Decoupler Blender: Saving Money with Better Control

Decoupler Blender: Saving Money with Better Control

The ice3 Cube Refrigeration System is not “just the Cubes”

Even though there are other modular chiller solutions on the market, it is often overlooked how Emerald Environmental Technologies’ energy efficiency strategy goes beyond just the modular ice3 Cubes. It was recently noted while visiting a municipal recreation arena that another manufacturer’s modular-type system was installed with cold floor pumps sized at 40HP each to produce 1,000 gallons per minute! This manufacturer’s system required large horsepower pumps – the pressure drop resistance through the brazed plate heat exchangers in their modular chillers required more horsepower.

The ice3 Cubes initially ran into a similar issue when the ice3 Cubes were applied against a standard buried header floor that required an exchange rate of 1,000 gallons per minute (or every three minutes) to exchange the entire volume of the system. So how could the system be made more efficient while reducing the pumping horsepower? When Environmental Technologies’ exclusive “Decoupler” is added to the ice3 Cube refrigeration system the need for massive pumping Horsepower is resolved by a the brilliantly simple design of the Decoupler.

Adding a Decoupler Allows Better Control

The Decoupler works on a deceptively simple concept. By installing a closed insulated decoupler between the floor and the ice3 Cubes, we circulate the coldest fluid returning back from the Cube chillers through an internal perforated blending pipe, that ensures the cold floor pumps are pulling fluid from the lower, coldest part of the decoupling tank. The warmer fluid returning from the cold floor is purposefully returned to the top of the tank, where the Cube chiller pumps pull the warmer fluid back from the tank and refrigerate it, thus returning to the beginning of the cycle. Ice3 Cube’s Averaging Cube staging control sensors are mounted within the Decoupler which maintains a glycol temperature based on system mode.

The Decoupler Blender with an ice3 Cube Saves Money

Simply put, adding the Decoupler to the ice3 Cube refrigeration system allows us to reduce the size of the cold floor pumps from a standard 30-40HP to typically only 15HP, and each ice3 Cube pump to either a 2HP or 3HP pump, which results in a drastic total pumping horsepower reduction when compared to a standard rink chiller system. In addition, Variable Frequency Drives (speed controls) are added to each of the cold floor pumps to slow the circulation rate during practice and unoccupied modes. The relationship of energy consumption to pump speed is cube root based, meaning that by running the main floor pumps at a lower speed, you dramatically reduce energy consumption. In addition to the savings provided by using smaller and fewer floor pumps, the ice3 Cube pumps only run when the ice3 Cubes were called on, extensively reducing electric utility expenses.

Canton Metropolis was recently redesigned from an alternate manufacturer with these large pumps to the ice3 Cube System with the Decoupler. Initial saving on pumping horsepower was dramatic and aligned the project for immediate rebates. This style of pumping allows for a much closer method matched chiller to load.

ice3 Cube Saves Money From the Start, Forward

The Decoupler concept is only one part of the ice3 Cube refrigeration system that offers a rink manager complete control over the heart-beat of the ice rink; the refrigeration system. What would your bottom line look like if you had control over your refrigeration system size, control over system status information, control over efficiency, control over refrigeration system growth, and therefore control over your potential for business growth?

~ Save on construction costs with a modular system, read more: When the Size and Noise of Your Refrigeration System Matter
~ Save on maintenance, read more: Ice3 Cube Maintenance
~ Save on long-term company growth with a refrigeration system that grows with you, read more: Emerald’s Modular Technology: Saving Monies from the Start
~ Save on efficiency, with the digital control information you’ve longed for. Read more: Not Your Father’s Refrigeration Control System
~ What could you do with your long term goals if you could save 20% in utility expenses? Read more: Ice Rink Efficiency: The Proof is in the Pudding
~ Need a system that allows flexibility to expand revenue streams to off-season? Read more: Does Your Refrigeration System Offer Flexibility?
~ USE that excess heat! Read more: Waste Heat Recovery

Request a Consultation

The expert team at Emerald Environmental Technologies can help define and customize which ice3 Cube combinations are ideal for your community/municipal/outdoor, upgrade project, or collegiate rink. Emerald Environmental Technologies is based in New England and services the entire east coast up through Canada. Please contact us today to request a free consultation.