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Case Study
Lee Center For Rehabilitation

Solar Direct Case Study

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Project Background


Cape Coral Hospital, listed as one of the 100 Top Hospitals in the United States, has served Lee County, including the communities of Cape Coral, North Fort Myers and Pine Island for over 20 years. Associated with the hospital is the Lee Center for Rehabilitation and Wellness Center. The Center’s many amenities include an indoor 25,000-gallon chlorinated therapy pool used by patients and wellness club members.


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The hospital facility manager was concerned about the health-risk issues surrounding chlorine pool use, particularly within a healthcare facility.

Chlorine, its byproducts and even the pH levels of pools, have all been associated with patient health issues. Recent studies in both the US and Europe found swimming regularly in chlorinated pools puts children at risk for asthma as well as other deleterious health issues. Indeed, the existence of respiratory problems in competitive swimmers has been known widely for some time.

The facility manager was seeking a solution that would not only address the health issue, but one which would be perceived by patients and members as more than a “utility change” but also as an improvement to the facility’s environment.

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In May, 2006, Solar Direct, in partnership with AutoPilot Inc., designed and installed an advanced pool purification system for the Center’s therapy pool. Using the Digital Pool Pilot (a salt chlorine generator) the system maintains low levels of pH-balanced chlorine that purify the water automatically, while elimininating chlorine’s side-effects. (Chlorine remains but in very low trace-level amounts.)

The system addresses the health issues, improving both water and air quality. Further, from a hospital marketing viewpoint, the system is well-received as the system produces soft, silky and clear water for pool users.

From a facilities maintenance view, the system is cost-efficient, reducing the need and therefore cost for pool maintenance chemicals. Longer term, pool equipment corrodes at a much slower rate compared to traditional chlorine generators.

Pool Pilot Automatic Pool Control

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System Configuration

2 Digital Pool Pilot Systems; 2 Salt Conversion Cells
Indoor Pool Size 25,000 gallons
Bather Load 75 people/day
Temperature Requirements 84-94 deg F
Costs and ROI
System plus installation Cost $4420
Pre-Install Chemical Costs/Year $1550/Year
Post-Install Chemical Costs/Year $XXX/Year
Payback Period 2.9 Years
8-yr. chemical & Equipment Maintenance savings $1790

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