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Title:
PUMP CONTROL DEVICES, APPLICATIONS AND SYSTEMS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/051547
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to the modulation of the flow rate of a body of water pumped through a conduit by a fixed speed pump. Pump control devices may comprise a drive converter to alter the operation of a pump drive driving the fixed speed pump to enable the selection of the speed of the fixed speed pump. The drive converter may be connected to a central processing unit to receive information detected by a flow rate sensor and to receive instructions for altering the operation of the pump drive from a software application. The software application may receive input values from a user and the central processing unit, perform a calculation for adjusting the input values, and display the input and output values resulting from the calculation. The drive converter may alter the operation of the pump drive according to the output values resulting from the calculation.

Inventors:
BUONSANTO, Damien (13 Emerson Grove, Tranmere, South Australia 5073, 5073, AU)
CARETTI, Peter (4 Rod Court, Gulfview Heights, South Australia 5096, 5096, AU)
Application Number:
AU2018/050995
Publication Date:
March 21, 2019
Filing Date:
September 13, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
NYMET INNOVATIONS PTY LTD (1/53 Stanbel Road, Salisbury Plain, South Australia 5109, 5109, AU)
International Classes:
F04D15/00; E04H4/12; F04B49/06; F04B49/20; F04D27/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2016086986A12016-06-09
Foreign References:
US20140314062A12014-10-23
US20170211285A12017-07-27
US20090200245A12009-08-13
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHILIAD CONSULTING PTY LTD (167 Flinders Street, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, 5000, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A pump control device for modulating the flow rate of a body of water pumped through a conduit by a fixed speed pump comprising;

a drive converter configured to alter the operation of a pump drive driving the fixed speed pump to enable the selection of the speed of the fixed speed pump, the drive converter operably connected to a central processing unit,

the central processing unit adapted to receive information detected by a flow rate sensor and to receive instructions for altering the operation of the pump drive from a software application,

the software application configured to receive input from a user via a graphical user interface and input values from the central processing unit, to perform a calculation for adjusting the input values, and configured to display the input values and output values resulting from the calculation via the graphical user interface,

the software application adapted to display the graphical user interface on a display, and

the drive converter adapted to alter the operation of the pump drive according to the output values resulting from the calculation.

2. A pump control device according to claim 1, wherein the drive converter is configured to alter the pump drive waveform thereby altering the operation of a pump drive driving the fixed speed pump.

3. A pump control device according to claim 1 or 2, comprising a wireless

communication board electrically connected to the central processing unit and configured to transmit data between the central processing unit and the software application.

4. A pump control device according to any one of claims 1 to 3 adapted to receive a signal from one or more sensors sensing a physical or chemical characteristic of the body of water.

5. A pump control device according to claim 4, wherein the one or more sensors comprises a flow rate sensor.

6. A pump control device according to claim 5, wherein the flow rate sensor is electrically connected to the central processing unit.

7. A software application for modulating the flow rate of a body of water pumped through a conduit by a fixed speed pump comprising;

a graphical user interface configured to receive an input from a user, the input being a selection of one or more variable parameters,

a signal input interface configured to receive one or more signal inputs detected by a flow rate sensor configured to sense the flow rate of the body of water pumped through a conduit by the fixed speed pump,

a computation module configured to process the input from a user and the signal input detected by the flow rate sensor, and configured to calculate an adjustment to the operation of a pump drive driving the fixed speed pump to enable the selection of the speed of the fixed speed pump,

a communication module configured to communicate the adjustment to the pump drive of a pump control device according to any one of claims 1 to 6, and

an output display adapted to display the selection of one or more variable parameters, the one or more signal inputs detected by the flow rate sensor and the adjustment to the operation of the pump drive.

8. A software application according to claim 7, wherein the software application is configured to receive signal inputs from more than one sensor and is configured to calculate an adjustment to the operation of a pump drive from the signal inputs from more than one sensor.

9. A software application according to claim 7 or 8, wherein the graphical user interface and the output display are comprised within an application component configured to be downloadable to a wireless device accessible to the user, and wherein the application component is in wireless communication with the computation module.

10. A software application according to any one of claims 7 to 9 wherein; the signal input interface is linked with the computation module and is configured to receive signal inputs from the central processing unit of the pump control device, comprising a signal input from a flow rate sensor and one or more signal inputs from other sensors,

the computation module is linked with the communication module and is configured to calculate an adjustment to the operation of the pump drive and one or more auxiliary components, and

the communication module is configured to transmit instructions for the adjustment to the operation of the pump drive and the one or more auxiliary components to the central processing unit of the pump control device.

11. A software application according to claim 10, wherein one or more auxiliary components may be selected from a flow rate sensor, a temperature sensor, a pH sensor, an oxidation-reduction potential sensor, a total alkalinity sensor, a pressure sensor or a turbidity sensor.

12. A pump control system for modulating the flow rate of a body of water pumped through a conduit by a fixed speed pump comprising;

a pump control device according to any one of claims 1 to 6 wherein the central processing unit is adapted to receive information detected by a flow rate sensor and to receive instructions for altering the operation of the pump drive from a software application according to any one of claims 7 to 11.

13. A pump control system according to claim 12 comprising a flow rate sensor and a display, wherein the display is located on a smart device programmed to display the graphical user interface and the output display, which are programmed by an application component downloaded to the smart device.

14. A pump control system according to claim 13 comprising a temperature sensor, a pH sensor, and an oxidation-reduction potential sensor.

Description:
PUMP CONTROL DEVICES, APPLICATIONS AND SYSTEMS

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present invention relates generally to the control of pumping systems. More specifically, the invention pertains to pump control devices, applications and systems for monitoring and controlling the operation of a pool pump for efficiency gain.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Pool pumps play an important role in pool sanitation systems as they circulate water through the pool's filtration system. The filtration system keeps the water clean, clear, and sanitary for bathers by screening debris that falls into the pool and also by removing algae and microorganisms that can pose potential health threats to swimmers.

[0003] Pool systems require regular maintenance to ensure they operate effectively and recirculate clean and sanitary water. Structural maintenance of pools involves the repair of damaged pool surfaces, maintenance or repair of pipes, filters and motors, and servicing of all pool components. However, sanitation systems require constant monitoring and control.

[0004] Pools that are poorly sanitised may create potential health risks to bathers. Harmful bacteria and viruses must be killed and/or removed to avoid exposing bathers to potential pathogens. Further, contaminants such as sunscreen, skin and hair must be chemically treated or removed. Algae must also be controlled, otherwise the pool water may become green, turbid, produce unpleasant odours and generally present a risk to human health. Contact with contaminated water may lead to skin, ears, eye or gut infections. Other microorganisms are typically introduced by humans, animals and birds or from the environment; posing a risk to the health of bathers. Some microbial contaminants may even be fatal to bathers. [0005] As water remains in the pool for prolonged periods of time, it must be treated to remain clean and safe to bathe in. Disinfection and filtration of the pool water kills harmful microorganisms and removes body fats, oils, soil and other contaminants.

[0006] For sanitation purposes, pool water must be recirculated and filtered. Common filter types include sand filters, diatomaceous earth and cartridge filters. The filtration system must be able to filter the body of water in the pool within six to eight hours to ensure adequate sanitation. Filters must be cleaned regularly to ensure that the entire pool system is operating at maximum effectiveness and efficiency.

[0007] To ensure adequate sanitation, pH and chlorine levels (or adequate levels of other disinfectants) of bathing waters should be tested before use. More frequent testing is required on hot, sunny days or when the pool is being used by many people, so that significant changes in water quality can be detected before sanitation issues arise.

[0008] Commercially available disinfectants may be used to ensure a suitable level of residual disinfection activity remains in the water following use. Chlorine is the most commonly available disinfectant, but bromine, ozone, UV irradiation and ionising systems (or combinations thereof) may also be used as disinfectants. To ensure that chlorine is working effectively as a disinfectant, the pH range of the bathing water must be maintained between pH 7.2 - 7.6. This is also the ideal pH of water for the comfort of bathers. Similar combinations of physical and chemical parameters must be maintained to ensure the effectiveness of other sanitising agents or treatment.

[0009] Water temperature is one of the key variables that alters the effectiveness of disinfection, so the temperature of water must be checked regularly to ensure that disinfectant levels are maintained within the recommended values for the temperature of water.

[0010] Traditionally, pool pumping systems use single speed pumps to run the pool system. A standard single speed pump operates using a single speed induction motor which typically operates at 3,450 rpm; providing excessive filtration flow rates. Single speed pumps traditionally have a one to two horsepower motor that runs at least five to six hours per day, and therefore have significant energy requirements. These pumps can consume up to 3,000 to 5,000 kWh per year. 1

[0011] A single speed pump unit consists of an electric motor attached to a mechanical pump. The mechanical pump comprises a rotor that rotates at a set power to circulate water through the filter. The pump draws water from the pool, and forces it through one or more filters, a heater (if fitted) and a chlorinator (if fitted). Water is returned to the pool via several return fittings which are typically located on the walls or floor of the pool.

[0012] The relative efficiency of the pump is a consequence of the combined efficiency of both the motor and the pump. The motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy, and the pump converts mechanical energy into hydraulic energy. The hydraulic energy produced by a pump unit serving a pool system must overcome the system's resistance to flow to generate an adequate flow rate.

[0013] The flow rate is adjusted and set to deliver the required performance of the pool sanitation system. Therefore, it is necessary to determine the flow rate generated by a pool pump when circulating water through the filtration and sanitation system. The flow rate is dependent on two parameters i.e. pool volume (in litres) and the turnover time (in minutes). The pool volume needs to be turned over in a specified turnover time to effectively operate all pool sanitation components. A turnover time for a pool sanitation system is typically one turnover in every four to six hours. Using these parameters, the flow rate can be calculated using the following formula:

Flow rate (litres per minute (LPM)) - Pool Volume (litres)/ Turnover time (minutes)

[0014] If the turnover time to operate the pool component is four hours (i.e. 240 minutes) and the pool volume is 60,000 litres, the calculated flow rate is

60000 (litres)/ 240 (minutes) =250 LPM [0015] The flow rate is further dependent on the power of a pool pump. A pump capable of operating at high power will run at high speeds that allow the water to flow at rates that meet a wider set of sanitation requirements. For example, a pump with a power of 750W will pump up to 300LPM of water and meet sanitation requirements for systems requiring up to 300LPM in the given physical and chemical environment.

[0016] The primary reason that most single speed pumps consume large amounts of energy is that they are typically oversized (thereby, requiring high volumes of water to generate higher flow rates and overused (consuming large amounts of power) in the course of pool operation. While the primary function of the pool pump is to simply circulate water through the filtration system, other tasks can include powering spa jets, backwashing the filter, operating a chlorinator, circulating water through the heating system and driving water features. These occasional tasks require more energy (a greater flow rate) than the circulation of pool water through the filtration system and they account for roughly 10% of the pool pump's operation time.

[0017] Often, pools have multiple pumps to operate the various functions listed above. The flow rate of single speed pumps can't, by design, be altered so the pump must be sized to perform the most demanding task. This means that, on average, 90% of its operational time a single speed pump provides greater circulation than the pool filtration system requires.

[0018] Pumping systems comprising single speed pool pumps are comparatively costly to run as they use more power to regulate the flow rate of water in the pool than variable speed pumps. Therefore, owners of existing pumping systems frequently replace existing single speed pool pumps with variable speed pumps to reduce power consumption and electricity costs for running the pumping systems. However, such modifications come at considerable cost to the pool owner.

[0019] Although not common, two speed pumps have been available for years and are marketed as an alternative to energy inefficient single speed pumps. Two speed pumps use an induction motor and are comprised of two motors. One of the motors runs at a standard speed of about 3,450 rpm (full-speed) and the second motor runs at a speed of about 1,725 rpm (half-speed). Although these motors may enable significant energy savings for the pool owner, if the lower speed motor is unable to complete the required water circulation task, the larger motor will operate exclusively; leading to energy inefficiency and greater energy use. Moreover, as there are only two speed choices, it is much more difficult to optimise water flow rates for optimum energy use.

[0020] An alternative option for optimising pump efficiency while keeping energy use low involves replacing single speed or two speed pumps with variable speed pumps. Variable speed pumps include a Permanent Magnet Motor (PMM), which uses permanent magnets to create a magnetic field between the rotor and the copper windings. In this case, efficiencies are gained by the magnets that work on spinning the rotor, whereas a standard induction motor that requires more power to induce the magnetic field into the rotor. The PMM motor design is much more energy efficiently when compared with a standard induction motor, achieving efficiency ratings of 90% while the average single speed pump has an efficiency rating between 30% and 70%. 1 Unlike single speed pumps which always operate at their maximum flow rate, even for tasks that require minimum flow rates, a variable speed pump can be slowed to operate at an optimal level to adjust the flow rates within a range of optimum energy use.

[0021] Variable speed pumps are noticeably quieter, require less maintenance, are more durable and allow for better and more effective filtration of pool water than single speed and two speed pumps. Slower circulation rates of variable speed pumps put less strain on filters, plumbing, and other parts of the system, which, in turn, reduces the chance of leaks, repairs, or premature plumbing component replacement.

[0022] Although variable speed pumps are more energy efficient than single speed and two speed pumps, they are far more costly to acquire than single speed and two speed pumps. Further, once designed, the speed of variable speed pumps can only be altered to a fixed power value. Like two speed pumps, if a variable speed pump operating at a lower speed is unable to complete the required water circulation task, the magnetic motor will convert the frequency of motor to drive the motor to higher speed; leading to energy inefficiency and greater energy costs. [0023] The motors of each pump are designed such that the speed and power of the motors cannot be altered. Due to the fixed speed of the motors present in single speed, two speed and variable speed pumps, pump systems can only operate at specific flow rates (depending on the power of each pump). Therefore, once engineered, it becomes more challenging to maintain an efficient water sanitation system.

[0024] Moreover, it is challenging to modify existing sanitation systems to retrofit a different pump to an existing pool.

[0025] Such challenges may be addressed by a pump controller that can substantially customise the speed of an existing pump to provide an optimised flow rate in a variety of physical and chemical environments, and therefore provide an efficient water sanitation system. Such components or systems may also simplify the retrofitting of a custom speed pumping system to commonly used pool sanitation systems.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0026] In one broad form, embodiments of the invention relate to pump control devices for modulating the flow rate of a body of water pumped through a conduit by a fixed speed pump comprising, a drive converter configured to alter the operation of a pump drive driving the fixed speed pump to enable the selection of the speed of the fixed speed pump, the drive converter operably connected to a central processing unit, the central processing unit adapted to receive information detected by a flow rate sensor and to receive instructions for altering the operation of the pump drive from a software application, the software application configured to receive input from a user via a graphical user interface and input values from the central processing unit, to perform a calculation for adjusting the input values, and configured to display the input values and output values resulting from the calculation via the graphical user interface, the software application adapted to display the graphical user interface on a display, and the drive converter adapted to alter the operation of the pump drive according to the output values resulting from the calculation. [0027] The drive converter may be configured to alter the pump drive waveform thereby altering the operation of a pump drive driving the fixed speed pump.

[0028] A pump control device, according to the embodiments, may comprise a wireless communication board electrically connected to the central processing unit and configured to transmit data between the central processing unit and the software application.

[0029] Further, the pump control device may be adapted to receive a signal from one or more sensors sensing a physical or chemical characteristic of the body of water. The pump control device may also be characterised such that the one or more sensors may be a flow rate sensor. In certain embodiments, the flow rate sensor may be electrically connected to the central processing unit.

[0030] Embodiments of the invention may further relate to software applications for modulating the flow rate of a body of water pumped through a conduit by a fixed speed pump comprising; a graphical user interface configured to receive an input from a user, the input being a selection of one or more variable parameters, a signal input interface configured to receive one or more signal inputs detected by a flow rate sensor configured to sense the flow rate of the body of water pumped through a conduit by the fixed speed pump, a computation module configured to process the input from a user and the signal input detected by the flow rate sensor, and configured to calculate an adjustment to the operation of a pump drive driving the fixed speed pump to enable the selection of the speed of the fixed speed pump, a communication module configured to communicate the adjustment to the pump drive of a pump control device according to the embodiments of the invention and an output display adapted to display the selection of one or more variable parameters, the one or more signal inputs detected by the flow rate sensor and the adjustment to the operation of the pump drive.

[0031] The software application may be configured to receive signal inputs from more than one sensor and may be configured to calculate an adjustment to the operation of a pump drive from the signal inputs from more than one sensor. [0032] Software applications, according to embodiments, may be configured such that the graphical user interface and the output display may be comprised within an application component configured to be downloadable to a wireless device accessible to the user, and wherein the application component may be in wireless communication with the

computation module.

[0033] Certain embodiments of the software application may be characterised wherein the signal input interface is linked with the computation module and may be configured to receive signal inputs from the central processing unit of the pump control device, comprising a signal input from a flow rate sensor and one or more signal inputs from other sensors, the computation module linked with the communication module and configured to calculate an adjustment to the operation of the pump drive and one or more auxiliary components, and the communication module configured to transmit instructions for the adjustment of the operation of the pump drive and the one or more auxiliary components to the central processing unit of the pump control device.

[0034] The one or more auxiliary components of preferred software applications may be selected from a flow rate sensor, a temperature sensor, a pH sensor, an oxidation-reduction potential sensor, a total alkalinity sensor, a pressure sensor or a turbidity sensor.

[0035] Certain embodiments of pump control systems for modulating the flow rate of a body of water pumped through a conduit by a fixed speed pump may comprise a pump control device as described above, wherein the central processing unit may be adapted to receive information detected by a flow rate sensor and to receive instructions for altering the operation of the pump drive from a software application according to the above aspect of the invention.

[0036] Certain pump control systems according to the invention may comprise a flow rate sensor and a display, wherein the display may be located on a smart device that may be programmed to display the graphical user interface and the output display, which may be programmed by an application component downloaded to the smart device. [0037] Certain pump control devices according to embodiments of the invention may comprise a temperature sensor, a pH sensor, and an oxidation-reduction potential sensor.

[0038] Preferred wireless communication boards according to the embodiments of the invention may be electrically connected to the central processing unit and a wireless adaptor for transmitting data between the central processing unit and the software application.

[0039] In one form of the invention, the pump control device may comprise a flow rate sensor and at least one auxiliary sensor which may be embodied as a pressure sensor, a flow rate sensor, a pH sensor, oxygen reduction potential (ORP) sensor, salt-chlorinator sensor, a temperature sensor, or the like. The sensor may provide feedback on the efficiency of a pool sanitation system. The sensor may also provide feedback on the overall energy consumption of the pool sanitation system.

[0040] The flow rate sensor, according to certain embodiments of the invention, may be connected to the central processing unit by a hard-wired electrical connection to receive information detected by the flow rate sensor. Flow rate sensors according to the invention may transmit a sensed signal via wireless means, well known to those skilled in the art.

[0041] A signal sensed by the flow rate sensor may be transferred to the central processing unit. The information received by the central processing unit may be processed and transferred to a wireless device to be viewed by the user. The user may view the

information sent by the central processing unit using the software application. The user may set the desired flow rate on the external device which may then be transferred back to the central processing unit. The information may then be processed by the central processing unit which then transfers the information to the drive converter. With reference to the input parameters set by the user, the drive converter may preferably alter the waveform of the single speed pump for enabling the single speed pump to operate as a custom speed pump. [0042] The signal may be transferred from the central processing unit to the wireless device either via the wireless connection (such as WiFi) or via a hard-wired connection.

[0043] The flow rate sensor may be embodied as a turbine sensor wherein the turbine sensor may be electrically connected to the central processing unit for calculating the flow rate of water. The turbine sensor may comprise blades that turn against the flow of water. The flow rate of water may therefore determine the speed of rotation of the turbine blades. The turbine sensor may comprise a pulse counter to count the number of rotations of the blade. When the blades hit a counter, the number of blade rotations is counted by the central processing unit, which calculates the flow rate of the water.

[0044] The turbine sensor may perform a pulse count by converting the kinetic energy from the flowing water into rotational energy for rotating the blades. As the blades rotate, the rotational energy is converted into an electrical energy. The electrical energy may be received in the form of digital pulses. When the water flows at a faster flow rate, pulses of a higher frequency are generated. Therefore, slower flow rates of water, in turn, generate lower frequency of pulses. These pulses may be used to calculate the flow rate of water via the central processing unit.

[0045] Systems according to embodiments of the invention may comprise multiple sensors, whereby some of those sensors may be wirelessly connected to the central processing unit and others may be connected by fixed wires. In certain circumstances, a sensor network may be established via a central server. In turn, sensed signals may be transmitted to the central processing unit from the server. Thus, it may be possible that a sensed signal may be transmitted to the central processing unit via a combination of fixed, wired and wireless connections.

[0046] The pump control device may preferably be embodied as a set of components within a single housing. In such embodiments, the housing may enable ease of assembly or installation of the wireless device. For instance, the housing may comprise the appropriate ports, inlets or outlets for connecting the wireless device to an existing pump, sanitation unit, filtration unit, sensors, heating units, or dosing units. [0047] The pump control device may be formed with the flow rate sensor. The housing of the pump control device may comprise an aperture for allowing the flow rate sensor to pass therethrough. The housing of the pump control device may also comprise one or more apertures to allow a stream of water to pass from a pool system conduit to an internal component of the pump control device housing. The one or more apertures may open into a channel to enable the stream of water flowing through the aperture to dissipate heat generated by the pump control system, thereby keeping the system cool. The pump control device may therefore comprise a passive cooling system.

[0048] In one preferred embodiment, the pump control device may also comprise a conduit, of a known fixed diameter. Preferably, the conduit is affixed to one side of the pump control device housing. The conduit may be connected to another conduit of a corresponding diameter, connecting the other components of the pool sanitation system. The conduit may comprise a flow rate sensor with a lead, and a small aperture to allow the lead to pass through and form an electrical connection to the pump control device internal components, preferably located substantially within the pump control device housing. The small aperture may comprise a sealing means for securing the lead therein.

[0049] In an alternative form, the housing and the conduit may be formed integrally.

[0050] The conduit may comprise another aperture wherein the aperture may form an opening into a channel, preferably formed within an interior surface of the pump control device housing. The aperture and channel enable pool water to pass through the pump control device to provide a passive cooling system. The conduit may comprise another aperture to receive the channel connected to the pump control device to allow the water to flow back into the conduit.

[0051] When the filtered pool water passes through the conduit to the pump control device, a small amount of water may be directed to the pump control device through the channel passing through one of the apertures on the conduit, for keeping the pump control device cool. The water may then flow back through the channel connected to the conduit via the another aperture. The water may be recirculated through the pump control device in a similar fashion.

[0052] In an alternate embodiment, the pump control device may comprise an attachment for receiving a conduit of a known fixed diameter, whereby the conduit is affixed to an exterior surface of the pump control device, to maintain the conduit therein. The conduit affixed to the device may comprise an aperture to allow the flow rate sensor with lead to pass through. A sealing means may be provided to manually seal the aperture once the flow rate sensor is connected to the conduit. The lead may be electrically connected to the pump control device.

[0053] The lead may be electrically connected to the pump control device via soldering or by connected the lead to the auxiliary outlets of the pump control device.

[0054] The pump control device may comprise a housing to maintain the electronic componentry and a conduit therein. The pump control device may comprise two openings to allow the conduit to pass through the pump control device housing. The conduit may comprise an aperture to receive the flow rate sensor electrically connected to the pump controller device. The conduit may comprise a clear or transparent surface.

[0055] The auxiliary sensors may be connected to the pump control device and the conduit in a similar fashion to the above embodiments of the invention.

[0056] The flow rate sensor according to the above embodiments of the invention, may be embodied as a turbine sensor. The turbine sensor may be present in the housing of the pump control device or outside the housing of the pump control device.

[0057] The pump control device, according to the embodiments of the invention, may comprise a custom speed, drive controlled outlet. At least one programmable outlet may take the form of AUX 1, AUX 2, AUX 3 and/or AUX 4, at least one programmable voltage free output that may be present in the form of AUX 5, AUX 6, AUX 7, and/or AUX 8, at least one temperature sensor input (roof temperature and ambient temperature), a DC acid dosing output, a pH sensor, an ORP sensor, a water temperature sensor, a solar temperature sensor, a pressure sensor with a backwash alert, a flow rate sensor measuring water turnover and velocity, an in-built in solar heating controller with an additional heat source control, a spa changeover for a combined pool and spa, in-built Wi-Fi connectivity and a software application control, an automatic dosing for pH and chlorine control, a software enabled calibration system, an in-built pH probe calibration system, real-time monitoring of pump power usage, pH, ORP, temperature, flow rate, pressure, pump power (watts), and/or real-time monitoring of cost savings.

[0058] The pump control device may comprise a cooling component for keeping the electrical components of the pump control device cool. The cooling component may be present in the form of a cooling plate. The plate may be made up of aluminium or other any suitable material for keeping the electrical components cool.

[0059] The cooling component may be present between the electrical components and the housing of the pump control device.

[0060] The cooling component of the pump control device may allow for thw passive cooling of the electrical components of the pump control device, as it does not require any other component, such as fans, to keep the electrical components of the pump control device cool.

[0061] The cooling component may comprise at least one or more apertures to allow the free flow of air through the electrical components of the pump control device, thereby, keeping the electrical components cool. The apertures of the cooling component may also be used to allow water to pass therethrough and thereby divert water into a channel, for keeping the electrical components cool.

[0062] As defined herein, the term fixed speed pump may also be referred to a single speed filter pump, a single speed pump, a single phase induction motor, a fixed speed single phase pump or a filter pump. [0063] The wireless device may be embodied as an internet enabled smart device. The smart device may be a mobile device or a smart watch or other device that may operate under the control of the software application. The wireless device, preferably, may be in communication with the central processing unit over a telecommunications network, a wireless network or a combination of both. Preferably, the wireless device may establish communications with a server over a telecommunications network, which in turn, may establish a wireless communication connection with the central processing unit.

Alternatively, the wireless device may establish a direct wireless communication connection with the central processing unit.

[0064] The wireless device may preferably be capable of connection to a wireless communications network such as Wi-Fi, a telecommunications network and the like.

[0065] In another preferred form, the wireless device may be capable of being remotely controlled by the user via the software application executed on the smart device. It may form a wireless user interface, in communication with a wireless communication board comprised within the pump control device.

[0066] Software applications according to embodiments of the invention may be executed on a device comprising a display capable of receiving user inputs via a touch screen display and displaying output information via the same display.

[0067] A graphical user interface may be used by the user to input fixed variables, such as the volume or dimensions of a pool, the sanitation system in use and the like. The user may also input selected parameters such as the desired temperature of the pool water, a desired energy efficiency range, a desired chemical balance and the like. The software application may contain pre-set parameters for certain conditions, such as the season of the year, the frequency of use for bathing, or the need for more intensive cleaning.

[0068] A signal input interface may be used to receive the signal inputs detected by the flow rate sensor via the software application. A signal interface may be used to receive the input signal detected by other auxiliary sensors. [0069] The computation module may perform a computation to determine the performance of the pump control system with respect to any desired parameter. These may include, for instance, computation of the energy efficiency of the system, a desired temperature of the bathing water and the like. Alternatively, the computation may be performed in accordance with an optimised model whereby the computation may provide an instruction to correct for a deviation from a desired parameter. Preferably, a desired parameter may be provided by a range or a standard deviation from a set level. A sensed parameter may trigger an instruction or an alert where the parameter or the result of a computation may fall outside of the desired range or standard deviation from the set level. The instruction may, in turn, initiate an alteration of the operation of the drive converter.

[0070] Alternatively, an alert may signal the user to intervene in the operation of the pump control system. For instance, it may call for the cleaning of the filtration system (e.g.

backwashing of a sand filter) or it may call for the manual adjustment of set parameters or physical parameters, such as chemical dosing.

[0071] An output display may be used to view the information received by the software application on a wireless device. An output display may also be used to view the information that may automatically be adjusted by the software application based on the predetermined operational values, or the information that may manually be adjusted by the user.

[0072] The output may be displayed in the form of a chart comprising a range of variable parameters. The chart may be used to view a comparison of using the fixed speed pump at a variable range of speeds with respect to cost savings per water turnover.

[0073] The calculations may be performed either automatically or manually based on the set predetermined parameters in the software application to control the efficiency and monitor cost savings of the pool sanitation system.

[0074] The invention now will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings together with the examples and the preferred embodiments disclosed in the detailed description. The invention may be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments described herein. These embodiments are provided by way of illustration only such that this disclosure will be thorough, complete and will convey the full scope and breadth of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0075] Figure 1 provides an operational diagram of pump control systems according to embodiments of the invention.

[0076] Figure 2 provides the physical components of pump control systems according to embodiments of the invention.

[0077] Figure 3 illustrates the mode of fixing and fitting an automation controller according to embodiments of the invention.

[0078] Figure 4 illustrates the external components of an automation controller according to embodiments of the invention, with Figure 4A showing a front view, Figure 4B showing a left side view, Figure 4C showing a rear view and Figure 4D showing a right side view.

[0079] Figure 5 provides the auxiliary inlets and auxiliary outlets of an automation controller according to embodiments of the invention.

[0080] Figure 6 illustrates the internal components of an automation controller according to embodiments of the invention.

[0081] Figure 7A illustrates the internal components comprising a wired data connection and the auxiliary inlets and outlets of an automation controller according to embodiments of the invention. Figure 7B illustrates the internal components comprising a wireless data connection and the auxiliary inlets and outlets of an automation controller according to embodiments of the invention. [0082] Figure 8 provides a chart showing pump flow vs pump speed, and pump power vs pump speed for pumping systems according to embodiments of the invention.

[0083] Figure 9 provides a chart showing the cost per water turnover and the cost saving per water turnover at different pump speed for pumping systems according to

embodiments of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0084] Embodiments of devices, applications and systems according to the invention are described in the following examples. The embodiments described herein illustrate the operation of a pump control system involving a controller, a pump and a software application. The following embodiments are exemplary in nature only and are not intended to be limited to a reduction to practice using the exemplified hardware or components.

[0085] Typical pool sanitation systems include a suction pipe, a pool pump, two or more connecting pipes, a filter, a discharge pipe, a heater, a chlorinator and a power centre.

[0086] In normal operation, the suction pipe of a typical pumping system comprises two open ends wherein the one end of the suction pipe is connected to the pool to allow the water from the pool to pass through the suction pipe. With the other end of the suction pipe connected to the inlet of the pool pump to pull the water from the pool via the suction pipe.

[0087] A connecting pipe is typically connected between the pool pump outlet and one of the openings of the filter. Once water reaches the pool pump outlet, it is pushed through the filter via the connecting pipe. The filter also typically comprises another opening for receiving another connecting pipe that allows the filtered water from the filter to pass through the next component, which may be a heater.

[0088] Once the water reaches the heater, the temperature of water is monitored and adjusted. Water is then passed through the next component, typically a chlorinator, via the same connecting pipe for feeding chlorine into the water. Once the water is chlorinated, the clean water is returned to the pool. The pool pump and the power centre are wired for switching the pool system on and off in unison.

[0089] Typically, the temperature of the water and chlorine levels are regulated based on set pre-determined values. A pool operator, therefore, has no choice but to adhere to those values for the operation of the pumping system, which are typically not the most efficient way to operate the sanitation system in all conditions.

[0090] Figure 1 shows the general operation of a pump control system. The operation of the pump control system is performed by various components including a single speed pump 101, a filter 103, an automation controller 110, one or more auxiliary components such as a heater 105, a chlorinator 106, a pH doser 107 and a solar pump 108.

[0091] The components of the pump control system are installed using the components shown in Figures 1 and 2. The physical components of the pump control system include a suction pipe 100 for forming a connection to the pool water and the pump 101, a multiprobe 120 connected to the automation controller 110 for monitoring the pH of water circulating through the pipe, a 25 ml pH 7.0 buffer solution 180 and a 25 ml pH 10.01 buffer solution 190, connecting pipes 102 for providing a connection between each component, screwed sockets 130 for fitting the connecting pipes 102 to the openings of the component, pipe adaptors 210 that form a coupling with the screwed socket 130 adjoining the connecting pipes 102, mounting bracket 140 for installing the automation controller 110, mounting screws 150 for fitting the mounting bracket 140, locking screws 170 for maintaining the automation controller 110 on the mounting bracket 140, 10A power leads with two ends 220a, 220b and 10A plug adaptors with two ends 230a, 230b for forming an electrical connection between the components of the pump control system, a temperature sensor with a 5m lead 240 to monitor the temperature of water.

[0092] The pump control system is designed to be retrofittable to existing pool pumps and water sanitation systems. For retrofitting, the connecting pipes 102 that join the automation controller 110 and another component must be removed. A new connecting pipe 102 between the component and the automation controller 110 is installed to complete the retrofitting. The automation controller 110 is typically retrofitted to a single speed pump.

[0093] With reference to Figure 1, the single speed pump 101 is placed on a plain floor such that it is maintained in a fixed position. The single speed pump 101 operates at a maximum power setting of 2.2 KW. It controls the flow rate of water which further determines the power consumption and the cost of running the pump system. The single speed pump 101 comprises a pump inlet, a pump outlet and a port (not shown) to receive one end of the 10A plug adaptor 230a.

[0094] The suction pipe 100 forms a connection with the single speed pool pump 101. Multiple screwed sockets 130 are provided for connecting and fixing the pipes to the components of the pump system. One end of the suction pipe 100 is connected to the pump inlet using a screwed socket 130. The suction pipe 100 is curved at a 90-degree angle such that the other end of the suction pipe 100 reaches the pool. All the pipes are joined by gluing with the PVC cement (Type P).

[0095] The suction pipe 100 is fitted to the pump inlet using the pipe adaptor 210. One end of a connecting pipe 102 is fixed to a pump outlet using a screwed socket 130 and the other end of the connecting pipe 102 is fixed to the filter inlet 321 by introducing a 90-degree angle bend in the connecting pipe 102 as shown in Figure 1. One end of the 10A plug adaptor 230a is connected to the port of the single speed pump 101.

[0096] Once these connections are made, the pump 101 can pull water from the pool via the suction pipe 100, and then push it through the filter 103.

[0097] The filter 103 comprises one opening to receive an actuator valve 370. The actuator value 370 comprises a pressure sensor (not shown) for monitoring the pressure of the filter 103. The actuator valve 370 further comprises three openings including a filter inlet 321 for receiving water from the pump 101, a filter outlet 322 for organic matter wherein the filter outlet 322 may be connected to a discharge pipe (not shown) for discarding the filtered organic matter, and another filter outlet 323 for allowing the filtered water to pass through and reach the automation controller 110.

[0098] An automation controller 110 forms the central component of the pump control system. It is located between the filter 103 and the next component of the pump control system. The automation controller 110 forms a box like structure wherein the electrical components are secured within the controller 110, as described in detail below. It is shaped such that the rear side of the controller 110 provides an attachment that allows the connecting pipe 102 of a known fixed diameter to be fitted and maintained therein. A flow rate sensor is located on the automation controller 110 and is positioned such that it is in direct contact with the water to monitor the flow rate of water running through the connecting pipe 102.

[0099] Figure 3 shows the installation of the automation controller 110. A connecting pipe 102 is first attached to the rear side of the automation controller 110 to secure the pipe 102 therein. The wall bracket 140 is then installed by positioning the bracket 140 in a desired location on the wall with the hanging hooks pointing up. The wall bracket 140 is levelled and secured to the wall using the 4 x 50mm 316 stainless steel mounting screws 150. The automation controller 110 is then obtained and the rear side of the automation controller 110 is aligned with the three hooks on the wall bracket 140. The automation controller 110 is hung on the three hooks to align the bottom two screw holes 171. The 2 x supplied 15mm 316 stainless steel locking screws 170 are passed through the holes 171 in the bottom of the bracket 140 and screwed tightly to secure the automation controller 110 to the bracket 140.

[0100] Once installed, one end of the connecting pipe 102 connected to the controller 110 functions as a water inlet 111 for receiving the connecting pipe 102 from the filter outlet 323. The other end of the automation controller 110 functions as a water outlet 112 which forms a further connection to the adjascent component of the pump control system.

[0101] The automation controller 110 requires a total of 3 x 10A protected socket outlets 350 to plug the components of pump control system and supply power to the components. [0102] An earth bonding connection is provided by a 6mm bonding terminal on the back of the automation controller 110. All the exposed conductive parts of the electrical components in the defined zones must be bonded.

[0103] The automation controller 110 is connected to the heater 105 of the pump control system. The connecting pipe 102 which is connected to the water outlet 112 of the automation controller 110 is curved at a 90-degree angle for joining with one of the openings of the heater 105. When water flows from the automation controller 110 through the connecting pipe 102 to the heater 105 of the pumping system, it regulates the temperature of the water using the automation controller 110.

[0104] A chlorinator 106 is further connected to the heater 105 to regulate the chlorine levels of the water. A connecting pipe 102 forms a connection between the heater 105 and the chlorinator 106. A heater 105 has another opening for receiving one end of the connecting pipe 102. The other end of the connecting pipe 102 is passed through one of the openings of the chlorinator 106. When water flows from the heater 105 to the chlorinator 106 through the connecting pipe 102, the chlorinator 106 regulates the chlorine level of water by dispensing a desired amount of chlorine from the chlorine bottle 330.

[0105] The chlorinator 106 has a second opening for receiving a further connecting pipe 102 to return the clean water to the pool. The clean water with a controlled temperature and appropriate dose of chlorine is returned to the pool.

[0106] The pH doser 107 controls the pH level of the water. A pH doser 107 is connected to the connecting pipe 102 that returns water from the chlorinator 106 to the pool. The pH doser 107 is further connected to an acid/base bottle 109 for releasing acid or base depending on the acidity or alkalinity of the water. For example, if the pH of water is below 6.0, doser 107 releases a base to the water, or if the pH of water is above 7.0, the doser 107 releases acid to lower the pH of water. As described below, pH adjustment can be automated to ensure the optimum efficiency of water sanitation. [0107] A solar pump 108 is placed next to the pump 101 and is connected to the pipes 102 recirculating water from the pump 101 to the solar heater (not shown). Water is allowed to pass through the solar pump 108 to heat the pool water to a desired temperature. The temperature sensor 240 located in the return pipe is connected to the auxiliary inlet, as described below, to provide feedback to optimise other sanitation variables, in particular, flow rate and chlorine dose. If the temperature sensor 240 detects a change in temperature of water out of a pre-determined range, the solar pump 108 is activated and pool water heated, as the temperature of the pool water will significantly alter the sanitation efficiency of the system.

[0108] The automation controller 110 is the central component of the pump control system. The operation of every other components of the pump control system is typically controlled by the automation controller 110.

[0109] Figure 4 shows the front (Figure 4A), left side (Figure 4B), rear (Figure 4C), and right side (Figure 4D) views of the automation controller 110. Figure 4A shows a local pause or resume button 250 to manually pause or resume the operation of the pump control system. Figure 4B shows a flow rate sensor 260 comprising a turbine based pulse counter connected to the central processing unit of the automation controller 110 for monitoring the flow rate of the water pumped into the pool system, and a multiprobe 120 connected to the automation controller 110 via a lead.

[0110] The multiprobe 120 regulates the pH of water and is installed in a protective cap which contains the storage solution. The storage solution keeps the pH probe glass hydrated and ensures that the probe 120 is ready to use as soon as it is installed. Figure 4C shows a pressure sensor 270 electrically connected to the automation controller 110, for monitoring the pressure of the filter 103 and alerts the user when the filter 103 needs to be cleaned . The pressure sensor 270 is present on the filter actuator valve and is electrically connected to the controller 110 via a lead. Figure 4C also shows an opening for air exhaust 280 and an opening for an air intake 290 for allowing the free flow of air through the automation controller 110 to keep the components of the controller 110 cool. Figure 4D shows a cable entry grommet 300 further comprising at least one or several 5 x 10A auxiliary outlets for connecting at least one or more components to the automation controller 110 or one or more sensors and three auxiliary inlets wherein at least two inlets are dedicated to filter pump power supply, and a mounting bracket 310 that are used to mount the automation controller 110.

[0111] Any of the auxiliary outlets (AUX 1, 2, 3 or 4), as shown in Figure 5, may be used to control the operation of the components connected to the automation controller 110. Components may include a pump 101, a filter 103, a solar/gas heater 105, a chlorinator 106, or a pool, spa or garden lighting system.

[0112] The three auxiliary inlets AUX 1, 2 and 3, as shown in Figure 5, allow current requirements of the system to be shared across the three inlets, which is advantageous when the device is retrofitted to an existing pool sanitation system. If one of the inlets is in use, one end of the 10A power lead 220 may be connected to the protected 10A 240V outlet and the other end may be connected to the main supply. The three inlets allow the pump control system to be connected to another component via a regular 10A power supply.

[0113] The external components, such as the flow rate sensor, multiprobe 120, pressure sensor 270 and the auxiliary components connected to the cable entry grommet 300, of the automation controller 110 are controlled by the internal components of the automation controller 110.

[0114] Figure 6 shows the internal components of the automation controller 110

comprising a communication board 113 including a CPU and a connecting port 114 to establish a wired data connection (as shown in Figure 7A) or a wifi adaptor 115 to establish a wireless data connection (as shown in Figure 7B), a motor control board including a custom speed drive (CSD) 116 to convert a single speed pump to a custom speed pump, a flow rate sensor comprising a turbine based pulse counter connected to the CPU of the automation controller 110 and one or more auxiliary sensors to gather information from at least one or more components (not shown) connected to the automation controller 110. [0115] The automation controller 110 also comprises an aluminium cooling plate 117 beneath the electrical componentry of the controller 110. The plate 117 is used to keep the electrical componentry resting thereon cool as pool water passes beneath the aluminium cooling plate 117, through a channel formed within the interior surface of the controller cousing, ensuring that the electrical componentry does not overheat.

[0116] In the present embodiment, the communication board 113 of the automation controller 110 includes a CPU and a connecting port 114 for forming a wired connection, as shown in Figure 7A, between the automation controller 110 and a display. However, in an alternate embodiment, as also shown in Figure 7B, a wireless connection is formed between the communication board 113 and a smart device; either a mobile phone or a tablet via the wifi adaptor 115. The display includes an LCD screen and a keypad. Figure 7A and7B further provides the flow rate sensor 241 to detect the flow rate of water and a CSD 116 to enable the operation of a single speed pump 101 as a custom speed pump. An auxiliary inlets and outlets are provided on the automation controller 110 to perform the function as described above.

[0117] The smart device is programmed with a software application for viewing the information processed by the CPU. It allows the user to set input parameters to manually or automatically regulate the operation of any component connected to the automation controller 110.

[0118] The automation controller 110 comprises a flow rate sensor 241 and other auxiliary sensors. The auxiliary sensors are either installed within the automation controller 110 box or connected to the automation controller 110 as an auxiliary component, wherein the sensor is connected to one of the auxiliary outlets of the automation controller 110 via a lead. An auxiliary sensor may be an additional flow rate sensor, a temperature sensor, a pH sensor, an ORP, a water quality sensor, a pressure sensor or others or several sensors.

[0119] The single speed pump 101 controls the flow rate of water. Any fluctuation in the flow rate of water in the pool sanitation system is sensed by the flow rate sensor 241. A signal sensed by the flow rate sensor 241 is transferred to the CPU of the communication board 113. The information received by the CPU is processed and transferred to an external device to be viewed by the user. The signal can be transferred from the CPU to the external device either via the wireless connection (such as WiFi) or via a hardwired connection. The user views the information sent by the CPU using the software application described in further detail below. The user sets the desired flow rate on the external device which is then transferred back to the CPU. The information is then processed by the CPU which then transfers the information to the CSD 116. With reference to the input parameters set by the user, the CSD 116 alters the waveform of the single speed pump 101 for enabling the single speed pump 101 to operate as a custom speed pump.

[0120] Typically, a single speed pump 101 consumes between 3000-5000 KWh per year, operating at regular intervals at full speed. By enabling the single speed pump 101 to operate as a custom speed pump, adjusted on the basis of sensed sanitation requirements, energy consumption by the pump 101 is reduced on average to 1800 W.

[0121] A temperature sensor with lead 240 is connected to any one of the auxiliary outlets of the automation controller 110. It senses a change in the temperature of water and transmits the temperature reading to the CPU of the automation controller 110 where the information is processed by the CPU. The processed information is then sent to the smart device to be viewed by a user using the software application installed on the smart device. For example, if the water temperature rises to 40°C, the increase in temperature can be viewed by the user via the software interface on the device. The user views the information i.e. a change in the temperature of water and manually sets the input parameters to a desired temperature; for example, the user may change the temperature to 32°C or as desired while the flow rate of the sanitation system is automatically adjusted by the software to operate at optimum efficiency. The new temperature parameter is then received and processed by the CPU. The CPU instructs the heater 105 to switch on or off depending on whether the sensed temperature is greater than or less than the user's input selection. The heater 105 receives the information and the temperature of water is regulated accordingly whilst the flow rate continues to be adjusted according to the actual temperature of the pool water. [0122] A multiprobe 120 is connected to one of the auxiliary outlets of the automation controller 110 to monitor the pH of the water. When the pH of the water varies from the desired pH (6.0- 7.0), multiprobe 120 detects the variation and sends a signal to the CPU. The CPU then processes the information and transmits it to the external device. The information is then viewed by the user through the software interface. The user sets the input parameters to control the pH, for example, to a pH of 7.1, and sets the dosing time to 30 seconds or an automatic dose setting. The information is then sent back to the CPU. The CPU then transfers the information to the connected dosing component 107 which is further connected to an acid/base buffer feed 109. Depending on the information set by the user, the dosing component 107 releases acid or base to the pool water to regulate the pH level of water.

[0123] An ORP sensor is connected to one of the auxiliary outlets of the automation controller 110 to monitor the chlorine levels of the water. When a fluctuation in the chlorine levels of water is sensed by the ORP sensor, a signal is sent to the CPU. The CPU then processes the information and transmits the information to a smart device. The information is then viewed by the user through the software interface. The user either manually or automatically sets the desired chlorine level of the water in the software application, for example the user may set ORP level to 600mV and dosing time to 60 second, and the information is then sent back to the CPU. The CPU then transfers the information to the chlorinator 106 which is further connected to a chlorine bottle 330. Depending on the information set by the user, the chlorine bottle releases chlorine to water flowing through the chlorinator 106, thereby controlling the chlorine levels of water.

[0124] A pressure sensor 270 is fitted either at the actuator valve of the filter 103 or within the internal componentry of the automation controller 110 to alert the user when a backwash or a filter clean is required. A user can set a pressure value, for example at 100 kPa, for alerting the user of a rise in pressure via the pressure sensor 270. For example, if pressure levels at the filter 103 rise to lOOkPa, the pressure sensor detects the change in pressure, and sends a signal to the CPU. The CPU processes the information and sends the information to the smart device configured with the software application. The information can be viewed by the user from the software interface. The user sets the desired parameters to control the pressure in the filter 103 either automatically or manually backwash. The set information is then transferred back to the CPU which then

communicates the information to the filter 103 to perform a backwash and clean the filter 103.

[0125] Similarly, other sensors can be connected to the automation controller 110 to control various other parameters of the pool water as explained above.

Automation Using Intelligent Software

[0126] A downloadable software application is downloaded and installed on a smart device. The device, thus configured, allows information received from the automation controller 110 to be viewed via the software application user interface, and it allows the user to control the operation of any component connected to the automation controller 110. It also provides the user with the option to set pre-programmed parameters for automated control.

[0127] There are two general communication modes in which information can be communicated to the user via the software application. The first mode is a Wi-Fi mode wherein information is channelled through the automation controller 110 and transmitted to a remote server using the MQTT protocol. The information is computationally processed at the server and the software application provides the user with a dashboard to view the information at the server. This mode avoids the need for frequent software application updates at the device and allow the user to integrate more complex algorithmic processing for complete automation of all parameters of the system.

[0128] The second mode is a direct mode used as a backup in instances where no internet connection is available. The user can connect to automation controller 110 via their device when it is in Wi-Fi range (e.g. when at home).

[0129] The user can control the operation of the pump system via the software application simply by setting input parameters. For example, if the user sets the frequency parameter between 20-60 Hz, the automation controller 110 alters the input waveform allowing the input frequency to be altered between 20-60Hz thereby enabling the single speed pump 101 to operate at custom speeds.

[0130] The software application can be also used to accurately monitor the pressure within the system and to alert the user when a backwash or filter clean is required. Users can set the alert pressure level to suit their individual requirements. A clean system will use less energy to maintain pool hygiene.

[0131] Real-time monitoring of the filter 103 is enabled by a built-in pressure sensor within the automation controller 110. Whether the user uses a sand filter or a cartridge filter, once connected, the software application alerts the user when the filter 103 needs to be cleaned or when a backwash needs to be performed, as described above.

[0132] The software application together with the automation controller 110 enhances the efficiency of sanitation of the pool sanitation system.

[0133] The software application in either mode, operates the pump system more efficiently by optimising parameters such as flow rate and energy usage, which determine pump efficiency. Depending on the capacity of the pool, the software application may have set pre-programmed parameters such as pool volume (for example 50,000 litres), cost per KWh (for example $0.36 per KWh), pump power (for example 2000W) and pump flow rate (for example 400LPM). Based on these set pre-programmed parameters, the user can determine the speed of pump 101 and manage efficiency of operation.

[0134] Figure 8 provides a graphical representation of pump flow rate and pump energy usage with respect to the pump speed. The output values are shown in Table 1.

[0135] When a user sets the pump speed to 25%, the power generated by the pump 101 will be 31W to circulate water with a flow rate of up to 100LPM. If a pump speed is set to 50% via the software application, more power, up to 250W, will be generated for circulating water with a flow rate of up to 200LPM. If a user sets the pump speed to 75% using the software application, up to 844W of power will be generated to circulate water with a flow rate of up to 300LPM. Similarly, if pump speed is set to 100%, up to 2000W will be generated to circulate water with a flow rate of up to 400LPM.

Table 1

[0136] The software application can also receive electricity tariffs and thereby monitor cost- savings in real-time. For example, a user may set the temperature to 25°C, the speed of the filter 103 to 48% and the pH to 7.1 and then enter the status on the software application to 'filter' and view the total cost savings from setting these parameters. The user may change the parameters as desired, or to reduce the cost of running the pool sanitation system.

[0137] A user may also set values for speed, power and flow rate to view costs and savings per water turnover. Table 2 shows the cost per water turnover and savings per water turnover with respect to various values for the speed, power and flow rate of a pump 101. For example, if a user sets the pump 101 to run at a speed of 25%, a power setting of 31W and a flow rate of 100LPM, the cost per water turnover will be $0.09 and savings per water turnover will be $1.41. Similarly, if the pump 101 is set to run at a speed of 50%, a power setting of 250W and a flow rate of 200LPM, the cost per water turnover will be $0.38 and the cost saving will be $1.13, if the pump 101 is set to run at a speed of 75%, a power setting of 844W and a flow rate of 300LPM, the cost per turnover will be $0.84 and cost saving will be $0.66, and if a pump 101 is set to run at a speed of 100%, a power of 2000W and a flow rate of 400LPM, the cost per water turnover will be $1.50 with zero cost saving.

Table 2

Speed (%) Flow Rate Power (W) Cost per Saving per

(LPM) turnover ($) turnover ($)

25 100 31 0.09 1.41

50 200 250 0.38 1.13

75 300 844 0.84 0.66

100 400 2,000 1.50 - [0138] Figure 9 provides a graphical representation of a change in the cost per water turnover and savings per water turnover with respect to the speed of the pool pump 101. Figure 9 shows the use of the software application to determine the costs and savings per turnover. For example, if a user sets the pump 101 to run at a speed of 25%, the costs per turnover will be $0.09 and savings per turnover will be $1.41, and the costs and savings per turnover for running the pump 101 at a speed of 50% will be $0.38 and $1.13, respectively. Similarly, if a pump 101 is set to run at a speed of 75%, the cost per turnover will be $0.84 and the cost saving will be $0.66, and if a pump 101 is set to run at a speed of 100%, a user will not save any money but will incur a cost per turnover of $1.50.

[0139] The software application can also be used to manage the most common scenarios for the pump control system to maintain pump efficiency year-round without compromising water sanitation and aesthetic qualities of the pool water.

[0140] For example, a Boost (high use) mode can be provided in a software application which is perfect for visual appeal (e.g. prior to entertainment) or when the water needs to be turned over more frequently than usual. Similarly, a Summer (regular use) mode can be programmed to the most efficient setting for general swimming during warmer weather conditions, and Winter (minimal/no use) mode can be used when the pool or spa isn't in use either over winter or even if the user is away on holidays.

[0141] The software application holds a number of scheduling options under each preprogrammed mode to set the operating start and finish time of the connected component which could be modified or adjusted remotely.

[0142] If the output of the automation controller 110 is connected to the garden lights, the software application can allow the lighting to come on at dusk, pool cleaning may activate overnight (when energy tariffs are off-peak), and water features may switch on during the day. [0143] If the user owns both a pool and a spa, an additional pre-programmed in-built spa mode is present within the software application to allow the user to easily switch between pool or spa use.

[0144] If the automation controller output 112 is connected to an automated sanitising doser, the software application can be used to set the ORP level or measure the chemical mix (chlorine and pH) in real-time and monitor as well as control its dosing to the water.

[0145] If the automation controller output 112 is connected to a solar heater, gas heater or electric heater pump, the software application can be user to set, monitor and/or regulate the water temperature.

[0146] If connected to the in-floor, robotic or suction cleaning component, the software application allows the component to run or turn on/off automatically.

[0147] The software application can be controlled by multiple users for one system. It is also possible for one user to control multiple automation controllers 110 (e.g. when monitored or controlled by a third party service provider) via one software application. The installer will also have a login to remotely manage, monitor and analyse whether any maintenance is required or to remotely modify or adjust the parameters in case of any changes in weather conditions.

[0148] Throughout this specification the word "comprise", or variations such as "comprises" or "comprising", will be understood to imply the inclusion of a stated element, integer or step, or group of elements, integers or steps, but not the exclusion of any other element, integer or step, or group of elements, integers or steps.

[0149] All publications mentioned in this specification are herein incorporated by reference. Any discussion of documents, acts, materials, devices, articles or the like which has been included in the present specification is solely for the purpose of providing a context for the present invention. It is not to be taken as an admission that any or all of these matters form part of the prior art base or were common general knowledge in the field relevant to the present invention as it existed in Australia or elsewhere before the priority date of each claim of this application.

[0150] While the invention has been described above in terms of specific embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to these disclosed embodiments. Upon reading the teachings of this disclosure many modifications and other embodiments of the invention will come to the mind of those skilled in the art to which this invention pertains, and which are intended to be and are covered by both this disclosure and the appended claims.

[0151] It is indeed intended that the scope of the invention should be determined by proper interpretation and construction of the appended claims and their legal equivalents, as understood by those skilled in the art relying upon the disclosure in this specification and the attached drawings.

LIST OF CITATIONS

1. US Department of Energy, Measure Guideline: Replacing Single-Speed Pool Pumps with Variable Speed Pumps for Energy Savings <https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fyl2osti/54242.pdf>.