If you’re investigating ways of heating your swimming pool in the UK, it’s likely you’ll have heard the term “swimming pool heat exchanger”. You may not, however, know what one is. Here, we take a closer look at what this component is, how it works, and whether you should invest in one.

How Do Swimming Pool Heat Exchangers Work?

Swimming pool heat exchangers use hot water either from a solar-heated water circuit or boiler to warm up the water in the pool. The heat is conducted through the materials of the exchanger that separate the different mediums in use.

A heat exchanger allows heat from either a gas or liquid to pass onto another gas or liquid without those two fluids needing to directly contact either or mix together. The main idea of heat exchangers is to transfer heat with no need to transfer the fluid which carries that heat.

Are There Different Types Of Heat Exchanger?

Heat exchangers all do an identical job – they pass heat between two different fluids – however, they achieve this goal in several ways. There are two types of heat exchanger which are most commonly used – the plate/fin type and the shell-and-tube type.

A shell-and-tube heat exchanger is composed of lots of small tubes inside a cylindrical shell. A tube stack or bundle keeps the tubes in the correct position inside the cylinder. The tube plates may be either floating (to allow the bundle of tubes to contract and expand under different heat conditions while also allowing easy removal for maintenance and servicing), or permanently fixed inside the cylinder body.

A plate heat exchanger works in a similar way to the shell-and-tube model, but instead of tubes, it uses a set of stacked plates. A plate heat exchanger is usually gasket or brazed depending on which fluids are being used and the application the heat exchanger is being used for. Thanks to their compact construction from stainless steel, they’re most often used in food processing rather than pool heating.

The Features Of Heat Exchangers

A heat exchanger is used for many different water and pool applications including both chlorinated and salt water swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, whirlpools, jacuzzis, and more. It’s important to choose the right type of heat exchanger to suit your purpose.

For example, if you’re using a heat exchanger in a salt water or chlorinated swimming pool, you’ll need to choose one that is made with a corrosion-resistant material or it will need replacing much sooner than would otherwise be necessary.

You should also look for a heat exchanger which has a high flow rate as this will allow the heat exchanger to self-clean and, therefore, require minimal maintenance.

One further feature to look out for is wide channels as this means it takes longer for hard water scales to build up, thus prolonging the lifespan of your heat exchanger.

What Should I Know About The Efficiency Of Heat Exchangers?

Not all heat exchangers are equally efficient or cost effective. You should therefore consider a number of key factors before you invest in one:

  • Temperature differential – in any heat exchanger, the difference between the coolant and hot fluid is vital. It’s essential that the coolant remains permanently colder than the hot liquid. A lower coolant temperature takes more heat from the hot liquid than a warmer coolant temperature, thus maximising efficiency.
  • Flow rate – the higher the flow rate, the better the heat exchanger can transfer heat. However, a higher flow rate will also mean more mass, and this makes it harder to remove the energy while also increasing pressure loss and velocity.
  • Installation – it goes without saying that only a professional should install a heat exchanger. It must be fitted to the manufacturers’ guidelines with both fluids flowing counter-currently, and only a highly trained and qualified professional can do this safely on your behalf.

Do I Need A Heat Exchanger?

As you can see, there are many things to consider if you’re thinking about investing in a heat exchanger for your swimming pool. It is therefore best to get professional advice from a company that specialises in swimming pool heating installation and maintenance.

Here at Rowden, we are experts in the industry with many years of experience. You can depend on us to give you excellent advice about how to heat your swimming pool in the most effective and efficient way, and we can source, install and even maintain your pool heating system on your behalf.

Whether you have a question that you need answered, whether you’re ready to invest in a pool heat exchanger, or whether you require repairs or maintenance for a heat exchanger that you already have installed, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team here at Rowlen today.