Investment of 3,3 million PLN from NCBR for development of technology to improve air quality in indoor swimming pools

Swimming pool

April 21, An agreement was signed between Virtual Power Plant and the National Center for Research and Development on co-financing under the so-called ” „Fast track” programme for small and medium enterprises. The value of the subsidy will amount to 3 306 154.95 PLN.

VPPlant’s project „Intelligent HVAC Optimizer with function to detect THM formation potential in indoor swimming pools (OHT) – new method of energy and heat management. It adjusts ventilation, heating, air-conditioning (HVAC) in real-time to the concentrations of carcinogenic chlorinated derivatives of methane such as trihalomethanes (THM) and removes them from pools” was qualified for funding by the NCBR experts during the call  in July 2016. The project was ranked 9th in the ranking list among 52 selected projects (369 applications submitted).

The purpose of the OHT project is to conduct industrial research and development work for the prototype of a new technology (OHT) and product: an intelligent optimizer for ventilation systems as a function of monitoring the THM carcinogenic potential and their removal from the indoor pool space.

Innovative OHT device combines the management of water disinfection processes with HVAC which will:

  • generate savings on electricity and heat;
  • allow for monitoring of air and water quality in indoor swimming pools;
  • reduces the negative impact of water disinfection processes on human health.

Are indoor swimming pools safe?

Prolonged exposure to indoor swimming pool halls, where THM is not effectively removed, can cause: cancer, occupational asthma, runny nose, upper respiratory tract diseases, skin and eye irritation. Particularly harmful is the effect of THM on children’s organism in school pools with poor water quality. Therefore, THM standards are in place in western European countries. Recently similar standards have been implemented in Poland. In the end of 2015, the minister of health submitted a regulation on the requirements for water in swimming pools. The limit of THM concentration in Polish pools was set at 0.1 mg / l. The entry into force of the new legislation has increased the hygienic requirements for swimming pools in terms of THM concentrations, and regulatory services have committed to periodic THM measurements. The regulation also allows for inspections by the sanitary services and penalties for exceeding set standards.

The results of research on OHT technology will support the current methodology of sporadic carcinogenic THM measurements through economically justified real-time monitoring of the THM potential. The OHT device can be used in mass and will reduce the concentration of harmful chemicals in indoor pools, especially in school swimming pools, which face the challenge of higher hygiene requirements introduced by the Ministry of Health, „explains Grzegorz Nowaczewski, President of VPPlant. – Determining the potential of THM creation will allow you to take preventive action. Correlation of filtration, pool water heating and ventilation will result in savings in electricity and heat consumption. This is a significant functional novelty in relation to the present state – he adds.

An alternative to the use of OHT can be a thorough modernization of the filtration or ventilation system (eg assembly of extra lift sections) in indoor pools. OHT is less invasive and more economical and energy efficient  if we compare implementation time, purchase cost, installation and operation of alternative activities. The special feature of OHT will be the relatively low cost of implementation thanks to a specialized new sensor system and IT programs tailored and extended to the existing technical infrastructure of the pool. The implementation of OHT will be possible without waiting for a period of thorough maintenance and repairs, which is most often held once a year.

First clients interested in the results of OHT research project

The Ministry of Sport and Tourism gives the number of 736 indoor swimming pools in Poland (as of April 2015). Regardless of size, they all face the problem of removing harmful chemicals from the pool air, and the designed device will be applicable to both new and older buildings.

The company has already received confirmation from potential customers in the country and abroad of readiness to implement the results of the project .

VPPlant also signed a letter of intent with the National Institute of Public Health – the National Institute of Hygiene, which also expressed its readiness to participate in the project.

Interested parties interested in cooperation with VPPlant regarding OHT project please contact us.


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