Commercial Case Studies
Crowne Plaza Hotel – Alice Springs
Over the past few years the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Alice Springs has demonstrated
a willingness to save on hotel running costs and at the same time reduce its carbon
footprint. As a part of this strategy, Hotel Management engaged the services of
The Centre for Appropriate Energy, a private firm that carries out energy audits
for Commercial Pool Owners and Government bodies with the aim of reducing energy
consumption and costs for the heating of swimming pools. They determined that Solar
Heating would help the Hotel with its costs and its carbon footprint.
Wayne Greenhill from Heliocol South Australia, a well respected supplier and installer
of Solar Pool Heating, was approached to see what he could do to reduce the Hotel’s
swimming pool heating and energy costs.
After several visits and consultations, Wayne suggested utilizing 3 pitched roofs
and an adjacent flat roof for the installation of a Heliocol Solar Heating System.
Subsequently the pool heating system was installed as 2 separate systems utilising
2 dedicated pumps and solar controllers. This allowed for easier operation and control
by the hotel maintenance staff after installation.
During their energy audit, the Crowne Plaza also installed the Southern Hemisphere’s
largest roof mounted PV solar electric system, and to further improve sustainability
they included into the programme, solar water heating, decommissioning of old steam
boilers, replacement of inefficient lights and fittings, greater use of re-cycling,
installation of water saving devices and improvements to their air-conditioning.
Crowne Plaza Alice Springs subsequently went on to win a Telstra Business of the
Year Award for Innovation. Heliocol congratulates Crowne Plaza Alice Springs and
appreciates the opportunity to help them achieve their goal of dramatically reducing
their energy requirements.
Blue Mountains Council NSW – Katoomba Community Pool
Heliocol Sydney was contacted by an International Energy Conservation Company in
November 2004 to provide them with a heating analysis to present to Blue Mountains
City Council. During the initial site inspection with the Council engineers and
the facilities manager it was made quite specific that the Council was looking for
a Solar pool heating system that would not only perform well in the cooler climate
of the Blue mountains but also be robust enough to withstand the local wildlife
(Sulpher Crested Cockatoos & Possums).
During the initial site inspection it was determined that the most suitable location
for the solar panels was on the basketball stadium roof, which was 83m from the
plant room and 11m above the pool level, this was easily overcome with consultation
from a hydraulic engineer. The biggest hurdle to overcome was how we were to connect
in to the existing concrete lined cast iron pipe. It was decided to replace the
old pipe with 316 Stainless Steel.
It was determined from the heating analysis that the installation of the Heliocol
system that the gas consumption and carbon emissions would be reduced by over 30%.
Blue Mountains council decided that the installation was not only economically viable
but also an environmentally responsible option.
The installation was completed in 6 working days with pressure testing and hand
over of the system taking place on the 7th day. The system has now been in place
for over 5 years and the feed back from the council indicate that the system is
operating above expectations. Heliocol has also installed systems on Springwood
and Glenbrook pools in the Blue Mountains based on the merits of the Katoomba installation.
Rostrevor College Adelaide SA
Rostrevor College was looking for a new solar heating system for their 625 square
metre pool. They had an existing solar heating system that was no longer working.
Heliocol South Australia was contacted by the College, following a recommendation
by a major pool builder in Adelaide.
Heliocol Sales Representative and Installer, Craig Birchmore, inspected the facility
and determined that a replacement solar system was needed, together with replacement
of associated plumbing, pump and controller.
After calculation of the pool’s area, volume and required roof area, Craig and Heliocol
SA Manager, Wayne Greenhill, submitted a proposal to the College Board. Following
a final inspection and further discussions with the College Principal, their proposal
was accepted. The job was to be undertaken during the summer break of January 2009.
After first removing the old system, the new Heliocol equipment was lifted to the
roof of the adjacent sports complex by crane owing to the height of the building.
The Heliocol panels were installed in a series/parallel configuration to achieve
optimum water flow. New 80mm class 12 cPVC pipe was run back to the plant room and
a new Hurlcon pump was installed, drawing its water from a trio of filtration return
lines. A Dontek differential controller, was installed and wired to turn the new
solar heating pump off if water flow from the filter pumps is ever interrupted.
Results from the new system are very encouraging, with students enjoying a much
Monash University, Melbourne Victoria
The projects and facilities department at Monash University in Clayton, Victoria
were directed by management to complete a green energy audit of the university complex
and facilities. Among other options, the heating of the two indoor pools at their
Doug Ellis swimming centre were identified as a major ongoing running cost and could
be substantially reduced by successfully implementing solar heating.
Heliocol Victoria demonstrated how this could be best achieved with performance
data such as BTU input and quality certification on the product. After a lengthy
inquiry period including product qualification and previous project history, Heliocol
Victoria won the tender to complete the project over numerous competitors.
The work commenced in May 2008 with the removal of the existing rubber strip system
which had failed to deliver maintenance free operation and performance. 81 HC50’s
and 72 HC50’s were independently installed for the two pools and two 1-1/2 HP single
phase pumps were fitted to each system. The pumps on each system were controlled
automatically with flow switch protection and a gas lockout feature for maximum
solar contribution. The project was completed in July 2008 and has been an ongoing
success and great referral point.
Salisbury Council Pool, Adelaide, South Australia
Salisbury Council in Adelaide South Australia is an original Federal Government
“Solar City”. When the existing old gas boiler used to heat their 50metre pool and
their 25meter undercover learner’s pool reached the end of its life, Council decided
to investigate the solar option as a means of lowering their costs.
After discussions with Wayne Greenhill, the Heliocol distributor for South Australia
and an experienced installer of commercial heating systems, a decision was made
to install 2 new gas heaters and a large solar array. This combination of gas and
solar would achieve two things for Council
- Regulated pool temperatures all year round supplied by the gas heaters and
- 2. A much lower running cost for Council with a considerable amount of the yearly
energy provided by the solar array.
Although the two pools share the same filtration equipment it was decided to install
the solar as two separate systems each with its own gas heater. This allows the
Pool’s operators to have the two pools at different temperatures.
With insufficient roof space available for the installation of the entire solar
equipment, Council agreed to fence off and seal some ground space on the slope behind
the filtration equipment building. Wayne and his crew were then able to install
sufficient square metres of Heliocol to supply the solar savings for the 50m pool.
The separate solar system required for the undercover 25 metre pool was installed
on the pool’s own curved fibreglass roof.
To ensure maximum energy savings, the electronic controllers are programmed to turn
off the gas heaters whenever the solar systems are running. At last report, Council
was enjoying energy savings of over $15,000 per year.