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Ice Rink and Snow Melt

ZmanZman Posts: 4,996Member
I recently toured the mechanical rooms at a couple local ice rinks. Both had a compressor room to keep the ice frozen. Outside was a cooling tower to dissipate the heat produced by the process.

I both cases there was a large boiler room right next door. The boilers were heating DHW and providing heat for the exterior snow melt.

It seemed crazy to me that they were removing heat from the ice, only to dump it, then firing boilers to melt ice outside.

Has anyone tried using  outside slabs as the "dump" for the compressors?Even if the slabs just "idled" and the boilers fired if needed, the energy saving would be big.
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
Albert Einstein


  • Mark EathertonMark Eatherton Posts: 5,843Member
    Waste Heat Recovery...

    In my experience, if waste heat recovery is possible, it SHOULD be mandatory. Oh sure, matching loads might be an issue, but thats why they invented storage tanks. Besides, if the snowmelt works efficiently as a cooling tower for the heat rejection from the ice making system, who cares if it goes through a tower, or through the slab.

    At a minimum, they should be doing desuper heat preheat for their DHW loads.

    On another vein, if one has a snowmelt system, why not reverse the cycle and utilize the free falling solar energy for DHW preheat, or pool heating, or whatever it can be used for?

    With a well controlled WSHP, 120 degree F waater temperatures shoudl not be a problem.

    Sometimes, we can't see the forest for the trees... Especially "old school" engineers. WE need to start thinking outside of the usual box.

    I am aware of an engineering group in the Rockies who received energy savings awards for tieing the commercial office buildings cooling system into the snowmlet system.

    When I was employed by AHI in Denver, we did a major snowmelt system on a parking garage whereby we took the waste heat from the condensate of a city district steam system serving this high rise building, and used the condensate (through a flat plate HXer) to do the snowmelt. The engineer was't sure if we could carry the load with the condensate only, so incorporated a 2nd stage steam/water HXer to back up the system, and to my knowledge, other than initial testing, its (aux heat) never been on. Now THAT is forward thninking.

    We need to start thinking in that direction, and the numbers are there to prove economic viability.

    Good post. Now its a matter of finding your way up the proverbial ladder to someone who can make a decision about where to spend money to save money...

    Good luck in your venture.

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
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