Heat-efficient solutions for swimming pools, spas & saunas, and greenhouses

The use of plate heat exchangers for heating pools, spas & saunas, and greenhouses has become common practice, mainly due to the thermodynamic advantages and low cost compared to shell-and-tube technology. A plate heat exchanger can utilize heat from various sources, including district heating, solar-heated water circuit, or geothermal groundwater. It can also use chilled water to remove heat when the application in question must be cooled.

swimming pool heating

Choose the right partner

  • Alfa Laval offers compact solutions for reheating and maintaining the temperature of swimming pools of any dimension.
  • Recover heat from low-temperature, geothermal sources for your greenhouse and reduce the risk of fouling with Alfa Laval’s plate technology.
  • Alfa Laval’s AHRI-certified heat exchangers ensure that you recover the maximum amount of heat, increasing the sustainability of your facility.
  • The high flow rate through Alfa Laval’s plate heat exchangers enables self-cleaning, and therefore less maintenance.
  • Our service team has a high capacity and a global outreach to minimize downtime of your application.

Trends in the industry

Swimming pool facilities with spas and saunas are used for both fitness and recreation. In recent years there has been an influx in demand for these types of spaces with growing tourism and health consciousness. Greenhouse technology for food production has also become increasingly popular as climate change adversely affects crops. Both industries are looking to become more sustainable by making the most out of available heat, regardless of the source. Low-carbon heating and cooling is also a crucial priority as the global energy system moves away from fossil fuels as a source of energy. The challenge is making these changes happen, without compromising on performance.

By choosing Alfa Laval, you won’t have to compromise. Our heat exchangers allow a close temperature approach for maximum heat recovery while maintaining a steady temperature in your pool, spa, sauna, or greenhouse. As a company, we are dedicated to enabling the clean energy transition, reducing the carbon footprint of our value chain, and enabling your process to be as energy efficient as possible.


Swimming pool

Pools require heating to the optimum set temperature, comfortable for recreation and fitness. The heat source has traditionally been a hot water boiler but can also be a solar-heated water-circuit, district heating or geothermal groundwater. A heat exchanger should separate the primary heating loop from the secondary, which will contain the pool water. This is both for safety and hygiene purposes. The heat exchanger should be placed before chlorination to reduce corrosion and equipment damage. Alfa Laval caters to pools of various sizes and heat demands with customizable gasketed plate heat exchangers.

In tropical climates, it may be necessary to cool the water temperature of a swimming pool. This can be achieved using chilled water as the other medium.

See how Alfa Laval technology is being used to maintain the temperature in the world’s highest pool.

Heating for swimming pool
Heating for spas and saunas

Spas & Saunas

Spas and saunas are popular recreational activities that require heating and maintenance of a comfortable set temperature. Regardless of the dimension of your facility, Alfa Laval’s heat exchangers can be tailored to suit your application. The heat source can be geothermal groundwater, or a solar-heated water circuit, among others. A heat exchanger that separates the primary and secondary loops will transfer the thermal energy to the spa/sauna water. The high flow rate of fluid through the heat exchanger enables self-cleaning, reducing the chance of fouling and sediment build-up, allowing your application to run for longer, with minimum downtime.

Find out how a spa in New Zeeland uses Alfa Laval heat exchangers to increase sustainability and maximize heat recovery.


Whether growing vegetables or flowers, a greenhouse requires the right temperature and humidity for optimum yield. The energy source in the case of heating will often be geothermal groundwater. Heat is transferred from the energy source to the water that is circulated in mild steel piping installed along the soil bed using an Alfa Laval heat exchanger. Depending on the composition of the geothermal water, plate heat exchangers with Titanium plates could be required to minimize the risk of corrosion and reduce sediment build-up and fouling. Low-temperature heat is sufficient, which is efficiently recovered with a gasketed plate heat exchanger from Alfa Laval.

In some climates, the air in the greenhouse may need to be cooled. This is achieved using chilled water as the other medium.

Find out how greenhouses in the Netherlands are using geothermal ground-water for sustainable food production.

Heating for greenhouses

Gasketed plate-and-frame heat exchangers


  • Flexible solutions that can be adapted to the duty ensuring highest thermal efficiency
  • Compact designs save space and are easy to service and maintain
  • Solutions to reduce fouling, stress and corrosion for maximum uptime

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Semi-welded plate heat exchangers

  • Highly efficient, reliable technology for applications that can cause pressure or temperature fatigue
  • Guaranteed long sealing lifetime thanks to unique Alfa Laval RefTight™ sealing system
  • A dependable solution for preventing cross-contamination between media

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Brazed plate heat exchangers

  • Lightweight copper-brazed construction with compact footprint
  • Greater thermal efficiency than comparable shell-and-tubes
  • Flexible options to fit a variety of applications with all different types of media/fluids
  • Ideal for natural and low-GWP refrigerants

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Fusion bonded AlfaNova heat exchangers

  • True 100% stainless steel construction
  • Strong corrosion resistance with aggressive media
  • Prevents metal contamination in drinking water and other hygienic applications
  • High thermal efficiency and compact footprint

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Consultant? System integrator?

Are you a consultant? Look here! With expertise from decades of experience in heat exchange, Alfa Laval offers knowledgeable resources for today’s heating and cooling challenges. Discover answers to complex questions on everything from energy efficiency to natural refrigerants, along with helpful tools that make it simpler to find the right technology for your application.

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AHRI-performance-certified heat exchangers for confident thermal performance

Certification from the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) is the only global third-party verification of thermal performance, giving you independent assurance that your plate heat exchanger will perform in accordance with the manufacturer’s published ratings. Alfa Laval offers AHRI-certified gasketed plate heat exchangers, brazed plate heat exchangers, and fusion-bonded plate heat exchangers.


Making efficiency last for decades

A poorly functioning heat exchanger may affect safety, product quality and energy costs. Failure may lead to costly downtime and major losses in production. By regular and proactive maintenance of your gasketed plate heat exchanger performance is preserved and operations kept trouble-free and predictable.

We have the expertise to help you whether you experience a problem today, wish to prevent future issues or want to solve the problem yourself with our online troubleshooter.

See our total service solutions

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Digitalization for energy efficiency

Smart cities and digital intelligence could help cities to make progress toward meeting 70 percent of their Sustainable Development Goals. Digital services can already have a significant impact on heating and cooling systems in cities, making them more sustainable.

Enabling remote monitoring and performing dedicated analytics allow more precise and efficient operation, more informed decision-making, and targeted interventions. The development of more sophisticated and efficient heating and cooling systems is only possible through this digital transformation, which can provide reliable and affordable heating and cooling services to urban areas while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Smart Heat Exchanger

HVAC and the Sustainable cities

Consuming more than two-thirds of the world’s energy, our cities play a crucial role in tackling the climate crisis. A considerable part of cities’ energy consumption is for heating and cooling, which means improving energy efficiency is paramount. Alfa Laval has almost a century of experience in heat transfer and recovery and aims to become carbon neutral by 2030. Let us be your partner in the transformation to a sustainable tomorrow.

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