The central systems for hockey rinks are crucial to maintain a consistent ice surface that is firm, level, and safe for the players.
The system typically consists of a network of pipes, a refrigeration system, and a heat exchange system. The first step in building a cooling system for a hockey rink is to install a network of pipes underneath the ice surface. These pipes are usually made of a durable material like copper or plastic and are designed to distribute chilled water throughout the rink. The pipes are typically installed in a serpentine pattern with a spacing of about 9-12 inches between each coil. Once the pipes are in place, a refrigeration system is installed to chill the water that will flow through them. This is typically done using a compressor, a condenser, and an evaporator, which work together to cool and compress the refrigerant. The refrigerant is then circulated through the pipes, absorbing heat from the water as it passes through. The final step in the cooling process is the heat exchange system. This HVAC system is responsible for transferring the heat absorbed by the refrigerant to the outside air. Typically, this is done using a large fan and a series of ducts that blow cold air over the condenser coil, which then releases the heat outside. The entire HVAC cooling system is controlled by a central control unit, which ensures that the temperature of the ice surface is maintained at a consistent level. This is important because if the ice gets too warm, it can become soft and create dangerous playing conditions for the hockey players. In summary, cooling systems for hockey rinks involve the installation of a network of pipes, a refrigeration system, and a heat exchange system.