Case Studies – Remote Monitoring and Control, Temporary Climate Solutions

Managing humidity in a NCAA ice rink

Despite being thrilling venues for sports and recreation, indoor ice rinks are often faced with humidity challenges that cause condensation and fog. Humidity issues stem from various factors including arena spectators, rink users, inadequate ventilation, and temperature differentials. When moisture condenses on cold surfaces, such as ice, it can create disruptive fog and sweating or water droplets that cover seats, glass partitions, and the ice surface itself. If not addressed and managed properly issues like these can compromise playing conditions and venue revenues.

PROBLEM

In November just at the start of the hockey season, facility managers at a NCAA Division 1 ice rink in Massachusetts discovered excessive fog formation on the ice. They discovered that the rooftop air handlers could not produce enough air changes to maintain target temperatures. Interior humidity levels were measuring as high as 70 degrees Fahrenheit, seriously threatening the functionality of the ice. Each air handler would have to be replaced one at a time taking up at least 12 weeks in total to regain system capability.

If they could not get the failing equipment replaced faster, they would have to reschedule the men's and women’s hockey home games, practice for each team, and an upcoming figure skating competition which could lead to financial losses of over $100,000.

SOLUTION

The general contractor called Polygon for extra support. The Polygon team assessed the situation on site and devised a plan of action. A temporary humidity control system equipment with real-time sensors and automation was proposed.

Within days, Polygon had a dehumidifier and DX unit with Exactaire Smart Controllers ducted into the rooftop air handler system and two (2) ExactAire IAQ Sensors monitoring conditions inside the rink The sensors collected data on temperature and relative humidity (RH) levels, enabling precise control over dehumidifier activation, and provided 24/7 visibility.

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In that first week, the Polygon team regulated the relative humidity down to the mid-40s making conditions usable. Real-time humidity levels can be averaged and viewed at any time from the client’s dashboard or even used to set user alarms via email or SMS text.

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RESULTS

Avoid Interruptions - Polygon provided a fast turnaround and extra onsite support during opening night, allowing the game and other events to continue to go as scheduled.

Effective humidity management - ExactAire sensors and smart controllers provided 24/7 monitoring and dehumidifier automation so the humidity levels could be proactively managed with less energy than rental units alone.

Reduce financial risk - Polygon’s temporary system was a seamless solution to enable equipment replacement helping the arena avoid financial losses associated with ticket sales and concessions.

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