CES Water Quality News Sharing Tips, Tech Support, New Trends, and technology updates !

CES Customers Share Energy-Saving Success Stories !

 

Many CES customers took significant steps to modernize their facilities in 2016, and worked closely with their CES team to assure that their new systems would provide a step forward. Instead of a "like for like" replacement of a mechanical item, many found it better to upgrade to newer technologies -- often providing great savings.

The most dramatic savings seemed to come from three major categories:

  • Electrical savings via taking direct control of GPM Filtration Rates
  • Chemical savings from on-site manufacturing of chemicals
  • Water savings from monitoring and controlling new "fill" water introduction

Here's a recap of a few of the success stories, directly from the customers that planned and executed the modernizations, along with a couple of observations and tricks that we jointly learned along the way.  

Hope it helps.

Customer Energy-Saving Success Stories

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Villages of Palm Beach Lakes, Shiloh Pool
Ron Wise, Executive Director
Updated Chemistry Controls, Saline Conversion, Direct Control of GPM 

  • Electrical Savings: $700/month
  • Chlorine Savings: 100% of chlorine provided by saline system

A CES customer since 1991, Ron Wise worked to upgrade these popular facilities and make them more efficient and easier to operate. The BECSys5 Controller and CES Motor Controls with VFD (MCC-VFD) automatically maintain precise DOH flow 24/7 by simply dialing in the desired flow rate. When his filters are clean, the system operates at 27% of normal power (wow), and the 25-lb ChlorKing Saline system is providing 100% of the facility chlorination needs. To promote the affordability of the conversion, Ron opted for a 3-year "self-funding" program instead of dipping into his maintenance funds, and the system is paying its own way out of savings. Ron was not aware that his twin 7.5 HP circulating pumps used to cost so much to operate until the conversion, and he's looking forward to tackling their other neighborhood 15HP pool pump next. The residents are very happy, and love the silky saline water feel. Ron worked closely with his board of directors to promote the affordability of the modernizations and planned a few years ahead, so it went very smoothly.

 ***

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Waterford Lakes, Orlando, Clubhouse Pool
Ken Zook, General Manager
DE to Sand Filter Upgrade, Interactive Chemistry Controls, Saline Conversion, Direct Control of GPM

  • Electrical Savings: 25-30% since the installation
  • Chemical Savings: "Virtually NO chemical costs"
  • Labor Savings: Labor to clean the pool decreased by 60%

Ken's team used to struggle with hand-to-hand combat on their previous DE filters for 4-hours, several times a week, but they now throw a backwash lever for 3-minutes a every 2-4 weeks. This helped save them 60% of their labor costs. They also used to lug jugs of chemicals and fiddle with chemical feeders, but the saline system has taken nearly 100% control of all in-house chemical production. The single 25-lb ChlorKing saline replaced a previous more residential-grade saline system (with a bunch of cells), but that didn't contribute much per the staff. This is the real thing, they say. Ken and his staff are constantly in contact with their pool via their PC, smart phones, and tablets, and receive instant alerts of any out of range conditions, allowing them to resolve the issue before it ever becomes one. Ken and the board used a very innovated approach to evaluate the alternatives, a very thorough job of researching the economics of the modernization and it led them to the team of CES (equipment & monitoring), Aquaworx (pre-plumbed packs), and expert construction by TC Water Features. Read more about this modernization.

 ***

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San Jose Country Club, Jacksonville
Chase Chenoweth, Director of Fitness & Aquatics
Interactive Chemistry Controls, Direct Control of GPM

  • Pumps savings: 30% (peak) 70% off peak
  • Electrical Savings: 13% over the entire fitness facility

Chase keeps very close tabs on his 243,000 outdoor pool, equipped with an earlier CES Hi-Rate sand filtration system and a 15 HP motor. San Jose CC has a thriving energy conservation program, and Chase wanted to contribute by trimming costs in his area without trimming amenities for patrons. They opted to take control over the entire equipment area with a BECSys5 with MCC-VFD and taking direct control of GPM. They kept meticulous bills, and even though the filtration system was not "overbuilt by much", the savings have been dramatic. Chase reports the during operational hours he dialed-in flow rate leading to a 30% reduction in pumping costs, and "off peak" he dialed in a DOH-approved flow rate which yields a 70% savings in normal pumping costs. He uses a detailed spreadsheet to show an overall "pool/fitness center" electrical savings of 13% (over the entire facility) which is very impressive as the air conditioning costs, number of days billed, and cost of power all increased significantly during the same time period. This is possible in part because the MCC-VFD reduces "demand charges" which in turn provides a lower cost of electricity applied to the entire organization. He used this very unique approach to get the system approved, and "advocates the installation of a MCC-VFD to all his peers".

 ***

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Century Village, Pembroke Pines, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton
Dan Cruz, Regional Maintenance Director
Interactive Chemistry Controls, Direct Control of GPM, Digital Water Level Control & Consumption Monitoring

  • Electrical Savings: Most Pumps are operating between 27-48% of normal power
  • Water Savings: Immediately discovered and repaired several large pool leaks.
  • Labor Savings: Developed top flight pool operation while reducing staffing requirements
  • Chemical Savings: Upgrade to all-in-one Pulsar has trimmed overall chemical costs

A pioneering and highly publicized energy modernization, promoted in FCAP condominium industry journal article, was conducted by the forward thinking Cenville management company and progressive property Vice Presidents and Board of Directors in 3 different properties over the past few years. Electrical consumption has been reduced to as low as 27% of normal power with clean filters, water level is automatically maintained to precise levels, and water consumption is monitored. A flat screen in the maintenance office continually monitors and displays all parameters and alarms in real time, and staff is alerted of any out-of-range conditions via text & email alerts, so they can immediately handle. A while ago the staff was instantly alerted to a large and sudden pool leak that according to them: "would have cost them many thousands of dollars on a future water bill", and immediately corrected the situation. The all-in-one Pulsar chemical conversion helped reduce chemical handling and liability of large storage tanks, and has also helped streamline the chemical handling and operations.

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Other Customer Success Stories:

  • Phantom Energy Usage with large pump: 
    • This is a head scratcher, but a South Florida municipal pool installed a large 40HP MCC-VFD in tandem with a BECSys7 (which also automatically backwashed their sand filter-saving them about 16 labor hours a month). When starting up the MCC-VFD we noticed that the pump motor had a "nuance" and had been "over-amping" by 40 AMPS over it's rated load (probably for years). The facility electric bills were immediately reduced by well over $1,200 a month (which is way more than we had anticipated) but now it makes sense. Using industry-accepted electric calculations, we found that the "over amping" alone was costing them about $700 a month, and no one would have ever caught it without the continual AMP and kW display on the CES MCC-VFD. In only 5 years, this would have cost the municipality over $42,000 in unnecessary electric bills.
  • The Leak that Never Was:
    • A recent West Florida municipal modernization included a large 1,000 GPM DE to Sand filter upgrade, and a CES BECSys5 control system and MCC-VFD with water level control & consumption monitoring, along with direct control of the pool pump. They experienced the same savings detailed with the CES customers above, but something wasn't right. They had problems keeping chemicals in the pool, and complained. It looked like a leak to us, but were told that "we don't have a leak, period". Since the IT department wasn't planned to hook up communications for months, CES provided a PCD (Precision Communication Device) and implemented remote control, electronic log keeping, and alert notification that same day. The CES water meter sent an alarm that details the facility was going through 10,000 gallons a DAY !! or was getting a new 300,000 gallon pool every month. A leak detection company was called, and they repaired the leak for $1,200. Yikes.

Conclusion

CES Customers work hard at continually improving their facilities, and it's great to see them get accolades from their peers, boards of directors, industry magazines, and patrons for a job well done. Together we have competed thousands of highly successful DE to sand filtration systems, controls and saline conversions, heating and pool cover conversions, and more. Heck, we've even make Chlorine out of recycled pool water together. By talking with their peers and researching previous modernizations it has given customers the CONFIDENCE to promote these energy modernizations within their organizations WITHOUT RISK of failing. 

By using innovative "self-funding" plans, they can provide a (sometimes badly needed) upgrade to the mechanical package and let the power company, the gas company, and the water company pay for it. 

But, not every modernization works out as planned as the pool industry still has WAY TOO MANY failed residential-grade saline installations, bogus electrical savings that never occur for multiple reasons, and control system installation that promise the world but never deliver.... but it is good to know that this will NOT happen with our customers, and NOT on our watch.

Please join us in congratulating the customers above for a job well done, and we look forward to assisting in your long term modernization plans for years to come.

Waterford Lakes New Pool Renovation a "home run" !

 

One look at Orlando's Waterford Lakes Community Association website says it all. It is clean, modern, organized, and provides timely information on past, present and future happenings... dating back to their incorporation in 1985.  

undefinedWaterford Pool is very popular with large bather loads. 

Waterford Lakes carried the same theme into the recent pool treatment renovation: clean, progressive, and organized, and it has vaulted the organization to one of the most modern, energy efficient operations in the state.

Before:

Is wasn't always that way. Waterford Lakes used to rely on the original Vacuum DE filtration system. Since the 108,000 gallon pool services 800 living units, the filtration system was originally upsized to handle 600 GPM or 3-hour turnover. To accomplish this the number of DE grids were doubled. The filters had to be cleaned manually several times a week under peak loads (sometimes more often) taking as long as 4-hours per cleaning. The filter grids requiring the use of temporary DE powder on each filter cleaning, along with the cumbersome DE removal and disposal process. The chemistry, although carefully scrutinized, suffered from the unavoidable peaks and valleys normally experienced with changing bathing loads, weather conditions, etc.

They had a smaller 6-lb per day saline system that was overmatched, and had to add countless bags of salt by hand, a thankless job. The chemistry controller was not fully trustworthy, handled only chemistry, and was not equipped with communications, log keeping or alert notification programs.

undefinedRenovation included pumps, filters, saline, controls, etc.

After:

In 2015, that all changed. During the renovation of their clubhouse, Ken Zook of Waterford Lakes called on Tony Caruso of TC Water Features of Orlando to find a better solution. Tony teamed up with Chris Secue from CES and Alex Fletcher from AquaWorx (a leading filter pack manufacturer) to provide a pre-plumbed modernization that would handle Waterford Lakes's needs for many years to come. The board of directors did their research, checked many references, and scheduled a public question and answer session to closely address every possible aspect of the investment. 

The new Green Modernization included:

Saline Chlorination System: The team installed a ChlorKing 25lb saline system (4-times larger than the original) designed to provide a majority of the annual chlorination needs. The system came equipped with automatic salinity control that keeps the salinity level in the pool at a perfect 5,000 PPM, without having to manually test and add/dissolve salt in the pool. The consistent salinity level perfects the "silky feel" of the pool water, while assuring maximum chlorine production.

undefinedIndustrial Saline System 4 times larger than previous system.

All-in-one Redundant feeder: A Pulsar 140 is seamlessly integrated to provide redundant chlorination in the event that the pool usage or weather exceeds saline system capability. The Pulsar System is a dry tablet that retains if full strength for up to 2 years, and provides Chlorine, Calcium, Bicarbonate, and supplemental stain prevention, while utilizing 1/10th the pH correction of a bleach system. It's a perfect complement to the dominant saline system.

undefined3 min single-lever on-the-fly backwash saves labor & water.

Permanent Media Filtration System: The CES two-tank permanent media filtration system replaced the DE grid system, and provides crystal clear pool water without all the manual cleaning and DE powder handling and disposal. The periodic backwash is handled by throwing a single lever (some call it the one-armed bandit) for 2-3 minutes for each tank. Water consumption is held at bare minimum and thought to be less than before. The maintenance staff has freed up considerable labor hours instead of doing hand to hand combat with some silly grid filter in the hot sun. 

CES Motor Control Center with integrated VFD and energy efficient pumping system: This device connects to the BECSys5 and provides precise direct control of 600 GPM DOH flow rate, while continually minimizing electrical power. It is equipped with phase protection, power conditioning, and a safety bypass to minimize any potential down time. Clean filter electric consumption can be as low a 30% of normal power, thus providing a quick payback from electrical rates and demand charges. A new 3-phase self priming pump prevents time-wasting re-priming, and the oversized basket saves time cleaning the strainer.

undefinedMCC reduces power, demand charges, and costs.

CES Equipment Room Control system: As the centralized controls for the modernization, a BECSys5 system was installed to control the saline system, the pH feeder, the redundant feeder, and take direct control of the pool pump operations while monitoring pool temperature and filter cleanliness. It is equipped with 24/7 digital record keeping to provide the safest pool environment for patrons and guests, and the remote control and alert notification system texts and emails the operations staff (in proper order) in the event that any parameter falls outside of the desire range.

Monitoring flat screen TV. Talk about confidence and communications.... all of the vital signs of the pool including Chlorine, ORP, pH, Temperature, Flow, Pressure, Vacuum, etc. are continually displayed on a flat screen TV.... in the clubhouse ! 

undefinedConfidence is displaying your pool vital signs 24/7 in the clubhouse.

What about the feedback?

  • Needless to say, the maintenance staff was reported to be "giddy" about the modernization. You would be too !
  • Ken's recent note to CES he mentioned: "... thanks Chris for everything, and Waterford and I are very happy with our products and support. Glad you are part of the team!"
  • An undisclosed operations manager told our team that "...it was the best thing we're ever done (in 30 years)"
  • The finance manager has to be happy as the conversion is substantially self-funding via from savings in electricity, labor, water and DE powder and savings, and from savings from making their own Chlorine on site.

Conclusion:

Waterford Lakes has once again demonstrated that it is very possible to completely modernize an aquatic treatment mechanical package by picking the right team, doing their homework, and following the project through from start to finish. Congratulations go Ken and Waterford Lakes for taking a leadership position in the industry, for Going Green and saving power, water, chemicals, and labor, and for making a commitment to provide their patrons and guests with the safest most appealing water possible.

Also kudos to Tony Caruso and AquaWorx for a fantastic installation, and to the entire Waterford Lakes team for being a dream to work with.

But then again, what do you expect from an association with a 30-year history of a clean, modern, and communicative operations led by forward thinking managers......

Top Trends of 2014, what's new for 2015?

 

2014 will be remembered as a pretty crazy year filled with many peaks and valleys, but in the aquatics industry several major trends developed momentum. Here's a quick look at the top aquatic water quality trends for 2014.

Note: Some folks confuse a trend with a fad. They are very different. There have been a lot of fads come and go over the years in the commercial marketplace (remember magnets, floating chemical frogs, Hydrolyzers, ECS treatment, hydrogen peroxide, etc.), yet only a few solid, long term trends have continued to flourish. It takes lots of in-field testing, discipline, and even more research to avoid silly fads over the years....so hats off to the real trends of 2014.

Self-funding energy modernizations:

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 During 2014, many major aquatic operations completed substantial self-funding energy modernizations. These are defined as mechanical improvements that save more money (in energy, labor, chemicals, water, and liability) on a monthly basis, than the monthly COST of the modernization based on borrowed money. Thus they earn the CES designation of being self-funding. Examples of successful implementations include:

  • Control & pumping conversions that are operating on major pools at an average of 42-65% power,
  • Packaged pool heating & pool cover conversions using Geothermal or 97% efficient Aquas heaters,
  • Saline modernizations with either CES ChlorKing "Chlor" units (pool is turned saline) or Nex-Gen (makes chlorine out of pool water),
  • LED lighting conversions,
  • Hi-rate sand filtration conversion

Taking more internal control over aquatic operations:

undefined Spectacular Safari Swim Indoor Swim School - Jax FL

We are seeing a marked reversal of the trends of the last decade, where some pool owners literally "handed the keys" to their pool operations to pool service or chemical companies. This is good news! As corporate control of the pool (with selective subcontracting) has proven to provide the best results over the past 35 years. Corporate control means that the overall game plan, DOH compliance, DOH-required record keeping, and ADA/VGB/OSHA/DLES certifications are being spearheaded in-house. These items pose a high liability and high exposure for your organization, and cannot or should not be subcontracted. CES supports your in-house programs with on-site operating training and technical support, DOH-required operator certification, monthly site assessments, and affordable PM programs for any mechanical equipment.

Remote control & Communications:

undefinedundefined Popular Cyber Support Programs

The technology that appeared to some as a optional gimmick when introduced in 1996 has emerged as the backbone of some of the biggest, smallest, highest profile, and lowest profile operations in Florida and the Caribbean. All you need is access to a local wifi signal or wired ethernet connection and you can seamlessly connect your equipment room via an ultra secure protocol.

Customers are able to monitor and/or control chemistry, pumping systems, filtration, water consumption, heaters, saline, UV, and more from their PC, tablet, or smart phone. They're also keeping continuous electronic records of pool vital signs for the ultimate in liability avoidance. Finally, managers and their staff are receiving programmable and scripted text and email alerts in the event any major mechanical parameter falls outside their acceptable parameters.

The feedback from customers has been terrific. The cost savings and liability avoidance savings are huge. There are no monthly communication fees, and CES offers award-winning Cyber support to help pinpoint and rapidly resolve previously-lingering nuances. If your IT department is too busy or hesitant to join the leading facilities in the region, then we can offer the PCD (Precision Communication Device) solution. This off-network wireless communications device, contracted on a temporary or permanent basis, is set up in minutes and funded via a nominal monthly access fee.

Monitoring, Controlling, and Saving Water -- Sensibly

undefined undefined Reliable new ways to monitor and control water consumption.

A growing trend over the past few years is to implement precise digital water level control, monitoring of auto-fill functions, and monitoring of overall water consumption on your pools and spas. These parameters can be monitored remotely, and when extreme water losses occur, your team will receive email and text alerts. So far these systems have uncovered several previously-undetected but severe leaks that would normally not have been discovered until a future multi-thousand dollar water bill is received. This feature is also a popular retrofit with existing BECSys5 and BECSys7 control systems. Our ultimate goal is to utilize only best practice use of water in pools and to avoid any excessive consumption.

Direct control of circulating pumps via MCC-VFD

 undefined undefined Great Energy Savings with MCC-VFD, and new PFD packages.

Taking direct control of the pump flow (in GPM) via your CES control system has become one of the more popular self funding modernizations with customers. On an large project with FPL collaboration, the customer is AVERAGING 42% of normal power by maintaining precise flow rate required by the DOH (Department of Health). Additional DOH-approved off-peak savings mode provides pumping cost of only 12.5% of normal power. The standard CES MCC-VFD package also includes phase protection, surge protection, and a integral bypass switch to help extend the life of your pool pumps. Systems range from 5 HP to 150 HP.

Many customers asked us for a CES VFD solution for inexpensive pumps of 5 HP or less. Earlier this year we introduced the Precision PFD (Precision Flow Device) that provides an industrial grade UL-listed VFD in a water tight cabinet. It takes direct control of GPM, and displays volts, amps, KW, and electrical faults (like its big brother), but is provided without some of the additional features meant to protect larger and more expensive motors. The PFD comes in 2, 3 and 5 HP configurations and converts single phase power to highly efficient 3-phase motors.

Making your own Chlorine on Site:

undefined undefined Two great ways to make chlorine from recycled pool water.

Once considered a fad, there are many examples of poorly-installed saline "wall ornaments" in the field making saline more suspect than ever in the eyes of many. But, CES industrial grade saline modernizations are almost 10 years old and providing between 85-95% of our customers' annual chlorine needs depending on sizing and bathing load. These systems maintain the salinity level in the pool water and make chlorine on demand from that saline solution. Many of the installations have been self-funding, and the average life of the replacement electrodes have averaged over 3 years, or 3-6 times the life of some residential-grade electrodes. Many systems were installed as the customer wanted soft and silky pool water, so the extreme chemical savings have been a great bonus!

For sites that do not want to add salt to the pool water, the skid-mounted Nex-Gen system uses the same basic technology to manufacture chlorine out of pool water. It is basically a small pre-plumbed Chlorine factory on a skid.

Using better additives to control environmental pollution:

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No one wants to add a bunch of extra chemicals in their pools, but there are some problem solving chemicals that have gained tremendous popularity in treating certain difficult environmental conditions or "pollution". Here are a few:

  • Excessive bather waste, soaps & gels, and partially oxidized organics can cause ugly water line soiling and place a big burden on your chlorination system, raising your chlorination cost. A popular trend of using AAD (Amino Acid Digester) can help resolve these issues.
  • Copper and Iron deposits in relatively harmless levels enter into the pool from the fill line. Once there, they concentrate and achieve higher levels that may exceed EPA guidelines and can stain the pool or spa. The use of MSI (Metal & Scale Inhibitor) will help keep these levels under control.
  • Phosphates, also in trace amounts, are introduced into pool water from the fill line. These concentrate and reach higher levels that interfere with the chlorination and elevate consumption tremendously. They also serve as vital food to promote algae growth. Use of CPR (Concentrated Phosphate Remover) will restore the phosphate concentration to an acceptable level.

Reliable Robotic Vacuums with on-site service:

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Robotic pool vacuums have traditionally been a source of great frustration for CES and customers alike. The value of robotically vacuuming your pool cannot be questioned, as manual vacuuming is considerably more expensive and less effective than a good robot. The problem has been finding a reliable robot that you can keep on the pool deck, and keep out of the shop. The Enduro-Turbo Clean has been gaining popularity since its introduction a while ago. The new on-site bumper to bumper preventive maintenance and warranty administration plan is UNIQUE in the pool industry, as the vacuum literally NEVER leaves your pool deck. We are improving our service program on a daily basis as we conquer new challenges one at a time, and there is a bright future for hassle-free pool cleaning. New lease plans allow you a guaranteed pool cleaning solution starting at under $300 a month, and customers have told us that there is no way to clean a pool manually for that amount.

UV and Ozone - Great Supplements for Chlorination: 

 undefined undefined Time-tested non-Chlorine treatment systems have specific roles.

Although both Ozone and UV systems have been around for a long time, they are gaining popularity as supplemental treatment for chlorinated pools. UV provides full flow single pass treatment for chloramines, and some models are EPA certified for single pass remove of Crypto, but are not designed to save a lot of money on Chlorine. Ozone provides tremendous oxidation on overloaded pools, along with more substantial Chlorine savings, and is also gaining popularity on high end residential "chlorine free" pools. Both Ozone and UV require systematic maintenance, so do not consider installing unless you are going to make a commitment to maintain on an semi-annual or annual basis.

What's ahead in 2015:

Technology moved really quickly in 2014 and promises to move even quicker in 2015. What is coming down the pike?

Look for a tremendous new e-commerce inventory and ordering solution next month, followed by innovations in controls, communications, UV, Ozone, Saline and pumping systems. We will also be implementing advances in preventive maintenance, on-site service, remote monitoring, electronic water testing, robotic vacuums, and more. 

That is only what we have planned for release so far... but who know what additional opportunities will come up once we dive headfirst into 2015.

Thanks again for your patronage in 2014, and buckle in. We're going to have some fun. 

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