Schwans Super Rink 1-4

Mark Hancock, P.E. — Oct 2017

schwans400.jpgProject Background

CEE worked with the National Sports Center to identify energy savings and opportunities to improve operational efficiency.


The primary systems under review were the ice-making equipment, arena heating and cooling systems, domestic hot water production, and lighting. System performance was documented by data collected from the existing building automation system, deployment of dataloggers, and one-time measurements of operating parameters.


CEE identified 22 maintenance-related items that National Sports Center needed to address for effective equipment operation. Beyond that, CEE suggested 14 energy conservation opportunities for over $96,300 in potential annual savings.

 Key observations:

  • Five improvements were identified that had no implementation costs, including set point changes and minor cleaning tasks, which will yield over $14,000 in annual savings.
  • Many recommendations for the ice making equipment were associated with capital costs, but when combined with the no-cost recommendations, the total project payback is minimal.

Overall, results indicate numerous opportunities for National Sports Center to lower its operating costs and save energy by making simple adjustments.

Annual Savings Potential

At a total cost of roughly $264,200 and a simple payback of 2.7 years, the recommended energy conservation improvements should yield annual savings of:

  • $96,314 in energy spending
  • 997,074 kilowatt-hours electricity
  • 80 kilowatts electricity–summer demand
  • 92 kilowatts electricity–winter demand
  • 17,852 natural gas therms

Project Info

Blaine, MN
Existing Building Commissioning

Efficiency Improvement Areas
  • Refrigeration condenser fan and pump control.
  • Subsoil heat pump variable frequency drive.
  • Control of ice temperature
  • Implement operating schedules in existing controllers that deactivate when the facility is unoccupied.
  • Install LED retrofit fixtures that leverage Design Lights Consortium.
  • Repair leaky or failed valves and manually turn off pump(s) when boilers are furloughed.
  • Install infrared ice surface temperature sensors to save energy and provide more consistent ice quality with less need for operators to adjust settings.
  • Add variable frequency drives to brine pumps. Use a single brine temperature sensor and setpoint to control staging.

Schwans Super Rink Case study (PDF)

Watch Mark Hancock talk about ice rink efficiency efforts in a National Sports Center video.