Commercial Pool Heating Case Study: U.S. Air Force

Commercial Pool Heating Case Study: U.S. Air Force
December 15, 2008


It should be no surprise that the United States Government is the single largest energy user and carbon producer in this country. What may come as a surprise is that they’re actively doing something about it.

Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia has turned to green energy to help reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint. Moody is home to the Air Force Aquatics Training Center where airman are trained in water survival techniques.

The Center’s 4,000 square foot, 210,000 gallon swimming pool is heated year round to 85 degrees. The average cost to heat the pool with the existing propane gas-fired heater was over $36,000 per year.

After thoroughly researching the options, it was decided that a Solar Hybrid pool heating system was the best solution to their pool heating needs. A Hybrid system utilizes a solar heating system as the main source of heat and the existing heater as a back-up.

Gerry Kilgore of Suncatcher of Atlanta, a long time Aquatherm Industries Master Dealer and newly appointed Regional Distribution Center, was selected to install the system.

The system, which features 84 Solar Industries collectors, was installed last October on the roof of the Training facility. To avoid making any roof penetrations, the engineers at Suncatcher designed and built a rack using aluminum “T” bars. The rack was fastened to the Center’s metal roof using an “S” bracket with set screws to attach it to the roof. The solar collectors were then mounted to the rack.

Michael Gruber and Jose Hernandez, mechanical engineers at the base will also be installing a BTU meter to measure how much energy is being produced by the solar system. In the first month of operation, the system exceeded their expectations by maintaining their required pool temperature without even turning on the back-up heater. As Gerry so often says, “they were tickled pink”, then added, “well… maybe
green this time.”

Download the Aquatherm Solar Heating Newsletter Winter 2008