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The Disappearing Mist: A NERIS Comparison of Dehumidification Techniques in Ice Rinks

The NERIS project (Nordicbuilt: Evaluation and Renovation of Ice halls and Swimming halls) aims to investigate and enhance sustainable and energy-efficient moisture management in ice rinks and swimming halls. In the fifth part of the NERIS report series, "Comparison of Refrigeration and Sorption Dehumidification in Ice Rinks," researchers explore the differences in function and energy consumption between the two most common dehumidification techniques used in ice rink applications.

Refrigeration Dehumidification in Ice Rinks

Refrigeration dehumidification is a technique that involves condensing moisture on a cooled surface to remove it from the air. The report focuses on refrigeration dehumidification as it is less common in Swedish ice rinks. The technology is analyzed with and without frost formation. However, under frost-free operation, the dehumidification capacity is limited to about 4 kg/h, which is inadequate to achieve desired air quality in a typical ice rink. To achieve a capacity of 20 kg/h, a refrigeration dehumidifier with a cooling capacity of approximately 85 kW is required.

Sorption Dehumidification in Ice Rinks

Sorption dehumidification is considered more suitable for ice rink applications due to the unique indoor climate. The report describes two generations of sorption dehumidifiers that differ in the temperature requirements of the regeneration process. Generation 2 is advantageous as it enables the use of waste heat from the refrigeration system as a heat source. The size of the sorption dehumidifier is mainly determined by the regeneration air's heating capacity and the fan effect.

Comparison and Energy Efficiency

The report compares refrigeration dehumidification with various variants of sorption dehumidification in terms of energy requirements and performance. Generation 2 of sorption dehumidification with full heat recovery proves to be the most energy-efficient option, requiring approximately 14 MWh of purchased electricity per year in a typical ice rink. Refrigeration dehumidification, on the other hand, requires about 35 MWh of purchased electricity over the same period.


Part 5 of the NERIS project provides insights into the function and energy consumption of different dehumidification techniques in ice rink applications. Refrigeration dehumidification, although less common, requires careful sizing to achieve desired dehumidification capacities. Sorption dehumidification, especially Generation 2 with heat recovery, proves to be a more energy-efficient solution for achieving optimal indoor climate in ice rinks.

This summary of Part 5 of the NERIS project provides an overview of the investigation into refrigeration and sorption dehumidification in ice rinks. For more detailed information and in-depth results, reading the complete report from the NERIS project is recommended.


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