Goodway's GDS-C40 and ScaleBreak-MP Make a Winning Descaling Team at National Sports Arena

Facility Maintenance

chiller

The Vice President of Facility Operations for a major sporting arena in the south has a simple goal. Provide the most comfortable arena, for the best entertainment experience and deliver the best ice in the league. To accomplish this, they uses nine MULTISTACK® MS 085 modular chiller’s (three systems containing 3 modular units each) to help manage humidity on the arena. Too much moisture and patrons are uncomfortable, and the ice conditions worsen. Too little, and the same thing. Just like Goldilock's porridge, it has to be just right.

MULTISTACK® modular chillers are designed to work flawlessly, however, hard water scaling can over time effect even the best designed systems.  However, in this arena, the head pressure in the condenser was causing some of the modules to shut down. That made it tough for the arena to reach his humidity goals.

That’s when they called in the experts at Wagner-Meinert to take a look. After a complete inspection, the issue became apparent pretty quickly. Significant mineral scale had built up over the years inside the brazed plate heat exchangers that was causing significant loss of heat transfer and the unit was tripping on high head pressure. Mineral buildup, also known as scale can cause significant issues in all types of heat exchangers. This buildup occurs when the minerals dissolved in the water accumulates on the warmest surface in the system – typically the heat exchanger. This not only causes the pumps to work much harder to pump water but also causes a massive loss of efficiency.  In fact, before a cleaning, the head pressure on one particular modular chiller was reading at 423 PSI, up 165 PSI from when the system was commissioned!   

After reviewing the issues, Scott Meinert of Wagner-Meinert contacted Goodway Technologies to help identify an appropriate solution to removing the substantial buildup. They were looking for an alternate solution to pulling and replacing the heat exchangers, a labor intensive – and expensive – process. Recently, Goodway has entered into a relationship with SWEP® brazed plate heat exchangers and since those were the brand of heat exchangers used in these MULTISTACK units, it made sense to pursue a descaling solution. This partnership between Goodway and SWEP included a long term study of Goodway’s ScaleBreak®-MP descaling solutions and their effectiveness and safety on descaling brazed plate heat exchangers. The outcome? ScaleBreak-MP is fully approved for use on descaling SWEP brazed-plate heat exchangers.

After working with Goodway’s descaling expert, Tim Fregeau, Wagner-Meinert chose the GDS-C40 descaling pump system, and the SWEP verified ScaleBreak-MP liquid descaler. After following proper shutdown and lockout procedures, and isolating the heat exchanger from the rest of the system, the ScaleBreak-MP solution was thoroughly circulated within the condenser. After a visual inspection, the results were apparent, and once the system was put back online, they became clear.

Head pressure reduced from 423 PSI to 254 PSI, a 40% reduction! And that was just on one heat exchanger. Since then, Wagner-Meinert has deployed the descaling solutions across all of the condensers, seeing similar results with each descaling process.

The results of the cleaning were enormous! Wagner-Meinert was able to deliver a solution for their customer that exceeded their expectations and saved them a large capital investment in replacement heat exchangers.

Before the cleaning, EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) was down to 8.6 - After the cleaning EER rose to 15.7!

With a 7 cent/kWh cost for electric, the savings to the arena resulting from cleaning all three systems is $348.00 per day / $127,020 per year!

The MULTISTACK Modular chillers are now operating at the same design specifications as when they were first built!

Moreover, arguably the most important result? The Vice President of Facility Operations can sleep better at night knowing his patrons are comfortable and his ice is the best in the league.