Wet air in swimming pools is not only unpleasant, but can also damage the buildings and threaten the health of users. Many pool air handling equipment manufacturers propose solutions for these problems. Presented at Piscine Connect 2020, dehydration, an ecological, durable and economic process, is the new trend. Bio'R CEO Florent Bocquet tells us more.
Bio'R innovation in Domaine des Ormes, France
How did your company get into the pool air handling market?
Florent Bocquet : Bio'R is part of the French group Anemos, specialists in industrial hygiene and air treatment. One company in our air treatment division - New'R - provides solutions for industrial environments needing controlled hygroscopy, like pharmaceutical factories, agrifood businesses, etc. Via New'R we received requests for other applications in the service sector such as stage shows, sports halls – and indoor pools. Bio'R was born!
Why did you choose to work on swimming pools?
Florent Bocquet : Water evaporates from pools all the time. When the air treatment is badly handled, for example when run continuously in the recycling mode — a case we have often seen — the air becomes unpleasant, chloramines and molds appear and moisture damage to the structures can be irreparable.
This is a frequent problem, because people always want warm air without thinking about moisture management. However, by dehydrating the air, moisture is controlled especially for regulating the temperature, like with air-conditioning. We had the technology, there was a demand, so we entered the pool market.
You propose pool dehydration and not dehumidification – what’s the difference?
Florent Bocquet : Conventional air dehumidification functions with refrigerants. The pool air is aspirated and then condensed to extract the moisture it contains. As this system needs a significant difference in temperature between the ambient air and the refrigerant to enable condensation, this technology will not function in an environment at a temperature of 5°C. The result with this process is usually a relative humidity of 45%, which is still very high.
To dehydrate the air, we use a silica gel drying wheel which collects the water molecules suspended in the air, dries the air and returns it. Our system creates a hydrous imbalance. The greater the imbalance — like when very dry air is pumped into a wet environment — the more quickly the air is homogenized. Our system is highly efficient in all circumstances.
The dehydration of the air ensures permanent stability of the hygroscopy and constant heat in summer as in winter. This technique has been in use since the Seventies, particularly in agribusiness industries and used in swimming pools for the last 10 years although installers and clients are not very familiar with this eco-friendly alternative.
A silica gel drying wheel
What are the benefits of your dehydration system for treating pool air?
Florent Bocquet : The air dehydration process is governed by the logic of sustainable development, ideal for ecological pools. The air is refreshed by the evaporation of water using 30 to 40% less energy. The system does not use highly polluting refrigerants, which account for 15% of greenhouse gas emissions, and on which taxes are hiked all the time!
From an economic point of view, our solution is advantageous too. Our air dehydration system is low cost, low maintenance and low power consumption. Unlike dehumidification systems, there is no need to change compressors or gas. As for the installation costs, a 10sq.m. indoor pool only needs one blower outlet – and as air flow is reduced, so is the pipe work.
And of course, the pools are much more comfortable. Our dehydration solution functions with new air and diffusion is very pleasant. Which would you prefer – a stroll in Bangkok at a temperature of 30°C in humid air or the same stroll in Marrakech in dry air? I can guess your answer!
Le Domaine des Ormes
A typical case in which dehydration was used
This resort, located in Saint-Malo (France), had a condensation problem in its 1,500sq.m. indoor pool due to bad insulation. Bio'R was consulted and, during a preliminary test, pumped all the condensation out in just one hour with an experimental air handling machine.
The installation work which followed integrated a Bio'R dehydrator model with a heat recovery feature into the existing pool architecture with just 8 blower ports saving 500,000€ in construction works alone. To improve the looks, these ports were delicately hidden in the pool’s decorations.
What kind of pools are Bio'R dehydration systems designed for?
Florent Bocquet : Our air handling system works in all indoor pools. Our client base includes everything from private homes to campsites, hotels and physiotherapy practices.
Maintenance is very simple — 1 filter change once a year — so it really is ideal for everyone!
And for anyone still hesitating to invest in an ecological swimming pool, we propose air dehydration machines for all sizes of pools for rent!
Our thanks to Florent Bocquet for this article.
© Photos credits: Bio'R