Comparison of 1" pipe in cement versus ½" mat style system
On floors with end headers, the 1" pipe permits higher glycol flow rates at lower pressure drops. This results in reduced temperature drops across the grid, faster temperature recovery, and superior temperature control. Better ice surface conditions are maintained during varying conditions. Equivalent flow rates can be achieved with the ½" mat style system if side headers are installed but this will result in over 400% more mechanical joints and the corresponding potential for leaks.
The lower pressure drops in the large pipe system will result in reduced horsepower requirements per gallon of pumped glycol.
When the 1" pipes are imbedded in the cement floor this design provides a very large thermal mass, which keeps temperature swings to a minimum further improving ice consistency.
The larger 1" pipes are less susceptible to fouling or blockage by foreign objects and have less than ½ the mechanical connections reducing the chance of leaks.
The 1" pipes when imbedded in cement require no further handling and do not deteriorate as rapidly as the ½" pipes that are rolled and unrolled over the years.
In order to provide sufficient pipe protection for the mat style system it is normal to operate with a thicker ice surface than is required with a cement floor.
A cement floor is easier to monitor ice thickness by drilling tap holes on a weekly basis. Consistent ice thickness means consistent ice temperature and reduced operating costs.
Set up and take down time is eliminated with the cement floor versus the mat style system that must be rolled up and put away if the ice is removed.