27 Aug REALice and Brine Temperature: How High Can You Go?
I end up talking about brine temperature all the time. That’s because with REALice, that’s where the real energy savings are.
When using REALice-treated water to resurface your rink, your ice plant doesn’t need to work as hard taking the heat off the ice and with the treated water, the heat capacity has increased by 5% and the electrical conductivity has increased by 3%.
The water you’re using ends up freezing so quickly, we recommend that our customers start to play with their brine temperature settings, raising them up a degree to a degree and a half Fahrenheit at a time and watch how their ice reacts. Now, wait for about a week, the ice need to stabilize before you raise the temperature another step.
Then repeat increasing the temperature again until you feel that ice is no longer good. You can test that by dry shaving the ice and noticing that the snow now is wet. From that point, lower the ice temperature 1 degree Fahrenheit down and you have reached the optimal brine temperature for your rink.
Once you have reached that optimal temperature, dry shave your ice – no wash water used – once or twice. During the REALice process the impurities have been moved to the top and dry shaving will take that top layer off and you will see shiny, very clear (absence of micro-air bubbles) sheet of ice.
How High Can You Go?
How high can you go? That’s a great question and it depends on a variety of things — including what your brine temperature was set at before you put the REALice System in, normally we see an increase by 3 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit.
You need to be willing to experiment, gradually moving it up a little at a time to see how your ice reacts to each increment you make. But having said all that, a recent installation on Vancouver Island at The Oak Bay Recreation Centre has seen them raise their brine temperature by 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the five weeks since their ice went in.
I know I’ve shown you this chart before (and I’ll probably show it to you again and again and again!) — but for every degree in Fahrenheit that you’re able to increase your brine temperature, there’s a corresponding energy savings. If you’re able to raise that brine temperature by just one degree, you’ll have an energy savings of 2.1%. And, the higher you’re able to raise it, the more energy you’ll be able to save.
The District of Oak Bay’s facility is on their way to see a reduction of their electricity costs by 10% for that operation alone. And that doesn’t include the other savings REALice is bringing them in not having to heat up their water anymore, not having to take so much heat off of the ice anymore — and not running the dehumidifier as much.
If you’re looking for ways to reduce your energy spend — and your greenhouse gas emissions — give me a call. Or try out our savings calculator yourself and see the kind of savings REALice can bring to your facility.