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February 25, 2018

Blanket your ice with energy savings

Courtesy of Colleen O’Shea

Whenever I interview anyone for a story on, I always ask what else they’ve done that’s special at their arena! When I asked Scott Currie from the Abbotsford Arena (harvesting rainwater to build and maintain ice) he said I should talk to Brian Skow at the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, WA. Brian, he told me, covers his ice with a thermal blanket as a way to save energy and run time. He’s even tracked his results — and would probably share them with me.

The Angel of the Winds Arena is an entertainment destination with twin ice pads that act as the home and practice ice for the local major junior hockey team, the Everett Silvertips of the WHL. Run by Spectra Venue Management, the facility’s operations team is adept at event-to-hockey conversions for everything from singers and bands to home shows and monster trucks.

The practice pad is always busy but there can be long breaks in the schedule where the stadium ice sits idle, sometimes for hours or days at a time. Despite no action on the ice, the ice plant still kicks in to maintain the ice temperature. Every time the compressors are called on for idle ice, the arena is burning money. Brian Skow had an idea. Why not cover the ice with a thermal blanket to keep the cold in, and the warm out? Skow turned to Innovative Insulation Inc. out of Arlington, TX — the largest manufacuturer of radiant barrier products in the world — to supply him with enough Tempshield Double Bubble Foil to cover the ice. Costing $4,000, in January, 2014 they started to “tuck in” their ice with the foil blanket. They also tracked what happened with their ice plant.

Four months later, their energy savings had already covered the costs of the foil blanket.

Continue reading Colleen’s blog on


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