For nearly 50 years, future Bobby Orrs and Dorothy Hamills—and their adult wanna bes—have been handling their hockey sticks and lacing up their skates at Falmouth Ice Arena. The facility welcomes ice sport enthusiasts year-round (even in the middle of summer), with youth and adult hockey leagues, the Figure Skating Club, and many local skating programs.
When construction for a new arena began in 2010, energy efficiency was a top priority. The result is a new state-of-the-art complex which includes:
- a low-e ceiling that provides a nearly 90 percent reduction in radiant heat transfer from the rink ceiling to the ice sheet, thereby reducing the energy needed to keep the ice cool.
- a high-efficiency Green Machine refrigeration system, which is expected to save 132,000 kWh annually, or more than $22,000, compared to standard refrigeration systems.
- updated lighting systems and controls, including motion sensors throughout the building, and 350-watt T5 light fixtures installed over the ice sheets, which reduce demand by approximately 80 W per fixture compared to metal halide fixtures commonly used in arenas.
- more than 3,000 solar panels installed on the roof and parking structures. Using an advanced solar cell surface texturing process to increase light absorption and improve efficiencies to 14.7 percent, the photovoltaic system generates more than 900,000 kWh annually – enough to cover approximately all of the energy usage at the arena, making it a net-zero building.
The measures have significantly reduced the facility’s gas and electricity use. The arena uses natural gas for space heating, and saves almost half a million kilowatt hours per year in electricity alone.
The close partnership between Cape Light Compact and Falmouth Youth Hockey League, Inc. turned efficiency plans into realities. Sia Karplus, energy consultant for Falmouth Youth Hockey, identified efficiency opportunities, and coordinated multiple activities with the Falmouth Youth Hockey Building Committee. In turn, Cape Light Compact awarded the league $243,410 in incentives for incorporating the energy efficiency measures in the Arena’s construction.
Thanks to this teamwork, Falmouth is now home to one of the most energy efficient ice arenas in the nation. For fans of all ages, that is definitely something to cheer.