How to boost the Arena’s ice maintenance: Adjusting your ice maintenance can help increase the ice quality and save energy while reducing the rink’s footprint. Have you successfully incorporated some of these measures? Let us know and tell your story so that we can share it here and inspire others to take action!
Finding the optimal thickness of the ice and the thickness of the concrete slab beneath are critical factors in refrigeration efficiency. Ice and the concrete act as insulators, resisting the transfer of heat to the refrigeration system. If the ice is too thick, it will dramatically increase compressor load and energy costs. The thicker the ice and concrete, the harder it is for the refrigeration system to maintain a desired ice surface temperature. Each additional 1 inch (25.4 mm) of ice adds approximately 10,000 kWh/yr to the required energy to maintain the ice surface. Vigorous skating during a typical hockey practice will damage ice that is too thin. It will also require more resurfacings. On the other hand, thick ice is inefficient because it increases the energy requirements of the refrigeration system. Most rink facilities maintain their ice thickness between 1 1/4” (apx. 3.2 cm) to 1 1/2” (apx. 3.8 cm) as […]
In a busy arena the ice is resurfaced up to 10 times a day; during which ice is scraped off and allowed to melt. Some facilities even use hot water to melt the snow and with this more energy. The ice shavings are often taken outside of the arena and dumped nearby. This introduces risks such as health hazards to ice rink operators and also causes energy loss and increased humidity in the arena. A snow melt pit allows for the snow to be melted without opening the outside doors and letting the heat in. The refrigeration plant will run cooler and the refrigeration power costs will be reduced significantly during the ice melting process. Snow melt pits should be regularly cleaned and sanitized to create a safe work environment for operations crews. Benefits: Less refrigeration costs Less humidity in the rink since the doors stay closed Less temperature imbalances in […]
Many ice arenas are now multi-purpose entertainment centres. With demand from arts, floor sports, and conferences ice surfaces are vulnerable to increased and decreased temperatures. Ice covers protect the ice so it can remain installed during non-ice events. Ice that sits idle, for hours or days at a time continues to draw energy from compressors and cooling towers, and places high demands on arena personnel. The Angel of the Winds Arena, an entertainment destination with twin ice pads that act as the home and practice ice for the local major junior hockey team, the Everett Silvertips of the WHL, decided to cover their ice with thermal blankets to protect the ice surface and maintain ice temperature by keeping the cold in and the warm out. Conversion floors protect the ice surface when the facility is hosting non-ice events. They are typically made of high density material that helps reduce energy consumption. […]
Some arena operators run their ice a little warmer than others. In fact, they have temperature settings for the ice plant when it’s unoccupied, during practices and games. The slab temperature ranges from 22°Fahrenheit (°F) – 24°F (apx. – 4°C) when unoccupied, to 18-20°F (apx. – 7°C) for games. Increasing the set-points reduces the load on the ice plant and therefore will reduce the energy consumption. How much energy is reduced varies across the country from plant to plant. Some sources suggest up to 2% per 1°F increase. It is a result of the combined effects of conductive, convective and radiant heat loads on the ice surface. So, the higher the ice temperature, the lower the potential for heat transfer. Skilled arena operators know of the variables that affect ice making and understand the impact of outside temperatures, inside temperatures, treatment of the resurfacing water, different types of ice activities, number of […]
Building an early-morning dry-shave into your routine cuts off the ruts in the ice and will reduce the amount of water being used throughout the day. That also helps keep the optimal ice thickness and therefore reduce the load on the refrigeration plant. Benefits: Improved ice quality with less gouges Less energy used Savings: Water Electricity CO2
An ice sheet is designed just like a refrigerator, when the dasherboards are open, it allows the heat to enter the ice requiring the ice plant to work harder to take that extra heat load off. On top it will make the ice softer. Open doors to the outside have the same effect, but in addition makes it much harder to control the humidity levels inside the arena. Fast-opening loading doors could cut down the amount of cool air that leaves the arena. Benefits: Hard ice Less load on the plant Savings: Electricity Natural Gas (de-humidifer has to work less) CO2 Web resources: ORFA: Energy Savings at the Rink Helps Keep Ice Costs Downs
There are a number of reasons for going electric. Electric resurfacers eliminate the pollution inside the arena in the form of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. Both gases are dangerous exhaust gases given off by internal combustion engines. Electric ice resurfacers might be more expensive than propane or natural gas powered systems. However, much of this cost difference can be offset over time by lower operating costs. Some ballpark costs are: Propane fuel for a year is about $5,000; electricity is about $1,000. Maintenance for the internal combustion engine is about $5,000; for the electric, it can run to about $3,000. A one-time cost of $1,000 for a charging station will be required. What needs to be factored in is the cost of battery replacement at intervals of five to seven years. Current battery costs are estimated at about $12,000. The rapid pace of battery development and the savings accruing from […]
Leaving ice piles outside the facility to naturally melt poses a threat to the environment. Water contaminated with ice paint and bodily fluids could enter the water streams through storm sewers or natural drainage. Additionally, it has been found that paint disposed of in local sewers can cause blockages in sewer lines, contribute to abrasion of sewer pipes, and / or contributes to the grazing of pumps. Though most ice paints are considered environmentally friendly, paint waste should be disposed as per local by‐laws. Depending upon the jurisdiction, paint, blood, puke and spit can be removed from wastewater by filtering the wastewater using a sand bed, filtering wastewater using layers of filter cloth, or a combination of treatments. Paint can be transported away to an acceptable disposal area, or melted in a contained area. Ensure facility workers are aware of procedures for storage, chemical labeling, hazardous materials handling, chemical cleanup and […]
When resurfacing the ice, driving at the same pace and watching the speed is crucial. None of the operators should go slower or faster anywhere as they shave the ice and apply water. It is important not to put down much water along the boards to prevent the ice building up too much. Going over creases shut of the water and raise the blade. Once past the crease, turn the water on again and lower the blade. 10 minutes should allow to do the ice and ensure a 5-minute window before the next user group is scheduled to be on the ice. Benefits: Optimized ice maintenance Good quality ice Savings: Water Web resources: Ice maintenance in Black Diamond, Alberta
Ice installation starts with thoroughly cleaning the floor slab. The ice has to bond to the slab to ensure the heat transfer is good. This means that any impurities, such as oil and dirt will affect the bonding of the ice to the slab. Other impurities present will affect the freezing point of the water making it difficult to freeze the affected zones. The refrigeration system has to ensure that even the most difficult area of the ice surface can be frozen. This means that energy is wasted if the rink needs to be kept colder than necessary because of impurities in some parts of the surface. Benefits: Lower operating cost Less electricity required Savings: Electricity CO2 Web resource: Manitoba Hydro – Energy Efficiency Guide for Municipal Recreation Facilities page 41
Painting the ice with an environmentally friendly, reflective and thermally conductive white reduces refrigeration costs by reflecting radiant heat energy away from the skating surface and creates a healthier environment for skaters. If the slab were the colour of dark sand or grey concrete, the heat and light energy would be more readily absorbed and would have to be removed by the ice plant. Reflecting light back into the rink also reduces the amount and number of lights required to provide adequate illumination, for further energy savings. Choose ice surface paints designed to be thermally conductive. This reduces the heat transfer through the ice and help conserve energy. Benefits: Safer environment for skaters Hydro savings Savings: Reduces the refrigerant load by five to 15 per cent compared to “dark ice.” Web resources: Manitoba Hydro: Energy Efficiency Guide for Municipal Recreation Facilities, page 42 Metro Vancouver: Managing Waste Water Pools and Rinks
Ice resurfacer electric conversions turn your existing propane or natural gas powered system into electric drive. There are a number of reasons for going electric. Electric resurfacers eliminate the pollution inside the arena in the form of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. Both gases are dangerous exhaust gases given off by internal combustion engines. Some ballpark costs are: Propane fuel for a year is about $5,000; electricity is about $1,000. Maintenance for the internal combustion engine is about $5,000; for the electric, it can run to about $3,000. A one-time cost of $1,000 for a charging station will be required. What needs to be factored in is the cost of battery replacement at intervals of five to seven years. Current battery costs are estimated at about $12,000. The rapid pace of battery development and the savings accruing from high volume production for the automotive industry, this cost might decline sharply before […]
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Canadian Electric Vehicles has developed a bolt-in system utilizing AC drive and Lithium batteries for conversion of an existing gas or propane ice resurfacer to pure electric power. Converting an ice resurfacer to electric is a smart and economical way to recycle existing ice resurfacers to zero emission vehicles. We have two models in our Zamboni electric conversion series that work with Zamboni 400 and Zamboni 500 vehicles.