How Much Energy Does a Wave Pool Use?

A waterpark is one of the most favorable destinations during a summer holiday. Obviously, inside a waterpark, there are a number of playgrounds that we can choose for having fun. In general, a wave pool is among those water park playgrounds.

The fun inside a wave pool is when a series of artificial waves are released. The best fun is if you are using a floater, as the released wave will drift you far away from your starting position. You might bump into others along the drift, but that is part of the fun you will get when drifting in a wave pool. How far the drift is depends on how long the wave pool is. 

You might wonder how a wave pool creates an artificial wave. Meanwhile, in the ocean, the wave is naturally generated. The ocean wave is either created from energy produced by the friction between wind movement and the ocean surface or by the tidal changes that are caused by the energy from the gravitational pull between the sun, the earth, and the moon.

A wave pool actually creates the artificial wave by simulating either of the aforementioned movements using technology. How much energy does a wave pool use? It is an abstract question. We narrow it down to how much energy is consumed in terms of electricity usage. So, let us find out by first learning the following specifics of wave pools.

Wave Pool Size

There is no standardization of wave pool size known, either for recreational or for surfing spot purposes. A small wave pool could start from 700 sqm with 28 m width and 25 m length. A safety-measured family recreation wave pool with a maximum wave height set to 1.2 m. 

A far bigger size wave pool is 13,500 sqm, with 150 m in length and up to 3 m wave height. It is located in Tenerife, Spain, at the famous Siam Park Wave Palace.

The Artificial Wave

The artificial wave specifics comprise the wave speed, the wave’s height, and how many wave sets it generates per hour. For fun purposes, a wave pool can produce one wave per 90 seconds with a speed of 4.5 m to 7.5 m. Hence, it is approximately about 40 waves per hour. In general, the wave height is about 0.5 m up to 2.4 m.

The wave’s height, speed, and frequency shall be different for a wave pool that is specifically designed for a surfing spot. The minimum is a 3-wave release per set with 30 seconds per wave duration. That is approximately 120 waves per hour, with wave heights between 1.5 m to 3 m, and with speeds similar to those mentioned before. It is the best fit for surfing on a beach wave simulation.

Type of a Wave Pool

Now, let us continue by knowing the type of wave pool available. In general, there are 3 types of wave pools based on the hydraulic mechanism used to create the artificial waves. All of those types simulate the tidal changes as we have previously described.

  • Compressed Air. 
  • Hydraulic Paddle
  • Gravity Tank

Compressed Air Wave Pool

A compressed air wave pool, usually equipped with 5 to 6 chambers with underwater openings, is located at the far end of the pool. It uses a compressor pump to blow air into each chamber.

The waves are created as the air pushes down the water into the chamber opening. It uses a computer program to create the series of waves released. This type of wave pool is commonly used for fun purposes.

Hydraulic Paddle Wave Pool

It is a pneumatic wave-created system. It uses a hydraulic piston to push the piston back and forth to create a motion that generates artificial waves. Comprises sets of pistons that sit on a rail. This type of wave pool mechanism is not favorable since it requires high maintenance and a cost-full investment.

Gravity Tank Wave Pool

Known as one of the strongest wave machines as the wave height can reach as high as 3.3 m. The main components are large water tanks located at the far end of the pool. Each tank is equipped with a valve at its base to release the water. The system uses water pumps to refill. The artificial waves are created when the valve at its base is open.

How much is the energy used?

It depends on the key component used to create the artificial wave. For the compressed air wave pool, an air compressor pump is the main component. A technology provider such as Wavegarden claimed to have an energy-efficient solution. 

Wavegarden provides an artificial wave solution of 8 waves per set, with 35 sets per hour, which is equivalent to 280 waves per hour. It is for recreational surfing purposes. The total overall energy consumption is 455 kWh. It includes power consumption for lighting, cooling, sensors, etc., as the pump consumed only 325 kWh.

In comparison, Wavegarden describes the energy used for a pneumatic system or the hydraulic paddle wave pool type. A system that creates 6 waves per set, of 47 sets per hour, or similar 280 waves per hour. Such a solution uses a total power consumption of 4324 kWh overall. It is ten times what Wavegarden’s compressed air solution uses.

The size of a gravity tank system wave pool depends on the size of the gravity tank system. The bigger the tank, the higher the pump system capacity is required. Such a pump system usually comprises a series of pumps installed in order to quickly refill the tank for 90 seconds of wave duration.

Let us assume a small wave pool with a 10 m3 gravity tank system. It requires a pump system with 300 m3/hour capacity. Suppose the system comprises 24 units of pump with 25 m3/hour capacity. If the energy consumption is 1.5 kWh per pump, the total consumption is 36 kWh. So, we can imagine how much energy is used for the Siam Park Wave Palace, which could be more than ten times such an assumption.

James Davis

Written by James Davis

I'm a true California local, and I've spent my life riding the waves along our stunning coastline. Surfing has always been my greatest love, and in my writing, I try to capture its genuine essence. My words aim to transport you into the heart of the surf culture, where the ocean and surfers come together in perfect harmony.

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