Automated controls for ice rinks cool down costs
By Design Engineering staffAutomation
Moncton, N.B., ice centre leverages upgraded refrigeration system and Kepware plug-and-play communications software to keep temperatures just right
The Tim Hortons 4 Ice Centre in Moncton, N.B., is the city’s first multi-pad arena with four separate ice surfaces. Constructed in 2002, the facility was designed to incorporate a year-round arena facility as the focal point for community ice sports within the city. Housing four NHL-size rinks running 12 months a year, the centre encores substantial energy costs to maintain the desired ice conditions. A centralized ammonia refrigeration plant automated by a PLC-based control system was at the heart of the facility’s ice-making efforts.
The centre was motivated to reduce the overall energy usage at the facility by an increased community focus on reducing energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions. Taking into consideration that the refrigeration system at the facility accounted for the largest usage of electricity, it was a natural decision to take the appropriate measures to enhance its efficiency.
The 4 Ice Centre needed an upgrade to their current PLC-based control system that could grow and accommodate the complicated usage schedules. So it was in Fall 2007 the facility personnel contacted Keswick Ridge, N.B.-based TechCold International, a division of Advanced Monitoring Technologies Inc. (AMT). The centre identified TechCold as a solution provider because of their reputation for having engineered a 15 to 25 percent energy savings at more than a dozen regional rinks.
TechCold is focused on designing and implementing high-end industrial refrigeration control/energy management systems for various applications including food processing and cold storage facilities—as well as ice rinks. With more than 10 years of experience in providing control solutions, they were contracted to provide the necessary upgrades to bring the Tim Hortons 4 Ice Centre to a new standard of energy efficiency.
TechCold Pro-Act XP Arena Control System provides automated control over the refrigeration plant by controlling ice temperatures to within 0.5°F with infrared technology, offering consistent, high-quality ice surfaces. The Pro-Act System offers enhanced control by reducing the facility’s electrical loads through high-end programming that allows for automated control of the refrigeration equipment such as compressors and pump motors. This automated control effectively reduces run time on these devices, saving energy and reducing associated greenhouse gas emissions.