It’s no secret that synthetic turf fields can be hot. That kind of heat affects athletes, too.
Now, with the development of the HydroChill™ cooling system, athletes can focus on the task, not the temperature.
SO, HOW DOES HYDROCHILL™ WORK?
It cools your field like nature cools your body.
Sweating is a natural means of thermoregulation called evaporative cooling. Evaporation of moisture from the skin’s surface has a cooling effect. Similarly, HydroChill™ has been shown to cool synthetic turf surfaces by working on the same principle. As the turf surface is heated by solar radiation, moisture stored in the HydroChill turf is released. Evaporating moisture removes heat, leaving a cooler more comfortable surface for the players.
Ambient temperature outside doesn’t necessarily dictate surface temperature. The solar radiation time period, sun’s angle, cloud cover, wind and other elements all contribute to the temperature of the surface. HydroChill™ provides maximum benefit when the sun is nearest the Earth, as shown in the solar radiation calendar. During the summer months in the U.S., the sun is positioned overhead causing surfaces to absorb more energy resulting in hotter temperatures. The rotation of the Earth is also responsible for hourly variations in sunlight thus making HydroChill™ most effective during the hotter part of a clear day when most needed.
HydroChill™ utilizes moisture to provide a cooling effect. Rainfall, dew or irrigation can help keep the field cool for days, depending on local conditions.
HydroChill™ can be incorporated into most Shaw Sports Turf infilled systems.
HydroChill™ will not affect the characteristics of synthetic turf and will not affect the warranty of any Shaw Sports Turf field.
HydroChill™ is UV-resistant.
HydroChill™ patented technology has been developed through years of turf system research. It has been vetted with laboratory testing and, more importantly, outdoor field testing.
Bottom line – the HydroChill™ system has been shown to work in actual outdoor settings by providing a cooler playing surface.
A standard field with a wet surface will cause some cooling, but temperatures can quickly rise and may exceed uncomfortable levels of heat. A HydroChill™ field has been shown to create a substantial temperature differential in real-world applications. Based on actual lab and outdoor field thermocouple testing, HydroChill has achieved 50° lower surface temperatures compared to a standard synthetic turf system.
Further testing was performed by a FLIR-Certified Thermographer using the most advanced camera imagery and technology. The FLIR camera was calibrated for emmisivities of various materials used in the turf system so additional accurate temperature measurements could be obtained.
A HYDROCHILL™ CASE STUDY
In early summer of 2013, Kennesaw State became the first major university to play on a HydroChill™ field. The Shaw Sports Turf field was originally installed in 2009 but received the HydroChill™ evaporative cooling technology in May when summer temperatures began to heat up.
Laura St. Onge, KSU’s Associate Director of Sports and Recreation, has had nothing but positive things to say.
“Overall, HydroChill has made playing on our Shaw turf field this summer a fantastic experience. We have maintained cooler surface temperatures without having to continuously run the water cannons. HydroChill has allowed for increased playability, greater comfort and safety for our athletes, and with our spectator stands located so close to the field, it’s been more comfortable for fans and visitors.
This field sees action from over forty of our clubs including men’s and women’s lacrosse, soccer, rugby and other participating sports. The kids this summer were able to do speed and agility practices on the synthetic HydroChill surface which are usually done on the natural grass fields during the hotter part of the day.”
Thermocouple test readings of the KSU HydroChill field showed in excess of 50°F lower surface temperatures compared to a standard synthetic turf fi eld. All throughout the summer, the school registered readings of 40°F+ deltas on their personal handheld infrared gun even with weather and sun fluctuations.
“As part of our EAP (Emergency Action Plan) protocol, we have to take ongoing measurements of the turf surface with our IR gun. We have not had to clear the field once this summer. That is monumental,” said St. Onge.
St. Onge also reported that shortly after installation, KSU hosted a national lacrosse tournament on the field with over 150 teams present. Instead of having to run their water cannons the morning of and in between games, they simply watered the field the night before the first day of the tournament and cooling occurred throughout the entire weekend without having to rehydrate.
“The other awesome experience is that instead of running the cannons in the morning and the fields being wet at the start of play, we watered on Friday night and the cooling maintained throughout the entire weekend. Usually we have to water in between games and that means clearing the fields of people, tents, chairs and other items. Not having that disruption is instrumental to flawless schedules and not having to inconvenience anyone,” she said. “I would absolutely, without a doubt, recommend HydroChill to others. The increased playing time, the comfort of our athletes and the flexibility it gives with scheduling makes HydroChill a great and effective solution for hot summer months.”