Refrigerant with a stated factory charge of 45 lbs. of refrigerant. This also does not include the outdoor condenser.
Therefore, research carefully when comparing products with products – as all pool dehumidifiers are not reduced refrigerant management systems. When buying competitive equipment, always check the following because eventually everything costs whether it’s in parts or service/maintenance down the road:
– Refrigerant (type- R410a, R134A, R407C etc.)?
– How many Lbs. of refrigerant in the unit and the entire installed system?
YOUR INDOOR POOL SYSTEM MUST FOLLOW THE FOLLOWING:
– Fully packaged system (split system)
– Lower cost of equipment
– Small footprint to fit into existing space
– Dehumidify and keep the environment between 50-60% Relative Humidity
– Warm up the space
– Cool the space
– Complete heat recovery/heat recovery (free heat to space and pool water)
– Offers the option of heating domestic hot water for the hotel
Pool Dehumidifier Considerations:
– UL, (CuL) and/or ETL Listed, and/or CSA Certified
– Least amount of refrigerant per ton in the installed pool dehumidification system
– R410A to US Standards, R-22 is no longer available
– Should have an average lifespan of 15-20 years if regularly maintained and pool chemistry is properly balanced
– Smallest footprint, Vertical, Horizontal, Counterflow Design
– Single or Dual Compressor Systems
– Steam coils: 3 & 4 Field Cleanable, or 6 & 8 Row coils that are impossible to clean once they get dirty?
– Longer warranties
– Rooftop vs. Indoor Pool Equipment Facilities: Out of sight, out of mind! (Higher costs with roof installation, ductwork, plumbing, faucets and 30-40% higher maintenance costs over the lifetime of the system generally due to lack of preventative maintenance).
Finally, many facility managers are beginning to understand the importance of automated swimming pools. Pools are one of the largest utility costs of any hotel and as such are under more severe scrutiny than in the past regarding the operational and higher maintenance costs of pools.
Once a pool is covered, the pool does not lose heat, (savings on pool heating costs), the pool does not evaporate (savings in dehumidification system run time), and finally, chemicals are not lost to the air during an evaporation cycle (savings on costs of chemicals). We strongly recommend that all facilities consider a pool cover when it is possible to do so. Even covering a pool from 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM – you will see a reduction in costs!
GO GREEN for a longer useful life!
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