Coral Leisure Ltd

Close up of water in a swimming pool

Cobh Pool Hall CFD Analysis

Swimmer in swimming pool

Ireland’s leading leisure and energy management and service provider

Coral Leisure is Ireland’s leading Leisure & Energy Management and Service Provider company, managing nine public pool & leisure facilities nationwide. Coral Leisure’s ethos has remained unchanged in that time, to offer real value by providing high quality standards of customer care in a friendly and professional atmosphere; delivered by expert, enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff. Coral Leisure are known for a personable and transparent approach and put great emphasis on building relationships with customers, staff, local community groups and clients alike.

The development of separate layers of cold and hot air, known as air stratification presents a significant challenge for efficient energy consumption and thermal comfort in pool halls. In order to gain an increased understanding of air stratification causes and possible solutions in its Cobh Leisure Centre, Coral Leisure approached SEAM to conduct a detailed assessment of airflow and heat transfer within the leisure centre pool hall.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling

SEAM used Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling to highlight regions of low mixing and air circulation within the pool hall under a worst case winter operating condition. The aim of this project was to develop a model of the Cobh Leisure Centre pool hall capable of predicting thermal performance and to use these results to develop an optimised air management strategy to reduce air stratification, optimise energy consumption, and increase thermal comfort within the pool hall. The optimised air management strategy will be suggested based on the base case analysis results, and may include an alternative supply air flowrate and temperature, and alternative de stratification fan speeds. This project will yield a comparative analysis between the base case and optimised air management strategy, allowing its effects to be quantified prior to implementation.

A CFD model of the pool hall was developed to model different scenarios considering an onerous winter operating condition. The CFD model incorporated the supply and extract air flow from the Air Handling Unit (AHU), as well as destratification fans which serve to promote air circulation and mixing in the pool hall. This yielded a prediction of air temperature distribution throughout the pool hall under the current air management strategy, which was analysed to identify regions of air stratification.

In order to develop an optimised air management strategy, the supply and extract fan speeds as well as destratification fan configuration were optimised. The goal of the optimisation was maximise air flow induced mixing and associated temperature uniformity within the pool hall, while minimising power consumption.

It was concluded that destratification fans are crucial in improving air flow and mixing within the pool hall. By optimising destratification fan location and quantity, it was possible to decrease the power consumption of the ventilation system by allowing the main air supply fan to run at 50% of its typical airflow, while obtaining a much improved temperature distribution with much less air stratification throughout the pool hall.

CFD model of pool hall




years in business



“Coral Leisure Group were highly impressed by the high quality service provided by SEAM and the work completed collaborating with Sara Karam and Patrick Donnellan. We are currently planning our next projects with SEAM to optimise the thermal performance of our other leisure centres across Ireland.”

Camillus Muldowney
Founder, Coral Leisure Ltd

The Coral Leisure Ltd & SEAM Technology Gateway partnership

This project has demonstrated how CFD modelling can be utilised to optimise the air management strategy within a leisure centre pool hall to improve air flow and mixing, reduce air stratification, and increase thermal comfort for users, while simultaneously decreasing power consumption.

By incorporating CFD modelling as part of the overall energy management strategy within the Coral Leisure Centre, it has been demonstrated that significant energy cost savings can be made while improving thermal performance of the ventilation system leading to increased user comfort.

SEAM utilises engineering simulation and analysis to solve problems across a wide variety of industries. SEAM has expertise in structural analysis involving Finite Element Analysis (FEA), as well as CFD for the analysis of fluid flow phenomena. The application of these analysis techniques has resulted in cost reductions for SEAM’s client companies through reduction in physical prototyping, improved operating performance, and improved product lifespan.

Aiming at reducing power consumption while maintaining good air flow and circulation in a pool hall is challenging enough without proper study and analysis of the air circulation system in the pool hall. Placing destratification fans in optimised locations to help with the air circulation is key. The pool hall, air handling unit, and ducting have been modelled utilising Computational Fluid Dynamics to give a better understanding on the air flow and temperature distribution in the pool hall. In addition, this practice was crucial in predicting optimised locations of destratification fans and their effect on the air flow and temperature distribution in order to maintain a comfortable environment for the pool hall users.

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