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November 20, 2014

Tips to Reduce Arena Electrical Demand Charges

A demand charge is the monthly electrical use charge that is based on the peak electrical use recorded during any 20 minute period that includes more than 20 kW. In almost all artificial ice rinks, electrical demand is high enough (more than 20 kW) that the rink must pay electrical demand charges. The demand charge will be a large portion of the bill if the customer uses a lot of power over a short period of time, and a smaller portion of the bill if the customer uses power at a more consistent rate.  Reduce your demand and save money:

· Avoid demand charges for one month in the fall by not starting the refrigeration compressors until after the meter has been read

· Similarly, avoid one month's electrical demand charges by not running the refrigeration compressors once the meter has been read in the month of shutdown for the season

· Add power factor correction to help reduce the peak electrical demand for rinks with artificial ice

· In cold weather consider operating only one refrigeration compressor at a time. This can result in significant savings to your demand charges and overall electricity use

· Rink start-up is typically when the greatest electrical demand peak is reached. Make every effort to minimize the use of non-essential electrical equipment such as drink coolers, refrigerators, freezers, etc. during this critical start-up period

· When replacing electrical motors on the ice plant and brine pump, choose the highest efficiency (called premium efficiency) motors

· Stage big-power activities, like starting the ice plant and turning on arena lights, at least 20 minutes apart

· Install demand-limiting equipment and controls (usually within a computerized energy management system) that senses when a new demand peak is approaching and immediately warns the building operator or automatically shuts off non-critical loads

· Disconnect your ice plant meter during off-season months, if  separately metered

· Shave ice as part of daily maintenance to maintain one inch ice thickness. The amount of power required to keep ice frozen increases incrementally based on its thickness

with certain amendments by Maritime Electric




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