Analysis of Standards Proposal for Portable Electric Spas

Portable Electric Spas

Codes and Standards Enhancement (CASE) Initiative
For PY 2012: Title 20 Standards Development

Analysis of Standards Proposal for
Portable Electric Spas

Docket # 12-AAER-2G

CASE Report
May 15, 2014
Prepared by:
Chad Worth, ENERGY SOLUTIONS
Gary Fernstrom, PACIFIC GAS & ELECTRIC COMPANY

Portable Electric Spas Final CASE Report_2014-05-15-logos

This report was prepared by the California Statewide Utility Codes and Standards Program and funded by the California utility customers under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. Copyright 2014 Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas, San Diego Gas & Electric.

All rights reserved, except that this document may be used, copied, and distributed without modification.
Neither PG&E, SCE, SoCalGas, SDG&E, nor any of its employees makes any warranty, express of implied; or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any data, information, method, product, policy or process disclosed in this document; or represents that its use will not infringe any privately-owned rights including, but not limited to, patents, trademarks or copyrights.

Acknowledgements
We would like thank and acknowledge Jess Tudor of Coverplay Inc., Energy Trust of Oregon’s Spa Cover Rebate team and Association of Pool and Spa Professionals-14 Committee for their valuable contributions and commitment to spa energy efficiency.

 

Spa Cover
The spa cover likely offers the greatest opportunity for energy efficiency improvement for a portable electric spa because in addition to providing insulating value the cover provides a good seal with the top of the spa shell to prevent water evaporation. Important features of an energy efficient cover include making sure the entire cover is insulated and that heat loss through the hinge is minimized. Most spa covers utilize a double-hinge design which can create a 1-inch to 3-inch gap of insulation in the middle of the cover. Additionally, the gap can extend the entire length of the cover allowing for significant heat loss. This heat loss can be mitigated with a cover that has a single hinge or insulated hinge design. (COVERPLAY 2014) In Figure 4.5 below you can see the air gap on the left with the traditional dual-hinge cover design as compared to the single hinge design from Coverplay Inc. on the right which essentially eliminates the gap all together.

spa cover comparison

Figure 4.5 Dual-hinge designed hot tub covers leak more energy than a single hinge design.

Source: https://coverplay.com/science-corner/
The energy savings opportunity with spa covers is significant enough that that utilities and are starting to design and implement energy efficiency programs around them. The first such program, administered by the Energy Trust of Oregon, has been offering $100 rebates for spa covers since early 2013 which have a minimum R-Value of 12 and have one continuous piece or have an insulated hinge of at least R-12. Conversations with the implementers of this program have shared with the CASE Team that thus far the program has been popular and successful. (OREGON 2014)

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