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ABOVE: EvoHeat director Tony Mills says that heat pumps are fast becoming a mainstream heating and cooling solution for domestic and commercial applications across Australia TOP RIGHT: Unobtrusive solar. Image: Sunbather

Seasonal efficiency ratings

The need to provide a more realistic and complete picture of pool heat pump performance saw the United States and Europe move to a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER/ESEER). The USA standard is defined in AHRI 210/240. Crowther says the benefit of this type of standard is obvious. “Unfortunately, there are no such guidelines for performance rating applying for pool heat pumps sold in Australia, nor any need for certification or independent validation of performance claims.” Crowther says that at some stage, the regulatory environment which applies in air conditioning and for many whitegoods will be extended to pool heat pumps.

“The reason this conversation is so important is for the simple fact that it takes considerable energy to heat water – more than 3500 times more than air.” “In my view, it is important that the Australian pool industry is proactive in leading discussion and reform because if it does not, then such change will be taken out of its hands and directed by government,” he says. “The worst-case scenario for the industry would be to see the ACCC involved. So, until a new regulatory framework applies, consumers need to carefully assess sales claims.” 34 SPLASH! June/July 2019

Simulating the seasons

Waterco’s heating manager Adam Shelley agrees with the need for standardised data. He says a baseline should be determined to obtain performance results under standard test conditions, so that a true COP can be obtained for each heat pump at the same specified humidity, water temperature and air temperature. “Without any consistent Australian Standard, people will simply test pool heat pumps according to whatever temperature they like,” he says. “So, unless every company follows, for example, the US AHRI standard for humidity, water and air temperature, you are unable to easily compare the performance of one heat pump to another.” Waterco has adopted the US AHRI 1160 Standard for the short term which, as Shelley explains, specifies three different test temperatures to simulate performance according to seasonal variations. “Many people may be unaware, but the US uses three temperatures – 26°, 15° and 10° – to simulate the different seasons. So, if for example, pool owners just want to heat their pool during the summer months, you would use the 26° air temperature heat output as the baseline. However, if the owner would like to heat their pool throughout the year including winter in cooler locations – they would likely need to use the 10° or 15° air temperature heat outputs as the baseline performance of the unit. The cooler air temperature reduces the heat output because there isn’t as much heat in the air for the heat pump to draw on.” Consequently, he says that inexperienced people may use the 26° tested heat output for a cooler location, but the heat pump may not deliver the amount of heat required to heat their pool.

Profile for The Intermedia Group

SPLASH June-July 2019  

SPLASH! is the leading trade publication for the Australasian “wet industry”, incorporating the swimming pool, spa and aquatics industries....

SPLASH June-July 2019  

SPLASH! is the leading trade publication for the Australasian “wet industry”, incorporating the swimming pool, spa and aquatics industries....