The path to Nirvana – Bowman heat exchangers!

Nirvana Spa provides a relaxed Mediterranean holiday experience, with stunning swimming, spa and wellness pools heated by Bowman Heat Exchangers

We often have our best ideas when we’re relaxing. And so it was for John Barley who, whilst relaxing on holiday in Spain thought how wonderful it would be to re-create this same holiday feeling at home. So, once back in the UK, that seed of an idea germinated and Nirvana Spa was born.

The concept of Nirvana Spa is quite simple; from the moment you arrive you should feel that you’re on holiday; the range of facilities provided and the staff looking after you combine to create an experience rivalling some of the premier Mediterranean holiday resorts.

For example, there are no less than 10 individual leisure and swimming pools within the Nirvana Spa complex, each with its own unique character and experience. These include a ‘Roman’ themed pool designed for relaxed swimming; a surf pool featuring a 51 jet hydrotherapy pool, capable of massaging every part of your body in 35°C water; a heated outdoor ‘spa garden pool’, that can be enjoyed throughout the year; a fitness pool with swim lanes for those wanting a full ‘aqua workout’; a floatation pool, where spring fed natural water combines with Dead Sea mineral salts to create a ‘unique floating sensation’; to the Nirvana Pool itself, where poolside refreshments can be enjoyed, whilst relaxing by crystal clear waters. And in the outdoor spa garden, a series of mini-spas can be found offering an authentic hot tub experience in the fresh air!

The relaxing and healing properties of water are a central focus of the Nirvana Spa experience, so it’s not surprising to find that the company places great emphasis on water quality and cleanliness. The crystal clear water found in the resorts pools is mineral water, drawn from a natural source beneath the resort itself!

With so many pools and so much water, keeping them in top condition is the responsibility of Maintenance Director, Neil Phelps and his team of 6 pool engineers. One of the key issues is pool heating, as no matter how spectacular the pool looks, if the water’s freezing, no one’s going in!

Bowman heat exchangers are used for heating virtually all of the pools; the only exceptions being some of the smaller pools fitted with heat pumps. ‘’We’ve used Bowman heat exchangers for around 20 years now’’ said Neil ‘’and they’ve always performed really well, especially on our larger pools’’.

Nirvana’s most recent purchase being a JK190-5118-3T, a titanium heat exchanger that is one of the largest products in the Bowman range and suitable for pools up to 1,230 M³ (270,000 gal) capacity.

‘’We’re using the JK190 on the Celestial Floatation pool’’ said Neil, ‘’as it’s perfect for the size of pool and the minerals used in the water. We bypass 50% of the water flow around the heat exchanger, which reduces pressure drop and it heats the water really quickly. As you can imagine, the salts in Dead Sea minerals would soon kill a stainless steel plate heat exchanger. We’ve also found that flow rates are not as good with plate type units compared to shell and tube, whilst one of the other benefits is maintenance – cleaning a Bowman unit is easy.’’

All indoor pools at Nirvana Spa are heated to a luxurious 35°C, whilst the outdoor pools are run at an extremely pleasant, but slightly cooler 29°C; the Bowman heat exchangers quickly getting them to the perfect temperature for relaxation. Which is important, because as we all know, some of the best ideas come to us when we’re relaxing!