When the Size and Noise of Your Refrigeration System Matter

How the Decoupler Blender Saves Money and Allows Better Control

When Size and Noise Matter

University of New England is a prime example of how the ice3 Cube system’s compact modular size and extraordinarily quiet operation allowed a redesign, without increasing the original footprint, and avoided additional construction costs and frustration. The University of New England was in the preliminary design phase and the architect was having issues making the program fit without increasing the footprint of the building by 5,000 feet, adversely affecting the cost of the project. The initial design had some complex architectural concepts that included a third floor mechanical space reserved for the heating boilers/pumps, dehumidifier, and gymnasium air handler adjoining a high end conference/classroom. Directly below was the ground floor mechanical room which would house the ice3 Cubes, electric room, and Zamboni room. The fluid cooling tower was mounted across from the rear driveway near the road. In general, the town was not happy that equipment would be alongside a main thoroughfare and expensive visual screening was proposed to keep an aesthetically pleasing view from the road.

So what could be done about all the issues at hand?

Teamwork Made it Work

Emerald Environmental Technologies approached both design engineers working on the project to coordinate a solution. Johnson & Jordan and Favreau Electric, both local Maine companies, came together to take a look at the third floor mechanical space. It was proposed that the dehumidifier and air handler be moved to the roof directly above the third floor mechanical room and the room be subdivided into boiler and ice3 Cube space with a cutout for an outdoor grotto for the evaporative fluid cooling tower. The remaining indoor space was reserved for the electric room. The MEP team was receptive to the idea and with all three parties on board it was redesigned. The new concept was provided to the school and architect allowing a working design without increasing the floor plan space.

Refrigeration Tetris

We had all the pieces, all the players were on the same team. Since the ice3 Cubes are light weight, quiet, and modular, they allowed a creative solution. All that was needed now was a game of fitting the components into the most efficient locations with the help of the project heads.

The Challenge – Noise of a Refrigeration System

The primary concern for everyone was the NOISE the refrigeration system would create as it would be placed directly next to a room that would be used as a meeting/conference room and classroom space. Also, looking forward, the future accessibility for replacement or addition of equipment had to be considered. While real life noise data of an ice3 Cube installation in its entirety was not available, a sound test could be done by the architect on a recently installed system. A noise consultant was hired and took readings of the ten ice3 Cube system installed at Boston College. What was found was a single operating ice3 Cube with lined cabinetry emitted a mere 53 decibels. When all six ice3 Cubes were started the noise increased to only 55 Decibels. With the already sound insulated walls proposed at University of New England installing the exceedingly ice3 Cube system room right next to the conference room on the third floor would be a feasible design. It is surprising to most just how quiet and compact the ice3 Cubes are when compared to much noisier industrial plants.

The Challenge – Mechanical Room Locations

Customizing your refrigeration plant to the exact size needed is where the modular ice3 Cubes are particularly attractive. Emerald Environmental Technologies has designed the ice3 Cubes to be 30 1/4” wide, which means they fit through standard doorways of 32”. Because the mechanical room was built on the third floor, the purposely designed small size of an ice3 Cube allowed access to the third floor via the elevator, a unique and surprisingly reasonable solution afforded by the modular design.

The Challenge – Facility Space

The project was constructed with the ice3 Cubes, boilers, pumps and electrical switchgear all cohabitating in a single third floor mechanical room. A section of the area was cordoned off and the fluid cooling tower was installed here behind a curtain wall. This design provided for a central plant also lowering first costs. Because of this creative design solutions, without increasing the initial design foot footprint, UNE was actually able to add locker rooms in the space saved on the first floor. Future equipment installation and services would access the third floor by elevator.

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.