Solar Saver at Mallabula

The solar heating system as seen from the drone.
The solar heating system as seen from the drone.

 

LOOK at the grainy bird’s eye view freeze frame taken by Alan Gibson’s drone.

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It’s from his 3 minute 50 second Youtube clip of the Mallabula Sports Complex.

He has also posted other superb videos of the Tilligerry Peninsula.

You might like to check them out.

On the right hand lower section of the picture you will notice a black roof.

This is the Mallabula Hall next door to our Aquatic Centre.

The roof is not painted black.

The colour comes from the  ‘Sunbather’ solar blanket system which is used to warm the pool.

The shire’s three public pools now have solar heating to cut down on Council’s escalating power bill and to reduce the carbon footprint.

According to Port Stephens Council, Tilligerry Aquatic Centre solar heaters account for a 35.7% reduction of the total power costs.

That translates to a saving of some $7,000 to $8,000 per year to the ratepayer and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 41 tonnes.

Obviously, the solar contribution soars when the sun shines.

Just last February, the pool complex had a power saving of 91.7% and in March a whopping 95.6%.

June was the leanest month with the solar blankets making a mere 7.1% contribution.

I hasn’t all been plain sailing with a bushfire five years ago ‘spotting’ burning embers onto the old fin-like heating system.

The system is totally automated with computer sensors keeping the water at around 26 degrees.

One PVC pipe delivers cold water up to the rooftop and a return pipe brings the heated water back.

Sometimes the staff wish that they had a cooling system.

This last summer, even with the solar heaters turned off for weeks, the pool temperature rose to around 32 degrees.

By Geoff WALKER

Pool staff member Rick Andrews points out the heating pipe delivery system.
Pool staff member Rick Andrews points out the heating pipe delivery system.

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