In 2001 we installed an inground pool. about 50 cubic metres (a fairly standard size, I’m told), and had a heat pump installed at the same time. It gave up the ghost a couple of years ago and we miss it, so would like to replace it this summer.
Research shows that a 12 kW heat pump should be fine for this size of pool, and the only variation would be area etc as we are in Rhone Alpes, in the valley between the Beaujolais and the Jura.
Any brand recommendations for recent heat pump purchases? Reliable supplier / website to buy from??
All advice would be very much appreciated!! Thanks!
I have an Idealpac 13 for the same size pool bought online from Piscineale - they still sell them - there’s a little chart on their website giving recommendations for different climate conditions… https://www.piscineale.com/161-pompe-a-chaleur-idealpac
We’ve had ours 4 years and no problems.
Kate, it’s not as simple as that. They are most definitely cheap and they do not make any claims one way or the other but a complete lack of technical specification leaves me doubting.
Heat pumps designed for warmer climates do not function well in colder ones. To look at it properly, some idea of the air temperature at the times of year you intend to use it would be very helpful/necessary.
I was at heat pump school last week getting up to date with the latest technology. We have just installed a gas heater for a client who’s warmer climate 18Kw heat pump produced barely any heat at all in the Sussex South Downs. That was an indoor pool, outside air temperature around 10c. Could not raise the pool temperature beyond 22c. The gas heater quickly raises the pool temperature but during the warmer weather they will use the heat pump and not the gas heater. The air temperature needs to around 20c for the heat pump to work well. There are colder climate units which can work at 10c quite comfortably (and lower) but these for obvious reasons are not the cheapest.
Looking at the area you are in, I would go up a size to 17-18Kw, not much more but could make a big difference. I would certainly get the full specification before committing to any purchase as a 24Kw would not work any better if the air temperature is colder than the design specification to actually make the unit function.
Probably not the answer you were seeking, however it is a fact.
Thank you for taking the time for such an informative reply. That’s very helpful.
In fact the specialist I’ve been ‘chatting’ to via email in the UK is of the same opinion that we should look at 17.5kW too. We have a low, domed abri on the pool too, which makes warming the water in spring and autumn more feasible and worthwhile so the higher kW would be worth it. And certainly I’ll look at each model for the minimum air temperature functionality.
I find it quite amazing that the EU hasn’t leveled the playing field and made companies used the same temperatures to aid the public in not buying the wrong bit of kit. I haven’t been able to find a standard other than the German TUV that some companies use.
Our pool in the UK (Chilterns) is heat-pump heated but we don’t expect it to work in the winter! Our rule of thumb is when overnight temps start to stay above 10, we turn it on. that’s usually about May. When they drop again below 10, we turn it off. That’s usually the end of September, or, when we come for our Autumn visit to France.
When it’s colder than 10 overnight, it starts to be too expensive to fight off the water temp drops. The heat pump will then be running pretty much all day, and the direct link to my wallet is palpable!
Here in France we’re looking for a small unit but only to extend our season. In the summer it gets quite warm enough from the sun, easily sits between 25 and 28. (Over 28, we stop putting the cover on at night!)
The HPs given in the original reply to your query are rated for 7-35 degrees.
ANY heat pump will be more efficient in warmer air, of course! I would recommend arranging it so it only runs during the day.
You do need to carefully size the unit against your demand. You say you’re in a cold area - what are your typical day and night temps? Do you use a solar cover?
In high summer we get temps up to 30 here, sometimes even a lot more. 35 was typical in this year’s heatwave. And overnights can stay as high as 25. In that period, it gets MORE than enough direct solar heat. Spring and Autumn… well yesterday we had 25-28 in the afternoon but overnights were 8-9. The pool is down to under 20 degs which is a tad brisk!! It’s for this time of year we’re looking to supplement the basic solar. It’s annoying to have the pool here and to only get to use it during our summer visit!!!
Yes that is true but the performance at 7C is woeful giving only a tiny increase in heat, whereas a unit designed for 0c will still provide a reasonable additional heat at 7, 8, etc Deg. The inverter drive units are also much more efficient and quieter although initial outlay will be more.
I intend to use the unit for both the pool and out of season the under floor heating.
One of the annoyances of our place is that the heat pump installed by the previous owner for central heating - while nominally 14kW (itself marginal) only produces that much when the outside temp is more than 20oC, at 0oC it is down to 8kW and a miserly 6kW at -10 (Jan 2017 had several days around -8 to -10).
That said a heat pump isn’t a bad choice for a 2nd home - more efficient than electric heating alone most of the time and no need to faff around with fuel deliveries.
I just wish he’d had the 18kW or 20kW unit installed.
Makes sense. Just shows you need to match the unit specs to the requirement! I have a room cool/heating hp which still provides enough heat in teh room even when it’s -4 outside. The pool one would ice up at+5.
Yes, even with the outside temp well above freezing the heat exchanger will dip below and risk icing up. At least the unit that I have is rated to operate down to -15 so can run defrost cycles to clear ice from the innards (though that failed in 2017) but it really isn’t efficient at that temp.
I believe you can get units which operate down to -20oC for North America and Canada.