Heat Pump Electrification – Kardinia Aquatic Centre

In order to progressively remove reliance on natural gas operations, Bridgeford Group performed an engineering based concept study for the electrification of pool heating at the City of Greater Geelong’s Kardinia Aquatic Centre.

This study analysed existing system operations and developed options for system upgrades, from hybrid to fully electrified, with a focus on energy efficiency as well as analysis of infrastructure limitations. The current pool heating is facilitated using gas-fired boilers; one coming to end of life, and one only five years old,
however a change in operating profile in 2020 due to COVID meant that the pool changed from seasonal use to year round, and the existing heating systems were not coping with this change.

Kardinia_Bridgeford

As a result, Bridgeford Group developed and benchmarked a model of annual pool heat loss and energy consumption that considered evaporation rates, conduction, radiation and convective losses. This enabled production of an annual operating profile to set a baseline for the new required gas and water consumption, prior to considering various electrification options.

A key part of the analysis for defining suitable options was the understanding that although peak capacity of the system might be required on particular warm and dry days, or windy and cool days (when evaporation rates were highest), these time periods represented less than 2% of the annual operational load. Sizing heat pump systems for this peak would not be an efficient use of project funding, as for the majority of the year, the heating requirement was much lower. As a result, Bridgeford Group defined options for electrification that would provide 90% of the emissions reduction, at half of the peak capacity, and near half of the cost of a fully electrified system.

Based on this analysis, the recommendation was for a smaller hybrid heat-pump system (with option for provisioning infrastructure for future electrification if needed), reducing gas-based emissions by 90% (1,000tCO2 p.a.), while offsetting the remaining 10% of the emissions via renewable energy sources (generation of electricity via solar). This stratgey and outcome enables the City of Greater Geelong to reduce emissions by a similar factor at another recreation centre, maximising emissions reduction for the cost.