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 spectators, bleacher heating, humidity levels, open dashboards etc… Every aspect of it plays a role in achieving optimal artificial ice conditions.
In some facilities ice surface temperatures are as high as 28°F (apx. -2.2°C). 28°F is when the sliding coefficient between a skate blade and the ice surface are at its best. If the ice temperature is warmer the skate blade cuts deeper, while at colder temperatures friction is also increased due to frost formation on the surface.
- Reducing plant load
- Extending life of the compressors
- Savings cost
- CO2 emissions