Managing humidity within ice rinks

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The use of desiccant dehumidifiers is the best way to solve the problems caused by high humidity in ice arenas and ice rinks

  • Create an optimum indoor climate at ice arenas and skating rinks
  • Create and maintain a high-quality ice surface
  • Reduce maintenance costs of ice arenas and skating rinks

In order to achieve all these goals it is necessary to reach the optimal dewpoint within the ice rink. 

The use of the ice rink will determine the optimal conditions that are required. 

Optimal temperature and dewpoint for ice rink activities

The ideal conditions for Curling

A key part of the preparation of the playing surface is the spraying of water droplets onto the ice, commonly referred to as "pebbling". The "pebble" is formed on freezing. As the stone moves over the pebble any rotation of the stone causes it to curl to the inside or outside. The pebbled surface is what allows the stone to be controlled. By controlling the air dewpoint the surface of the pebbles will be maintained in the event the dewpoint of the surround air is too high the ice surface can be ruined by moisture depositing on the ice in the form of condensation.

The ideal conditions for ice rinks for curling can be defined as:
  • Air dewpoint minus 4.0 plus 2.0 Celsius
  • Ice temperature minus 5 to minus 3 Celsius

The ideal conditions for figure ice skating 

Figure skating requires a much softer ice surface than other sports. This is to allow the blades to grip into the ice allowing for greater control during spins, take offs and landings. The other benefit of the softer ice is that it is less likely to shatter under the impact of hard landings.

The ideal conditions for ice rinks being used for figure skating can be defined as:
  • Air dewpoint minus 4 to minus 2 Celsius
  • Ice temperature (Olympic standard) minus 3.5 Celsius

The ideal conditions for ice hockey

Ice hockey requires hard ice to enable it to withstand to rigors of the physical fast pace sport. Ice that is too soft will create too much snow when players are conducting hard manoeuvres and will result in a slow playing surface. As the ice requires to be much colder in ice rinks used for hockey lower air dewpoints are required to prevent fogging over the ice and on safety screens surrounding the rink.

The ideal conditions for ice rinks being used for ice hockey can be defined as:
  • Air dewpoint of minus 4 to minus 2 Celsius
  • Ice temperature minus 8 to minus 5 Celsious

The problems

of uncontrolled humidity within ice rinks

  • Formation of mist / water vapor over the surface of the rink

  • Deterioration of quality of ice

  • Increase of maintenance costs

  • Failures of electronic and electrical systems

  • Formation of condensed moisture on the inside walls and roof of the arena

  • Wet corrosion on the surface of metal constructions

  • Development of mildew and bacteria

  • Fogging of glass constructions and arena board

The best solution to these problems is to utilise desiccant dehumidification systems to maintain the correct air dewpoint this can also be expressed as a relative humidity within ice arenas of between 40-50% however this is level is dependant on the temperature being maintained. 

Installation of air humidity control equipment within ice rinks

  • Creates the necessary microclimate at ice arenas and skating rinks
  • Improves quality of ice
  • Prevents formation of mist and water vapours
  • Prevents formation of condensed moisture
  • Prevents metal corrosion
  • Prevents development of mildew and bacteria
  • Prevents failures of electrical equipment
  • Maximizes lifespan of equipment
  • Increases lifespan of the ice arenas and rinks structure
  • Reduces maintenance costs
  • Improves hygienic condition of the premises
Contact one of our team today to find your Ice Rink humidity control solution...