Emissivity is the tendancy of a surface to radiate and absorb heat. The higher the emissivity of a surface, the faster it will radiate heat to a lower temperature surface, or absorb heat from a higher temperature surface. This is especially true when the two surfaces are parallel to each other.
In an arena, the emissivities of the ice surface and the ceiling play a large role in the amount of radiant heat transfer. The ceiling is almost always at a higher temperature than the ice surface, causing more radiant heat to be emitted by the ceiling than is absorbed. This causes the refrigeration equipment to work harder to keep the ice from melting. It is therefore advantageous to have a ceiling with a low emissivity (Low-E) to reduce the load on the refrigeration equipment.
The existing surface of the arena ceiling has a high emissivity of around 0.90, resulting in a large amount of heat being radiated straight down onto the ice surface. This radiant heat is typically responsible for 28% of the energy required by the refrigeration equipment.
A Low-E ceiling should be installed to reduce the load on the arena refrigeration plant. The new ceiling will have an emissivity of around 0.05. The temperature setpoint of the ice should be increased, to keep the actual surface temperature of the ice the same.
Several different configurations of Low-E ceilings are available; the ceiling can be suspended from the roof by cabling, as a horizontal sheet, or it can be attached directly to the underside of the roof deck purlins. In the second case it will conform to the shape of the roof.
The ceiling is highly reflective and will add to the brightness of the lighting in the arena.
Issues and Concerns
Analysis text here