Solar Energy Keeps Ice Cold
Keeping skating ice cold in a Wisconsin summer is an expensive process. The Oregon Ice Arena is a non-profit 501(c)(3) facility residing in Oregon, WI. Their purpose is to make an ice skating experience the best it can be by maintaining a clean and safe environment for all ages.
Burke O’Neal of Full Spectrum Solar said this solar array project’s goal was to use the energy produced 90 percent of the time solar energy is available. He pointed out an ice arena must keep the ice frozen and the air above it warm, but “on the positive side, there’s a very large roof” to allow for a solar energy project.
Full Spectrum Solar installed 190 kilowatts on the pitched roof facing due south just east of Highway 14 and just south of the High School in the city of Oregon. The solar array consists of Speed Solar modules on the roof of the arena, each with an individual collector panel anchored to a racking structure for the wiring to pass through on its way to current inverters. Each panel is 6.5 feet by 3.25 feet.
The project will generate about 20% of the ice arena’s electricity use and its 560 flush mounted solar panels help keep the inside of the ice arena’s roof nice and cool during the hot summer months making the solar power even more attractive.
“The idea to help the environment and go green is obviously front of everyone’s mind these days,” manager Ben Cowan told the Oregon Observer. “Anything we can do to offset our energy costs is a bonus.”