Aquaflex provides the complete range of solar covers for heat gain/retention in swimming pools. From the economy grade 400 blue covers, mainly for above ground pools, through the efficient SolGuard/EnergyGuard product range, up to the more robust Reinforced covers, Aquaflex has it covered.
In the past few years, pool covers have come into their own, due largely to the industry’s educational campaigns and heightened awareness around the need to be more sustainable in our daily habits and choices. However, with such a wide variety of pool covers now available, it can be difficult to know exactly what material is right for your pool maintenance needs and swimming habits. It is important to understand that each type of material performs differently and varies in terms of UV stability, thicknesses, durability and lifespan. It all depends on what you want the material to do! All pool covers have common benefits, listed below however, the correct material will provide extra savings in terms of reducing running costs of the pool. Depending on which material is selected, you can reduce your heating costs, reduce your chemical consumption by 70%, reduce filtration times by 50% to save electricity, or keep pool water cooler in extremely hot climates.
The following list details the benefits achieved with standard pool cover material. Performance may differ according to the material’s opacity but you can generally expect a temperature increase of 3-4 degrees C. Cover lifespan will also vary with thickness or UV stabilisation but a quality base level material can be expected to last for two to three years.
Prevents evaporative heat and water loss By covering the pool, evaporation is prevented and pool top ups are no longer required. Furthermore, evaporation is the cause of 70% of heat loss in a pool. As water evaporates, it consumes energy, thus taking the heat out of the pool – a process called evaporative cooling. This is why an uncovered pool does not have the same heat retention properties as a covered pool. With water supply restrictions becoming more common and rising tariffs, a pool cover is a cost-effective solution that preserves a natural resource – water. With the added benefit of reducing heat pump requirements, a pool cover also offers a way to save on power, contributing to the overall shrinking of the pool’s carbon and water footprints.
Insulates the pool against heat loss Air has excellent insulation properties. By trapping air within and around the bubbles, the material becomes an insulating barrier to heat loss. This, combined with the ability to prevent evaporation, provides a 50% reduction in the energy required to heat the pool. Plastipack’s (GeoBubble Manufacturer) own product testing shows that standard materials will increase the water temperature by approximately 2 to 3 degrees C, compared to an uncovered pool.
Prevent debris collecting in the pool 10% of the chlorine added to a pool is used to sanitise the water. The other 90% is consumed in the process of oxidising leaves, dirt and other biological debris blown into or transferred to the water by swimmers. By covering the pool, chemical costs can be reduced without jeopardising water hygiene or appearance.
What is the difference between foam and bubble covers? A bubble cover, often referred to as a solar blanket, enables free sustainable energy to be transferred to the water via the cover, resulting in a rise in water temperature. Heating and running costs are lowered as a result. A foam cover works as a insulating lid. The material is manufactured using foaming agents or by radiating the material to create small air bubbles within he material. This helps to retain the heat that is added to the pool via the heating system however no additional energy will be transferred to the water other than that generated by the heat pump. The difference in performance between the two depends largely on the foam thickness. Looking only at the heat retention properties, a 6mm foam will provide a 60% saving in heating costs, whereas a bubble cover will provide a 50% saving. This is because both a bubble cover and a foam cover prevent evaporation which is the greatest cause of heat loss in the swimming pool and both use air to insulate the swimming pool surface. So both provide a similar heat saving. Why choose a bubble cover? A bubble cover is lighter and easier to remove from the pool. A bubble cover is generally cheaper than a foam cover. With high performance Guard covers, the return on investment or payback period is one year. Foam covers also insulate the pool from potential heat gains from solar energy.