North Haven Connecticut’s Walter Gawrych Community Pool

Aegis Energy, EDF Group engineered and installed a CHP System and since, things have been going swimmingly

Founded in 1786, the Town of North Haven, Conn., is anything but old-fashioned; quite the contrary, North Haven is progressive when it comes to sustainability, even being lauded by the Department of Environmental Protection for their Clean Energy Program. Offering ‘green’ community events, education and recycling programs, it stands to reason that when given the opportunity to improve energy production at one of their most celebrated facilities, the Walter Gawrych Community Pool, town officials were ready to ‘dive in’ to the project.

In its 30th year, the Walter Gawrych Community Pool plays host to recreational and competitive swimmers of all ages, open seven days a week, most days of the year. In addition to swim lessons, swim meets for the local high school and Special Olympics North Haven Chapter are offered in the 8-lane, 275,000-gallon pool.

“We pride ourselves on our top-notch facility,” said Andy DelVecchio, pool director. “Visitors often assume that the pool is new and are shocked to learn that they’re enjoying the same pool so many have over the past three decades.”

He furthered, “We’ve never received less than an A rating from the Board of Health, who analyze and evaluate the water quality and clarity and overall cleanliness of the facility, including the locker room and showers. We were happy to find that the Aegis CHP system met our high standards.”

Aegis Energy, EDF Group engineered and installed a 35kW CHP system, which heats the water for the pool and showers to a comfortable temperature.

“We know our guests like the new system,” furthered DelVecchio. If there was a problem with the water temperature, we would have heard about it. The CHP system’s installation was seamless and undetectable, and the results delivered have been exemplary and as promised.”

Making a splash with sustainability

Put simply, CHP, also referred to as Combined Heat and Power or cogeneration, is a process that simultaneously generates heat and electricity on site. In the case of the Walter Gawrych Community Pool, CHP was a perfect solution to heat water for the pool and showers and reduce ambient humidity throughout the entire facility.

Originally outfitted with traditional boilers, North Haven officials saw energy savings potential in switching over to CHP systems. They researched the Aegis product line, ultimately discovering that cogeneration is a more efficient, less expensive and cleaner way to generate heat and power.

Edward Swinkoski, director of finance/administration for the town, began researching viable and clean solutions for reducing energy costs. “The Walter Gawrych Community Pool is the second largest municipal building in North Haven and the largest energy-user,” he reported. “Understandably, we were concerned about finding a solution that would reduce energy costs while providing the heat and power required to adequately meet the needs of the facility. We were pleased to find that the Aegis CHP system could meet both goals.”

Michael Freda, first selectman of North Haven, was equally pleased to learn of the environmental benefits of the CHP system. A proponent for green technology, Freda has deployed many other green initiatives in town, including the adoption of solar technology and charging stations. “In addition to complementing the sustainable vision of the town, the Aegis system supports the long-term financial health of the pool.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nearly two-thirds of energy used to generate electricity by central power plants is wasted in the form of heat discharged to the atmosphere. What’s more, additional energy is wasted during the distribution of electricity to end-users. In contrast, on-site generation of electricity captures the heat that would otherwise be wasted to provide useful thermal energy—such as steam or hot water—that can be used for space heating, cooling, domestic hot water and industrial processes.

CHP systems from Aegis Energy provide operational efficiency of 85%, using nearly all natural gas input to produce heat and electricity, versus the low efficiency of traditional central power plants, which are only 30% efficient on average. Simply put, these central power plants waste the other 70% in discharged heat and electrical losses along grid distribution.

The Shared Savings Program allowed the town to dive right in to savings

The impact of the economic recession is still looming on health and sports centers with ever-tightening budgets, especially those with large pools,” said President of Aegis Energy, EDF Group Lee Vardakas. “These types of facilities require a substantial thermal demand for their heating and dehumidification.”

He added, “Our Shared Savings Program allows clients to take advantage of energy cost-savings without requiring any up-front capital investments or annual operating expenses. Our clients simply purchase the energy produced by the cogeneration system at a discount to prevailing energy rates. In addition, they have the option later on to purchase the system outright at an increasingly reduced price, thus securing even greater savings. This means that, in addition to realizing tremendous operational efficiency and sustainability, facilities like the Walter Gawrych Community Pool can ‘dive’ right in to savings.”

Synchronize with Aegis

Aegis Energy, EDF Group has successfully designed and installed Combined Heat and Power systems in numerous recreational facilities, including municipal indoor pools, college and high school pools, ice rinks, athletic clubs and water parks, reducing energy costs by up to 50%.

Interested in learning more about CHP or how Aegis can design a system to meet your facility’s unique needs? Contact an Aegis representative today for an in-depth energy analysis and comprehensive plan to learn how an Aegis CHP system can integrate with your existing building infrastructure.

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