NHL Arena Improves Ice Quality, Lowers Energy Costs with Heat Pipe Technology
Amalie Arena is expected to save an estimated $600,000 per year in energy costs
TAMPA, Fla. — Heat Pipe Technology (HPT) a division of MiTek® Industries, a Berkshire Hathaway company, announced it has completed a successful installation at Amalie Arena, home of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, that reduced humidity levels, improved ice quality, and cut energy costs.
Before the HPT installation, the arena’s ice quality was ranked near the bottom among NHL arenas. This was largely due to the Tampa Bay area’s climate, where high humidity makes it difficult to create and maintain top-quality ice, which requires dry air. Before HPT arrived, the Amalie Arena was generating around 60 percent relative humidity at 65°F, when the NHL recommended 40 percent relative humidity at 60°, with a dew point of 36°.
After rejecting a rooftop gas-heat desiccant system as costly and bulky, Amalie Arena installed HPT’s wrap-around dehumidification heat pipes (DHPs). The DHPs use a proprietary system commonly installed in large-scale HVAC applications that require lower humidity, such as hotels, universities, specialty manufacturing, and hospitals.
HPT’s DHPs, which have no moving parts and require little maintenance, use the “phase change” of the working fluid in Amalie Arena’s HVAC system to precool outside air before it enters the cooling coil and reheat the air exiting the cooling coil using recovered heat. This reduces the load on the cooling coil, while lowering the dew point. HPT’s modeling shows that its DHPs remove close to 350 total tons from the cooling load, and roughly 4 million Btuh of reheat, which is necessary to maintain comfortable conditions for over 20,000 fans. This is expected to save the Amalie Arena an estimated $600,000 per year in energy costs.
“Not only did the heat pipe solution allow us to keep all construction inside the existing mechanical rooms and off the roof, greatly reducing first costs,” said Mike Tappouni, of Tappouni Mechanical Services, “but it allowed us to reduce overall energy consumption as well, despite the need for colder water from the chillers. In addition, the reduction in maintenance cannot be understated. It literally went from a maintenance nightmare to a dream.”
For more information, visit www.heatpipe.com.
Publication date: 6/8/2015