Case studies – Temporary Climate Solutions

Polygon helps ice rink stay cool during curling championships



It might still be regarded a niche sport, but curling has enjoyed a boom in popularity thanks in large part to its starring role in the 2022 Winter Olympics. The Dumfries Ice Bowl in Scotland, which welcomed Team GB’s medal-winning curlers on their return from Beijing, plays host to high-level competitions, including the Scottish and English Curling Championships. Particularly for occasions such as these, the surface of the ice must be maintained
in prime condition, since any variations in ambient temperature and humidity would introduce the potential for the surface to compromise play through melting and crystallisation.


The in-house measures employed at Dumfries Ice Bowl to manage air temperature and ice conditions satisfy the venue’s day-to-day demands. With large crowds of people descending on the venue for the championships, however, the introduction of wet clothing and body heat into the enclosed space directly impacts the atmospheric conditions, intensifying the demand on the incumbent air conditioning system. Two weeks before the competition was scheduled to start, Polygon was asked to find a way of solving this challenge and ensuring the championships could proceed without disruption.


imageiivf.pngWhile the situation might have prompted recommendations to introduce extensive – and expensive - lengths of temporary ducting, the Polygon team arrived at a more cost-effective and energy-efficient solution for the ice rink’s management. This was based on running additional cooling lines through the venue’s existing fresh-air intake system and powering them with the existing electrical supply rather than using a fossil-fuelburning generator. With previous experience of a similar project, the Polygon team knew how to calculate the level of cooling required on the basis of the likely temperature and humidity changes caused by the numbers of additional people expected in the venue. When implemented, the temporary system incorporated a humidistat so that it would be activated automatically based on target levels, while constantly monitoring and recording data on atmospheric conditions. To fully de-risk the situation, a standby back-up unit was ready to be deployed if necessary.

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