September/October 2020

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Page 29 of 47

D ID YOU KNOW: A surprising number of ice rinks do not leverage heat recovery from the refrigeration sys- tem. This lack of engagement is surprising given market availability of the equipment needed, and that many hundreds of installations already exist. While conceptually many agree with the idea of heat recovery, many organizations procrastinate or simply decline to install these systems. Worse still is the growing trend of upgrading refrig- eration systems without making heat recovery a standard feature. Money is often cited as the driving reason for not pursuing heat recovery, often prioritizing non expense-reduction items, or sim- ply choosing not to invest at all. And yes, that's the correct wording of choosing not to pursue verses cannot afford to pursue. There are multiple options for rink-centric equipment-financing available when addressing a cost-reduction upgrade. The cost reductions in utility spending can be used to make financing pay- ments which can be innovatively matched to the rink's higher revenue months and/or "termed out" to a longer payment period, which allows for some immediate spending relief. So, availability of capital to implement is not the primary hold up. In that case, why are so many organizations and owners reluctant to implement heat recovery? Let's cover a few basics on heat recovery from rink refrigeration systems to avoid confusion. HEAT RECOVERY 101 Refrigeration systems necessary for maintaining ice reject sig- nificant quantities of heat. This heat (energy) is rejected (thrown away) using a condenser (heat exchanger) most commonly to the outside air. Heat recovery is about capturing that heat (energy) before it gets thrown away. There are a variety of equipment options and approaches used, but the basic underlying principle is to recover this waste-heat stream and reuse it in the facility. There are two other basic elements to be aware of regarding this reclaim strategy: 1. What's commonly referred to as the "grade" of heat available 2. The value of that energy. The latter one, the value of the energy, is relatively straight- forward. Every hour the typical refrigeration system will reject (throw away) the equivalent of $3 worth of equivalent natural gas energy per NHL sized sheet of ice just to maintain conditions, and an additional $2 if resurfacing has occurred during that hour. So, approximately $5 an hour with resurfacing, and $3 for an hour without. While that doesn't sound like a lot—consider Dunkin' Donuts' US segment which is expected to contribute $673.4 mil- lion to Dunkin' Brands 2019 revenues according to Forbes—think about how many dollars would be in their average sale. Heating Up Using refrigeration for free heat 30 / SEPTEMBER.OCTOBER.2020 USICERINKS.COM By IAN STOREY • Subsoil Heating • Snow Melt Pit • Ice Resurfacer Hot Water • Domestic Hot Water Preheat • Comfort Heating • Radiant Floor Heat • Dehumidifier

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