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Thread: Desert summer pool cover (e.g, CoolGuard) recommendations?

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    Desert summer pool cover (e.g, CoolGuard) recommendations?

    Any recommendations for pool covers engineered to make the water cooler (rather than warmer)?

    The cover would be for an irregularly-shaped, in-ground pool in Scottsdale, AZ (i.e., Sonoran Desert). That means standing up to dust and debris is an essential quality on par with slowing temperature rise, chlorine burn-off, and evaporation rate. A cover that could also somehow warm the water in the winter would be ideal, but I'd rather swap between two outstanding seasonal covers than muddle through with one mediocre one.

    The closest match I've found to what I'm looking for is the CoolGuard (http://www.plastipack.co.uk/trans-EN...coolguard.html). However, requests for purchase info, such as referrals to local distributors, made via the email address on Plastipack web site's "Contact Us" page, have gone unanswered twice so far in the past year. Does anyone have any experiences to relate with this product or comparable ones for desert climates?

    How about well-priced vendors able to turn the cover material into a completed system?

    Thanks < Lionel
    35-ish kgal irregular-shaped in-ground.
    Hayward 60sf DE filter using cellulose media.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Desert summer pool cover (e.g, CoolGuard) recommendation

    Most heat loss is to evaporation. With any cover you will reduce that loss so the water will stay warmer. I guess if you pour a reflective cover on in the day and removed it at night you might be able to cool the water.

    Easier to just use a cooling fountain or run the water through solar panels at night.
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    Re: Desert summer pool cover (e.g, CoolGuard) recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Most heat loss is to evaporation. With any cover you will reduce that loss so the water will stay warmer. I guess if you pour a reflective cover on in the day and removed it at night you might be able to cool the water...
    The subject is pool covers that help prevent heating of the water, exactly the opposite of what nearly every pool cover on the market claims to do. Any material that fits this topic should, at a minimum, reflect practically all radiant heat (sunlight, IR and UV). Cooling is a different subject, and especially in our desert, open-air evaporative cooling is not only undesirable amidst other options for cooling, it runs contrary to what is being asked for here. Notice the O.P. says one requirement for the pool cover is to reduce evaporation?

    Know anything of desert-adapted pool covering materials and fabricators out there? Anyone shipping or using covers with this CoolGuard material?

    < Lionel
    35-ish kgal irregular-shaped in-ground.
    Hayward 60sf DE filter using cellulose media.

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    Re: Desert summer pool cover (e.g, CoolGuard) recommendation

    I searched and searched , they do make a silver cover which will reflect the heat , but blanket covers are a hassle to deal with , and I worried the dog would get trapped in it when I was not home

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Desert summer pool cover (e.g, CoolGuard) recommendation

    I am well aware of the desert environment and thought the main concern was keeping the water cool ... ANY cover will also reduce chlorine loss to the sun AND slow the evaporation. In fact, all SOLAR covers do not add more heat than the pool would get WITHOUT the cover. There main benefit is preventing the heat loss to evaporation. You pool water during the day will get warmer without a cover, assuming low winds. But, that counters your requirement to ALSO maintain the chlorine. My point is that if you want the keep the water the coolest, you need to take the cover OFF at night and allow the evaporation to aid in keeping the water cool.

    I do know of one alternative though ... a bunch of 2x4s, some sheathing, foam, wire mesh, stucco, throw up some roof tiles to match your house and add temperature control to the room = no loss of FC to sun or heating from the sun and low evaporation
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Desert summer pool cover (e.g, CoolGuard) recommendation

    I'm guessing the best solution, other than the one you found but can't buy, is a combination of two things. Regular solar cover AND shade for the pool. How you provide the shade is up to you. There is a pretty neat product out there that is basically a pergola you build, except spacing is more like 2' for the crossmembers. Hen you buy a kit of fabric panels that go in between them, they are manually retractable. Really just depends on your budget....and desired look of your pool.

    They make pool coolers, heat pumps that reverse and dedicated pool cooling units.
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    Re: Desert summer pool cover (e.g, CoolGuard) recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    I am well aware of the desert environment and thought the main concern was keeping the water cool ... ANY cover will also reduce chlorine loss to the sun AND slow the evaporation. In fact, all SOLAR covers do not add more heat than the pool would get WITHOUT the cover. There main benefit is preventing the heat loss to evaporation. You pool water during the day will get warmer without a cover, assuming low winds. But, that counters your requirement to ALSO maintain the chlorine. My point is that if you want the keep the water the coolest, you need to take the cover OFF at night and allow the evaporation to aid in keeping the water cool.
    So then you know, keeping the water in and the sunlight/heat+debris out are the foremost concerns of living sustainably in the desert.

    I've seen that "SOLAR" term used a lot, but it doesn't help in comparing one cover with another. Are there any manufacturers who quantify their claims? Like reflectivity across the relevant parts of the spectrum? R-values? OK, maybe that's heading for the Deep End, but I'm grasping here: "no worse than a pool without a cover" is a minimal requirement, far from ideal.

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    I do know of one alternative though ... a bunch of 2x4s, some sheathing, foam, wire mesh, stucco, throw up some roof tiles to match your house and add temperature control to the room = no loss of FC to sun or heating from the sun and low evaporation
    Actually a bit less might do better: I've been wondering if a really good radiant barrier plus some insulation and reinforcement (i.e., a pool cover designed for the desert) and a solar condenser (i.e, a dehumidifier) with flexible hoses stuck under the cover would provide better cooling (all the time the pool isn't being used) than with the cover off. Yeah, that one belongs in the Deep End too.

    < Lionel
    35-ish kgal irregular-shaped in-ground.
    Hayward 60sf DE filter using cellulose media.

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    Re: Desert summer pool cover (e.g, CoolGuard) recommendations?

    Hi our_hummel_abode, did you ever find a solution?

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    Re: Desert summer pool cover (e.g, CoolGuard) recommendations?

    You have conflicting requirements: keep the pool cool while preventing evaporation. Just like "swamp coolers" work well to cool desert homes by evaporating water, those evaporative losses are the primary way to cool your pool. Preserving water will increase you water temp by decreasing the cooling effects of evaporation.

    That said, you can decrease the solar heating by reflecting the sunlight during the day. Any reflective surface--be it a space blanket (bright side up) or aluminum foil bonded to a plastic pool cover--will reflect sunlight. It will also create a major source of glare. A white cover--if you can find one--will reflect a LOT of the light too. Think about wearing light-colored clothes verses black while out in the sun.

    Since the desert has clear skies at night, you can get substantial heat loss radiating out into clear night skies. (That's why citrus growers will use fog or smoke generators to protect their crop during freezing weather with clear skies.) Unfortunately, your reflective daytime surface may also reflect heat right back into the pool while you want it to cool at night. To maximize cooling, remove your cover at night.

    Depending on where you are in the desert, evenings may be hot or cool. While the cover is off at night, you will get convective heat transfer between the hot/cold air and your pool water. Even if it's warm air, the convective heat-in would still be substantially less than the heat radiated into clear skies. Wind will also cause some evaporation, which provides some evaporative cooling. I suspect the lion's share of desert evaporation occurs during the day, so it should be a secondary effect with much less evaporation than full-time uncovered.

    While I don't have any product solutions, I hope an understanding of the physics helps to you filter through the marketing BS, allowing you to understand what will most likely work for your needs.

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