2016 was a wild and crazy year, and many are happy to see it gone. But it was a great year for the swimming pool industry, and here were some very solid new trends that developed, while some previous trends kept gaining momentum. Some trends and technologies dropped off the radar as well. Here is a quick look at the Top 10 Water Quality Control Trends entering 2017.
Self-funding Energy Modernizations:
Happiest Win-Win Customers Ever !
A strong #1 for last year, this gained even more momentum during 2016, mostly fueled by rising energy prices and the desire to "go green". Many major aquatic operations completed substantial self-funding energy modernizations in 2016. 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 recycled pool water),
- LED lighting conversions,
- Hi-rate sand filtration conversion
Direct Sensing of PPM Levels in pool water
Lighted flow cell with close up of CP-1 Sensor
Here is a technology that wasn't even on the radar several years ago, and now it's taking front stage. Before last year, PPM sensing was too expensive, way too flow dependent, and (in our eyes) too complicated (requiring annual changing of probe fluid, probe tips, etc.). As a result, not many of these were installed. Then came the new CES CP-1 sensor, housed in a new "lighted flow cell". The combination of these two not only made PPM sensing more accurate and forgiving, but also popular in larger installations. It also drove CES to come up with a very competitive MR3 PPM package for smaller pools and spas.
When you monitor both ORP and PPM, a whole new world of water quality control becomes available, both on site and remotely. You can quickly predict pools that are going to have clarity issues, are going to gobble up chlorine, and are going to be unsafe very shortly. You can also activate our proprietary "bracketing" regimen that removes two nuances in ORP technology.
Remote control & Communications:
Popular CyberSupport Programs
Once again showing a huge increase in popularity, the technology that appeared to some as a 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. New for 2016 was an easier way to connect (through EZ Connect feature), 10-100 times faster speed, and a whole new list of alerts and reports at your fingertips. 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 TLS 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 CyberSupport 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.
Taking more internal control over aquatic operations:
More customer are DOING not WATCHING !
A really strong showing over the past 3 years. 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.
Monitoring, Controlling, and Saving Water -- Sensibly
Reliable new ways to monitor & control water consumption.
This technology received a bunch of new features for 2017. 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.
New for 2017, you can now tell "how much" excess water is in your pool, how many inches need to be added, and there are terrific new interlocks with your filtration, UV, chemical feed systems and more.... one great reason why integrated control of water level and consumption makes the most sense.
Direct control of circulating pumps via MCC-VFD
Great Energy Savings with MCC-VFD, and new PFD packages.
New for 2017, Precision Control PFD packages now go all the way up to 100 HP. This technology, 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. Many customers are 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 package also includes phase protection, surge protection, and a integral bypass switch so there is no down time and no risk. These devices definitely have help extend the life of pool and feature pumps.
The CES VFD solution for inexpensive pumps of 5 HP or less grew tremendously during 2016. 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:
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 over 10 years old and providing between 85-95% of our customers' annual chlorine needs depending on sizing and bathing load. New for 2016 - smaller, more efficient saline systems that costs less! That a trend! 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.
On-line inventory and order programs:
This trend grew 700% in 2016
We're all busy in our daily jobs, and sometimes you don't have time to call your CES rep during working hours. Also sometimes it's kind of a "science project" to remember which little parts go to each of your chlorinators, feeders, pumps, filters, etc. So the extremely popular CES web store combined the simplicity of 24/7 online ordering, with an inventory and order program that lets you know exactly the correct parts foe each of the devices on your pool site.
Simple log in (we'll link your web store to your CES account), click on the device you want to order parts for, and you'll see the list of recommended parts, with prices and (most) photos. Grab a pop and browse your inventory needs from the comfort of your home, anytime day or night. .
Is the CES store perfect/ Heck no!, but we're launching v2.0 that integrated some of your suggestions.
Clean your pool effortlessly for less than $10/day.
Robotic Vacuum - Repairable on your pool deck? No way!
2016 saw great new features for the Enduro-TurboClean system and lots of momentum. The value of robotically vacuuming your pool cannot be questioned, as manual vacuuming is a pain in the neck and expensive too. The problem had 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 4 years ago. The 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 "Pay-as-you-Clean" 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 - New tools to fight Legionella and Crypto Scares:
New Crypto and Legionella scares popularize UV alternatives.
New for 2016, many hotels are now acknowledging Legionella as a persistent hot tub issue and have installed UV to help protect themselves. 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 2017?:
We have a few surprises in store for you in 2017, and they include great new tools to keep you in touch with your pool, new pool cleaning options, great new filtration options, and more. . We will also be implementing advances in preventive maintenance, on-site service, remote monitoring, electronic water testing, robotic vacuums, and more.
Thanks again for your business in 2016. 2017 is going to be a lot of fun.