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Heatstar 30thAnniversary


hilst renewable energy technology has recently been the subject of considerable focus and publicity, the UK has long been a pioneer in

respect of applying heat pump technology for specialist applications such as swimming pools. The comparatively high energy levels

consumed by a swimming pool has, understandably, given rise to a natural desire to apply energy efficient heating methods. The concept of the heat pump is not a recent

invention, with the first patent for a working example being awarded in 1927 to Englishman Thomas Graeme Haldane. His work further developed concepts proposed previously by Lord Kelvin, who called it a ‘heat multiplier’, and by Sadi Carnot, a Frenchman who described the heat pump principle as early as 1824. However, their application as a heating method

for swimming pools is a far more recent development, particularly pioneered by Jackie’s Father and Heatstar founder Tony Andrews in the 1970’s, in response to the energy awareness

1985: Winners of Television South’s Business

Enterprise Gold award. 1987: Completion of new, purpose built, factory

at Newport. 1988: ‘Packaged’ Environmental Control units. Launched in 1988, the E205 and E207 systems

were added to the E200, to offer a full range of ‘packaged’ environmental control units. The E205 incorporated LPHW pool water heat exchanger and air heating coil, completely with motorised heating control valves etc. The E207 incorporated electric resistance heating for air and pool water heating. The concept of the ‘packaged’ unit made on-

site installation much easier, neater and removed any potential for error. The concept of the packaged unit is still utilised today and is now

1978 - Heatstar heat pump

1970’s, these dehumidification products rapidly evolved and developed, to encompass heat recovery to pool water and ducted air distribution. A significant proportion of these early units are

still in successful operation today. .

1980: The Heatstar brand name was formerly

incorporated as a company in it’s own right. 1983: E200 combined heat pump – dehumidifier. Launched in 1983, the E200 combined system

marked a significant milestone in the evolution of swimming pool climate control systems, being the first product to offer ‘Total Environmental Control’ from a single, easily installed, unit. In essence, the E200 incorporated a ducted

resulting from the 1973 oil crisis. Tony was previously chief design engineer at a

large air conditioning manufacturing company where he was latterly responsible for creating fresh air and ground source heat pump design concepts for general heating applications. Tony possessed the vision to appreciate the

potential future market for energy saving products that could literally ‘produce heat out of thin air’ and also possessed the expertise to design and produce a successful product. Tony, subsequently started his own business

venture, designing the first fresh air source heat pumps for dedicated application on a swimming pool – and ‘Heatstar’ was created. Heatstar was then chosen as an appropriate brand

name under which to market these early units. Tony then moved to create swimming pool

dehumidifiers, initially small, simple, models which were mounted upon the pool room wall. Progressively, through the latter part of the

The E200 model

dehumidifier, featuring heat recovery to both pool room air and pool water, and a fresh air source heat pump which was used to directly heat the pool water.

accepted as the norm. 1989: Andromeda ‘flexible’ Environmental Control unit. Launched in 1989, the Andromeda concept is

still utilised today. The Andromeda was a packaged unit, but with the added benefits of the flexibility of a multitude of different positions for

LEFT: Tony Andrews at Wembley THIS: 1989 - Heatstar stand at NEC

the supply air discharge, for example top or base, and likewise for the position of the control panel,

pipes and maintenance access. 1991: Following a long battle with cancer, this

year marked the untimely death of Tony Andrews 1992: Aquatech appointed as exclusive

distributor for Heatstar products. 1993: Heatstar Orion introduced. This year witnessed the introduction of the

16th edition electrical regulations by the Institute of Electrical Engineers. These revised regulations placed notable restrictions upon the use of mains voltage equipment, such as dehumidifiers, within the swimming pool room. The Orion was launched as a direct response to

the restrictions contained in the new electrical regulations and offered an alternative and convenient approach to dehumidification. The Orion is plant room based and uses a system of flexible ducting to draw and supply air from and to the pool room.

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