Insulated automatic pool cover

BubbaBasco

Gold Supporter
Aug 28, 2017
30
Los Altos, CA
We're in the process of having a 75' x 12' lap pool built In Northern California. We'd like to use it year round, which means heat retention will be very important. This all leads to the obvious need for an automatic pool cover.

The standard solution to this problem is an automatic vinyl cover. While this solves the evaporation problem, it's not so great with respect to other thermal losses.

There are better thermal solutions, e.g. ThermGard claims to have a cover with R4 insulation, which is much better than a simple vinyl cover. However, these types of products don't seem to have automated solutions.

So my question is has anyone found a solution to this problem? Any suggestions?

Thanks!
 

dfahrion

Bronze Supporter
Oct 18, 2013
89
Iowa
I have no experience with it other than stumbling on it on the web, but it looks really cool, google for "HydraLux". I'm guessing it isn't cheap, but they state "Aquamatic has an exclusive solid core foam filled slat which offers the highest insulating value of any automatic swimming pool or spa cover". Also note "The HydraLux is designed as an automated energy savings device, and is not to be considered a safety cover."

That said, as long as you keep it dry a standard autocover holds heat really well as it isn't just a thin sheet of vinyl, it is layered and at least to me is a surprisingly thick material.
 

Honey Badger

In The Industry
Dec 11, 2015
28
Lehi, UT
If you get a dark color then it will transfer heat into your pool and keep it warm. More often people are looking to get a cooler with an automatic cover because it is too hot.
 

BubbaBasco

Gold Supporter
Aug 28, 2017
30
Los Altos, CA
The HydraLux is an interesting solution, but I wonder about evaporation with it. Evaporation is the largest cause of heat loss, and a standard vinyl cover will come close to eliminating evaporation. I haven't been able to find any data on how much evaporation happens with a slat system, but given gaps on the pool edges along with small gaps between slats, I wonder how efficient these are compared to vinyl. And probably the deal breaker for slats is that I think I'm going to need the security of the vinyl solution.

As for the pool getting too hot, I'm not too concerned with that in our climate. My real concern is retaining heat during winter months. It seems that automatic vinyl covers have been made primarily for security and ease of use without much thought going into thermal aspects.

Unless I find something better, looks like I'm headed towards an automatic vinyl cover. Then over time I'll experiment to see if I can find a better cover material with better thermal properties and try to incorporate that into the system somehow. I'm sure an improved cover material would be heavier and thicker, therefore I'll need an automatic system that can handle more weight and has a bigger roller for thicker material. I was hoping to find someone out there that has attempted to improve upon the standard vinyl material used in all of these systems.

As for finding an automatic system that would offer the best option for exploring alternative cover materials, i.e. most powerful motor and most physical space for larger diameter roll-up, does anyone have thoughts on that? Or am I missing any manufactures that offer automatic covers in the US? Have looked at Acquamtic, Coverstar, Pool Covers Inc, Cover Pools and Pool Cover Specialists.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
6,784
Central MD
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
https://www.recreonics.com/product-category/deck-equipment/pool-covers/thermal-covers/

Here's a link to thermal covers. But they are not safety covers from what I can see. I also thought someone linked one from Australia.

Here's link to a Google search for Australia. Again, not safety covers. Maybe you need to think about a manual out of the pool style rollup thermal cover that goes on top of your safety cover. Maybe not as safe somehow, but...

https://www.google.com/search?q=australia+thermal+pool+cover&oq=australia+thermal+pool+cover&aqs=chrome..69i57j0.6678j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

But the problem is that a good insulating cover will not probably be good at allowing solar gain. The cover referenced in that thread recently that I recall, had come up with a way to do it by having the top side be clear and the bottom side be darker, with insulation in between.
 
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