Improved ice quality and climate with dehumidification

17/11/2014 12:00:00

Ijsbaan Leuven in Belgium is an Ice rink hosting ice hockey, figure skating and disco skating. The arena seats 650 spectators and is in operation year-round and is only closed for maintenance for less than 20 days every summer.

The year-round opening was a big challenge, both technically and financially. Technically as the warm and humid summer air causes heavy condensation that affects building structure as well as the ice quality and calls for frequent maintenance of the ice surface.

In ice rinks the MX and MX² dehumidifiers ensuring controls the indoor humidity condensation does not occur. By keeping the relative humidity below 55% RH year-round, the operation of the ice rink is smoother energy efficient.

Ice rink benefits:

  • Condensation is avoided
  • No mould or corrosion
  • Less need of maintenance of building structures
  • Comfortable climate for athletes and spectators
  • Improved safety for skaters
  • Reduced number of ice repairs
  • Reduced water consumption
  • Low running costs due to utilization of excess heat
  • More economical use of cooling system

In Ijsbaan Leuven, Munters installed the MX²55 with an airflow of 5,500 m3/h. The excess heat from the cooling equipment in the arena is used to preheat the desiccant wheels (rotor) in order to assist with its regeneration cycle.

During summer, the excess heat is as high as 95°C, thus eliminating the need to add heat from other sources to regenerate to drying wheel. In such periods, the operation of the dehumidifier itself is limited to a power consumption as low as 4kW, saving 36kW/hour when operating.

During summer, an hourly repair of the ice was necessary because of ice build-up that compromised the safety for skaters. Approx. 1,000 l of water was used for each repair, which is now be unnecessary due to Munters climate control.

With great satisfaction, Mr. Luk Bursen, owner of Ijsbaan Leuven, concludes that: "The ice quality has improved a lot and the frequent interruption for repairing the ice during summer is no longer necessary. Less maintenance of the building is required as both condensation and mould growth is no longer occurring, securing a much more healthy climate for athletes and spectators. Our cooling system is running less and the excess heat that we used to dump as waste heat in summer is now fully used for the dehumidification regeneration cycle."