The existing gravity dampers on the space exhaust fan [and/or makeup air intake opening] are not working properly either because they are stuck open or they are in poor condition and inoperable. A large amount of air, at most times containing undesired heat and water vapour, is infiltrating the arena continuously. Gravity dampers are designed to open and close when there is a pressure difference between inside air and outside air. Typically in an arena the gravity dampers will open when the arena exhaust is turned on and will close to a decent seal when the exhaust fan is turned off.
It is recommended that the gravity dampers be restored to design working condition. Fixing the dampers may be as simple as lubricating the bearings. If the dampers are in poor condition they may need to be replaced, however they are generally not expensive. This will reduce the cooling and dehumidification load on the refrigeration plant.
Any reduction in the intake of warm, moist outside air is very desirable, reducing condensation and associated damage on interior surfaces. It also means less likelihood of fogging over the ice surface.
Issues and Concerns
This recommendation is in accordance with Section 6.4 Energy Distribution Systems of the ASHRAE Standard on Energy Conservation in Existing Buildings.
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