The seasonal task of shutting down your ice rink cooling system is something you should trust to the professionals. Working with refrigeration inherently comes with risks, and trained professionals have the knowledge and equipment to accommodate for these dangers.
There are many steps involved in properly shutting down your ice rink refrigeration system. Below we outline 11 important steps. Missing any of these steps could cause serious problems restarting your chiller system in the fall.
It doesn’t make sense to shut down the system if there are functions not operating correctly. Professionals will review all functions from the system’s control panel to ensure they are in working order, if any errors are found this is the perfect time to make repairs.
The next step involves “pumping down” the refrigeration system. It’s important that the drained refrigerant is stored it in the correct container.
The crankcase heater must be energized for a given period of time to make sure that the refrigerant is separated from the oil. During the off-cycle the heater is designed to boil off refrigerant that has been absorbed by the oil.
Completing an oil and refrigerant analysis will help identify issues with oil viscosity, moisture and acid in the refrigerant.
As part of the shutdown procedure, water bundles should be isolated and drained. Once the draining process is complete, the bundles should be checked for refrigerant leaks.
Check the chiller itself for any possible leak spots and immediately repair any identified leaks to prevent refrigerant loss during the shutdown procedure. Winterization of the heat exchanger bundle may be required to prevent freeze damage, as the chiller is subjected to sub-freezing temperatures.
The experts will follow the manufacturers guide prior to applying oil and/or grease to the recommended moving parts. They will tighten all electrical connections, as loose connections can lead to overheating of components and premature failure.
Proper maintenance of the fan coil units of your ice rink refrigeration system can heavily impact how efficiently the chiller performs. Ensure that the condenser coils are washed in a manner that will not cause damage to the fin. The manufacturer’s guide will provide specific recommendations and guidelines.
The next step is to remove the water boxes and brush the tubes clean. Bundles need to be completely dried before storing to prevent corrosion or a corrosion inhibitor can be applied that is specifically designed to provide adequate corrosion protection.
Prior to the water boxes being reinstalled, an eddy current test should be performed to detect corrosion and tube wear. If anything is found, the professionals will take appropriate action to correct or prevent the problem.
Once the chiller is completely shut down it will be tagged out of service. This is a good time to take an inventory of emergency spare parts and replenish any that are out of stock.
Using a professional to shut down your ice rink for the season will improve your chiller performance and reliability. Additionally it will minimize downtime and require minimal repair and service costs down the road.
A technician will also grant potential energy savings of 30% or more and help to optimize your equipment life expectancy, which means a greater return on capital equipment investment.
Shutdown procedures should always be performed by a qualified technician wearing protective equipment. Contact Berg Chilling Systems today for help with ice rink or ice arena shut downs.