One pool of thought yields warm water

00:51, Dec 12 2012
Solar Heating
Totally tropical: Suburban School students have shown even kids can be innovative by warming their school pool with a solar heating panel made from irrigation pipe. From left, Evelyn Armstrong, Blaise Lyons, Kasaiah Broadhurst, Coco Bentley, Hamish Dunlea and Sebastian Frost.

We all know Kaikoura strives to uphold its sustainability values and considers itself a trend-setter in environmental matters.

And at Suburban School it seems age is no barrier for thinking up new ways to be sustainable.

With a little help from volunteer labour and family sponsorship, the school pool now has its own solar water heating panel.

Fantail Class teacher Chris Chambers said in previous years the unheated school pool was too cold for the younger children, even in the middle of summer.

The class has been learning about sustainability and had been to visit homes and businesses including wind farms, a straw bale house, a water turbine and a micro-hydro system.

This prompted them to think about solar energy and, more importantly, how to use it to their advantage.


They produced different designs for what they thought the end product should look like then enlisted some volunteer labour in the shape of Brent Proctor from Pacific Pools, buil der Matt Chambers and others.

Lengths of irrigation pipe were cut to length, at school and at home, and this was then fed through lengths of wood ready for installing on the roof.

The roof was repositioned to take full advantage of the day's sun, and hey presto, the pool has warm water with the cold water travelling through the warm pipes and back. Mrs Chambers said it was a great addition to the school's resources because even in summers when the sun is not at its best, the solar setup should provide enough heat to allow all the children to enjoy the pool.

Kaikoura Star