Out with the old, in with the new

BY Heather Laura Clarke

 

Jean Lalancette loves curling, but he doesn’t love showing up at the rink in the middle of the night to adjust the cooling system.

As the manager of the Mayflower Curling Club on Monaghan Drive in Halifax, it was Lalancette’s phone that would ring at all hours if the ice temperature dropped too low.

The cooling system in the Mayflower Curling Club dated back to 1960. Even after it was retrofitted back in 2000, in an attempt to cut down their electricity consumption, the chiller was an energy hog.

Lalancette looked into a digitally-programmed environmental control system but couldn’t afford the over $22,000 it would cost to implement. That’s when he reached out to Efficiency Nova Scotia to see if they could help.

Efficiency Nova Scotia was able to provide funding to cover just over 50 per cent of the project

Through their Small Business program, Efficiency Nova Scotia was able to provide funding to cover just over 50 per cent of the project. The club is estimated to payback the remainder of the project in just over 1.5 years from the money being saved on their power bill.

The system is programmed to automatically turn off the cooling overnight to reduce energy consumption. “Curling finishes around 10:30 p.m. so the system allows the ice temperature to rise overnight and prevents the compressor from coming on,” says Lalancette. “The ice temperature will only rise a few degrees overnight, and we have the system set to come back on at 6:30 a.m. That’s where we’re getting a lot of savings.”

Now, Lalancette doesn’t need to drive into the club to adjust the temperature of the ice. The new system sends alerts to his smartphone, so he always knows the exact temperature of the ice and surrounding air and can adjust it from anywhere in the world.

Lalancette says the upgrade was needed even more desperately than they’d known at the time. They’d thought their old system was functioning OK — even though it was using too much energy — but discovered during the replacement that it had actually been shutting itself off too early.

“The controllers hadn’t been working properly for years. It had been having a lot of alarms and failed starts,” says Lalancette. “It was a blessing in more ways than one to replace it. It solved a lot of problems for us.”

One of those problems was their staggering energy bills. By upgrading their lighting and refrigeration, the Mayflower Curling Club will save more than 66,000 kWh annually — an estimated savings on their energy bills of more than $10,000.

the new lighting and chiller upgrades improved the look and feel of the club, making it a safer, more comfortable space for employees, members and guests

Jean didn’t stop at the chiller upgrade though. They increased their energy savings further by upgrading their lighting too; the new lighting and chiller upgrades improved the look and feel of the club, making it a safer, more comfortable space for employees, members and guests.

The new energy-efficient LED lighting has made the ice look brighter and it’s easier for players to see the lines. The lighting and the ice are both more consistent, without the odd hassles of burnt-out bulbs and wild temperature swings.

“I have Metro Masters who curl at different clubs, and now they always tell me that my ice is very good and that they’re impressed,” says Lalancette. “As a non-profit group, we need to hang onto all of the funds we can in order to keep our doors open. This has been a very good decision for the club.”

The Mayflower Curling Club is enjoying the good things efficiency brings, and your business can too.

Contact our experts today and find out how.