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. They provide thermal insulation so the ice remains at the desired temperature, which helps reduce energy costs.
- Minimal investment (apx. $4,000 USD). Return of investment is about 4 months
- Made from fibreglass, rockwool and cellulose; the “deep-pocketed” blankets can be used in extreme temperature variation
- Decreased brine pump usage and compressor run time to keep ice surface cold
- Minimal time needed to lay blanket (apx. 20 minutes) and remove and store blanket (apx. 30 minutes)
- Some ice covers are made from recycled materials
- Ice cover / blanket / conversion floor storage space in facility