Operational efficiency means utilizing people, time, and other resources available to a business optimally to derive maximum profits or benefits while reducing costs and unnecessary operations.
An ice rink is a huge building that consumes a large amount of energy for cooling and heating. Intense refrigeration is required to maintain the ice rink at a proper temperature ideal for players to play a particular sport. Heating is required for the comfort of the audience, players, and other members of the rink.
An ice rink can have enormous energy-related costs. Therefore, the management constantly looks for ways to optimize its operations to avoid unnecessary costs and smoothly run a low-cost, sustainable, and efficient establishment.
Sustainable design is one way to improve operational efficiency by reducing costs and taking advantage of design principles to provide maximum natural light and cooling wherever needed. Operators can also utilize energy-saving methods to achieve high operational efficiency in an ice rink.
Operational efficiency offers several benefits to a business. It adds more value with lesser work and costs. It ensures the happiness of customers and the workforce and provides clarity to the team and management. An efficient business is also ideal for the environment because it helps reduce waste and saves energy. All businesses can achieve operational efficiency by following some simple steps.
In this article, we will discuss ways to achieve operational efficiency in an ice rink.
1. Consider Getting a Scheduling Software
Scheduling impacts customer experience, workforce, and the overall operational efficiency of a business. Inefficient manual scheduling processes are time-consuming and are more prone to mistakes. Scheduling software can help save time and cut out unnecessary administrative costs. That’s where ice rink scheduling software comes in. It can help an ice rink achieve operational efficiency.
It is better to automate scheduling byusing software that prevents errors and speeds up other essential operations. A scheduling software provides you with powerful tools to ensure efficiency and earn more profits.
2. Utilize Ammonia as a Refrigerant
Ammonia is an energy-efficient refrigerant. Nitrogen and hydrogen are used to manufacture it. An ice rink can safely use ammonia for more than 100 years and will not phase out like some other refrigerants.
However, ammonia has a strong, pungent smell and can be toxic. So an ice rink staff needs to follow strict guidelines when storing and using ammonia. Additionally, the plant room should be designed to ensure safety. It is advised to have a professional operator on-site to avoid any problems.
3. Install Highly Efficient Motors with Soft-Start Controllers
Ice rink operators should always use high-efficiency rating motors to increase operational efficiency. A soft-start controller on a compressor motor can further improve system efficiency.
A soft-start controller helps reduce inrush current and manages peak demand loads. It also reduces the strain on the compressor during start-up when high torque is generated. A soft-start controller helps reduce the power bills of an ice rink. Therefore, high-efficiency motors with soft-start controllers help attain operational efficiency.
4. Invest in a Sub-Cooling System or a Snow-Melt Pit
The entire electrical load in an ice rink comes from the refrigeration system crucial for making and maintaining ice at a specific temperature. In any ice rink, the ice is scraped off almost 20 times in a single day.
Some ice rink operators maintain the electricity load by using hot water to melt the snow.
A sub-cooling system utilizes high-temperature discharge gasses for heating water, whereas a liquid sub-cooling method melts the snow and redirects the cooling into the refrigeration system to increase efficiency.
Discharge gases also providethe snow-melt pit with the requiredheat to melt the snow.
5. Consider Using Dual-Drive Brine Pumps
Dual-drive brine pumps run at a lower horsepower and help reduce the electricity load on the ice rink. The low horsepower pump still provides maximum capacity as provided by the main pump that uses higher horsepower.
A dual-drive brine pump can help achieve maximum output with minimum input. Apart from energy-saving and reducing electricity consumption, it provides ice rinks with the security of a backup pump in case one of the pumps fails.
6. Use Titanium Plate Chillers
A titanium plate chiller also plays a crucial role in achieving operational efficiency in an ice rink. It reduces energy consumption and allows operators to rapidly reduce temperature whenever required.
Titanium plate chillers provide various advantages. They are corrosion resistant, so they won’t need a replacement for a long time. They don’t occupy much space and consume considerably low electricity compared to a normal chiller of the same capacity. It is quite easy to repair any damage sustained by a titanium plate chiller. Lastly, the herringbone flow pattern greatly reduces energy consumption by ensuring optimal heat transfer.
7. Use LED Lighting and Conserve Electricity
Sodium or metal halide lights were common in older ice rinks. Those lights used a high amount of electricity, and any repairs or replacements were expensive. Moreover, the electricity bills used to be higher.
Nowadays, LED lights are available at an affordable cost, which reduces electricity costs. These can be installed in the rink to save other operational costs.
Consider using other electricity-saving techniques to reduce utility costs. For example, install sensors in bulbs or lights in areas like restrooms, locker rooms, and offices to reduce electricity usage. Using LED lights and energy conservation techniques can significantly improve operational efficiency.
The Wrap Up
Ice rinks are huge buildings with high energy requirements. Inefficient processes greatly increase the operational cost of an ice rink. So, it is necessary to introduce efficient processes or optimize existing processes to reduce operational costs and provide excellent services.
A few ways to achieve operational efficiency in an ice rink include installing scheduling software, using ammonia as a refrigerant, and using titanium plate chillers. Additionally, You can use LED lighting and dual-drive brine pumps to conserve electricity. Invest in a sub-cooling system or high-efficiency motors with soft start controllers. All these measures can help optimize operations, reduce operational costs, and provide an excellent customer experience.