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3E Group helps aquatic facilities slash energy costs

3E Group helps aquatic facilities slash energy costs
June 21, 2023

3E Group has released a series of case studies covering its work in reducing energy costs at local government aquatic and recreation facilities.

Maroondah City Council
Having been contracted by Maroondah City Council to design and implement energy efficiency solutions at its Aquahub facility in the Melbourne suburb of Croydon as part of the broader Energy Performance Contract with the council, it says that it that it “slashed annual energy costs by 56%”.

It advises that this was achieved by the implementation of energy conservation measures (ECM) initiatives that included:

  • Large Solar PV (770 rooftop panels mounted) - LGC System
  • Boiler replacement
  • Overnight baseload reduction
  • Pool pump Variable Speed Drives (VSDs)
  • Pool HVAC optimisation
  • Pool blanket systems
  • Power factor correction
  • Pool Hall lighting
  • BMS fine tuning and analytics
  • Voltage regulation

Yarra Ranges Council
For Yarra Ranges Council in Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs 3E Group was engaged to undertake significant efficiency upgrades to the infrastructure at the Yarra Centre aquatic and recreation facility.

The site is home to the Council’s major aquatic facilities including a 25 metre heated main pool, program pool, toddlers pool, multi-purpose stadium, gym, fitness studio and physiotherapy facilities, 3E Group conducted a study of the entire site, identifying a number of energy saving opportunities and designed a comprehensive package of ECMs that were implemented as part of a performance-based energy conservation project.

These included:

  • Whole site LED lighting upgrade
  • 99kW rooftop solar PV
  • 2 x 440kW new condensing boilers
  • Primary variable flow heating hot water system
  • Pool circulating pump VSD
  • Multiple-mode pool hall Air Handling Unit (AHU) with
  • heat-recovery and EC speed control fans
  • New Building Automation System
  • Energy management system

As a result, the Yarra Centre cut its annual energy costs by 42%.

The Council is a member of the Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (EAGA), a collaborative organisation of nearby councils to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Monash City Council
Along with other Council members of the EAGA, Monash City Council has a history of delivering significant climate mitigation initiatives, both at the regional scale and individual council level.

In 2020, the Council committed to working towards becoming carbon neutral, with a target of zero net corporate greenhouse gas emissions, by 2025.

The Zero Net Carbon Action Plan provides a pathway for achieving this goal, with a focus on on-ground action using a proactive and cost-effective methodology.

To reduce carbon emissions, eliminate gas usage and switch to electric power generation in line with the Zero Net Carbon Action Plan, the Council engaged 3E Group to carry out a system design for the centralised Domestic Hot Water (DHW) system at Monash Aquatic and Recreation Centre (MARC) in Glen Waverley.

As a pilot project to modernise MARC, 3E Group provided the Engineering Design of a new hybrid heating hot water system as a pilot project.

3E Group also carried out a comprehensive feasibility study of the site’s energy use and recommended technically feasible solutions that included a high-efficiency hybrid hot water plant comprising a condensing boiler and carbon dioxide (CO2) high-temperature heat pump heater.

The system design satisfies the following general requirements in order to comply with relevant standards:

  • Maximum flow rate at a heated water outlet: not more than 9 L/min
  • Maximum velocity in return pipe: 1 m/s
  • Store water temperature not less than 60 ⁰C
  • Return water temperature not less than 55 ⁰C
  • Heated water temperature at fixture outlets not exceeding 45 ⁰C
  • Maximum static pressure at any heated water outlet not exceeding 500kPa
  • Minimum working pressure at the furthermost fixture: not less than 50kPa

The design of this new centralised domestic hot water (DHW) not only complies with relevant standards but also ensures the system is able to meet the current and future hot water demand while enhancing the efficiency by reduced energy and water consumption. With this optimised system design, the Council is able to achieve their carbon targets by eliminating/reducing 1,376 GJ of energy from MARC’s operations.

The system design will support the Council’s ambition to achieve targets outlined in their Zero Net Carbon Action Plan by way of:

  • Reduced carbon emissions by switching from gas to electricity
  • Increased system energy efficiency
  • Enhanced reliability of the system
  • Production and supply of hot water in the system at temperatures that comply with relevant health and safety requirements

3E Group’s multi-disciplined engineering team are highly qualified experts with first-hand experience in implementing energy saving solutions in aquatic and recreation centres.

The 3E Group team comprises Certified Energy Efficiency Leaders/Specialists (CEEL/CEES), Certified Energy Managers (CEM), mechanical engineers, lighting specialists, Pool Plant and HVAC specialists. We combine our in-house expertise with specialist sub-contractors to design and implement custom solutions.

Click here to contact 3E Group via their entry in the Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory.

Image: Rooftop solar at the Yarra Centre. Credit: 3E Group.

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13th June 2023 - pHlozone software delivers new levels of technology for aquatic facility management

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23rd May 2023 - ALFAQ re-established to represent Queensland aquatic professionals

22nd May 2023 - Sapphire Aquatic Centre heat pump upgrade reduces carbon footprint and energy cost

16th May 2023 - Negawatt Projects to stage Melbourne and Sydney events on energy efficient aquatic centre design

6th April 2023 - Dandenong Wellbeing Centre’s energy-efficiency projections scaled back

14th March 2023 - Supreme Heating launches new R290 pool heat pump

10th March 2023 - Northern Beaches Council seeks to address growing energy costs of operating Manly Andrew ‘Boy’ Charlton Aquatic Centre

20th February 2023 - City of Melbourne awards Carlton Baths heat pump install contract to 3E Group

13th October 2022 - Elite Energy partners with Goulburn Mulwaree Council to deliver running event among wind turbines

27th September 2022 - Renewable Energy Agency highlights significance of heat pumps at Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre

14th September 2022 - Additional solar power installed at Sapphire Aquatic Centre

13th September 2022 - Webinar to explain energy-saving benefits of heat pumps in aquatic centres

17th June 2022 - Energy uncertainty to impact aquatic centre operations?

10th May 2022 - Solar pool heating delivers energy savings for Hindmarsh Shire Council

8th July 2021 - City of Monash to refurbish Oakleigh Recreation Centre’s outdoor pool for summer

27th April 2021 - Research shows role of sports stadia solar rooftops in mitigating impacts of climate change

31st January 2020 - Gas bill shock triggers revolution in energy-efficient aquatic centre design


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