Low Emissivity, or Low-E, Ceilings can save rink operators more than $20,000 a year in energy costs.
Conduction, convection and radiation are the three kinds of heat transfer that contribute to the heat load on the surface of an ice rink. Emissivity is simply the “ability of a surface to radiate heat.” Surfaces that radiate the maximum possible amount of heat have an emissivity of 1.0. The typical ceiling of an ice rink, in comparision, has an emissivity of about 0.95. This means it radiates significant amounts of heat to the ice surface and is the number one heat source that the refrigeration system must remove to ensure proper ice temperature.
Low-E-Ceilings use a polished aluminum surface that reduces radiant heat from the ceiling to only 3% of its maximum value. This, in turn, provides an overall reduction in the refrigeration heat load of 25% to 35%, saving considerable money and providing a significant return on investment.