Refrigeration plants used in arenas provide necessary cooling to produce and maintain ice surfaces. The refrigeration equipment draws electricity; the highest ongoing non-labour cost in arenas. The refrigeration plant removes heat from ice pads and the condenser disposes of it outdoors. On average, as much as 7.2 million Btu of heat, or more than 2,000 kWh, are generated each day by an ice plant.
Heat-recovery systems can harness heat as free energy from the refrigeration plant, which can provide overall heating savings of more than 75%.
Most of the wasted heat available comes from the refrigeration condenser, but some heat can be recovered from the building’s exhaust air. Recovered heat can be used for space heating, domestic water heating, subfloor heating, slab heating, floodwater heating, ice melting, and preheating cold outdoor air for ventilation.
- Some systems should be located below showers, and require simultaneous flow
- Use licensed professionals to install equipment
- Refrigeration system can supply heat reclaim only when the cooling system is in operation
- Heat exchanger must be made from material that has good thermal transfer properties and will not corrode
- Increase in refrigeration system operating efficiencies
- Reduction in dependence on fossil fuels
- Can be added to existing refrigeration plants
- Cost-effective technology recovers wasted energy and converts it to free hot water
- Eliminates need for older evaporative condensers
- Boilers will last longer and need less maintenance
- Electricity and natural gas, saves approximately 25% of water heating costs
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Cooling tower will use less water and less treatment chemicals.
- Case study: The Cowichan Arena sticks it to energy waste
- Natural Resources Canada Comparative study of refrigerations systems for ice rinks
- The News: Energy efficiency in the ice rink
More ways to improve your refrigeration plant