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Upgrades at Swimming Pool Make a Big Difference in Cost, Energy Being Saved

October 22, 2014

Antigo Daily Journal

Antigo Daily Journal

Upgrades to the Clara R. McKenna Aquatic Center, funded entirely by donations, have netted the Antigo school district significant energy savings and a big check.

On Monday, representatives of Focus on Energy, Wisconsin's statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy, along with Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, presented the Antigo Unified School District with an incentive check for $19,358.04 following the completion of a project to install new air handling equipment at the indoor pool complex.

The new air handling units will have lower electrical demand due to its ability to control the humidity levels without the need for mechanical cooling. The supply and exhaust fans will also have lower horse power reducing energy consumption.

The new HVAC equipment is specifically designed for aquatic facilities operating in northern climates,” Tim Prunty, supervisor of building and grounds for the school district, said. “The equipment utilizes refrigerant tube technology and has the ability to recover up to 80 percent of the heat in the exhaust stream prior to ventilation. The new equipment will also improve indoor air quality for all patrons visiting the aquatic center, and greatly reduce the demand for electricity.”

The air handling project carried an overall price tag of $553,000 and was financed entirely through donations. It replaced costly and obsolete air handling equipment at the complex.

“The main purpose of the new air handlers is to reduce utility costs and help prolong our current equipment,” Jeff Neufeld, director of the aquatic center, said. “It also improves air quality in the pool rooms for patrons and employees by removing the smell of chlorine and creates a more inviting environment for everyone.”

The new units get their supply of air from the surface of the water, whisking away the common indoor pool chemical smells. They also allow recirculation regardless of temperature, bringing in fresh air on the coldest winter day.”

The original air handling units were just 10 years old but were overcome by technical advances, making them obsolete, with parts increasingly difficult to obtain.

Prunty said the incentive dollars will be earmarked toward other pool projects, including the eventual replacement of pool heaters.

The Antigo school district has a long standing history of working with Focus on Energy. Previous work includes lighting retrofits, HVAC projects, and variable frequency drive upgrades.

“Beyond completing standardized projects, Antigo continues to pursue energy saving opportunities in their school district facilities,” Prunty said. “The district will continue to look at cost-effective energy savings projects at the aquatic center and in the district’s buildings.”

By completing these projects, the Antigo school district will reduce more than 62 kilowatts of energy demand, while saving 289,451 kilowatt-hours of electricity— enough energy to power 29 homes for one year. The annual environmental benefits are equivalent to offsetting 568 barrels of oil from being burned and removing 47 cars off the road – eliminating more than 489,751 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.

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