In Caldeon: Making Great Ice and Reducing the Energy Spend

Cam Coulter, Mayfield Recreation Complex at the Town of Caledon, ON

In Caldeon: Making Great Ice and Reducing the Energy Spend

March 7, 2020 – REALice Canada was a featured vendor at the Mayor’s Megawatt Challenge Forum in 2018, a conference for municipal energy management and facility staff in the Canadian province of Ontario to learn strategies for lowering their facilities’ energy spend. Cam Coulter, the Town of Caledon’s Operations Coordinator at the Mayfield Recreation Complex, attended the Forum as he was receiving an award for reducing the energy consumption at the Complex, one of the Town’s four arenas.

Coulter connected with REALice at the Forum. He was interested in our cold-water flooding system, especially after learning from other municipal presenters that the REALice system provides energy savings as well as high quality ice.


After speaking with other municipalities that installed the REALice system, Coulter worked with REALice Canada to determine the savings specific to the Mayfield Recreation Complex.  It was discovered that installing REALice would result in an estimated 3.6 year simple payback including installation and the monitoring & verification study. That was a reasonable payback for a seasonal, 181×79′ pad, averaging 8 floods a day.


The funds needed to invest in this equipment would come from the Town’s Corporate Energy Revolving (CER) Fund, which is an independent funding mechanism to support the implementation of energy efficiency retrofits in Town facilities. The CER Fund is sustained through the revenue from the Town’s three ground-mount solar microFIT contracts, energy incentives received and a percentage of energy savings from the projects.

Town Council approved the CER Funds to purchase and install the REALice system and Coulter received the R10X wall unit and handheld device to build the ice in time for the start of the 2019-20 ice season.


Residents that regularly skate at Mayfield Recreation Complex had positive reviews to share.

“We’re getting great reviews, reviews we’ve never had before,” explains Coulter. “I’ve skated on the ice and I love it. It’s great. We’re finding the ice to be harder than it’s ever been, even before we had the REALice system.”


Coulter says there are other benefits too.

“Our maintenance costs are down – we don’t need to shave the corners down as much as we used to, so we’re saving on employee labour,” says Coulter. “And the hours on our compressors are down – they used to run constantly but not anymore. Now they’re off, even in the middle of the day.”

Currently, a seasonal controller regulates the temperature of the ice. When unoccupied, the rink is at 26.5°F. When occupied it is at 23.5°F. This is about 4°F warmer than what the rink used to operate at, which contributes to electricity savings. The Complex has static pressure of 60 PSI, more than sufficient for the REALice system to properly treat the floodwater.


Internat Energy Solutions Canada verified the expected energy savings at the Mayfield Recreation Complex for the REALice installation. Through the monitoring and verification study (M&V), it was found that the REALice device saves 84,188 kWh of electricity and 2,800 m3 of natural gas annually at the facility. This results in approximately $10,775 annual utility cost savings and avoided greenhouse gas emissions of 6,972 kg of carbon dioxide. The REALice device has completely eliminated the need to use natural gas to heat the flood water. Instead, incoming cold water treated by the REALice system is used to flood the ice.

M&V - Mayfield Recreation Comples


“I think the success of the REALice device comes down to the facility operations team at the Mayfield Recreation Complex,” says Cristina Guido, Acting Manager, Energy & Environment for the Town of Caledon. “They are applying all of the recommended operations best practices for using the REALice system and are using the technology as it is intended.”


Guido also commented on the energy and greenhouse gas savings associated with the project.

“In the summer of 2019, Council endorsed the Town’s Corporate Greenhouse Gas Reduction Framework which is a five-year plan to reduce corporate emissions by 24% by 2024, and to save energy in Town facilities by 15% below 2017 levels by 2024. This project is a great demonstration of saving energy and reducing emissions, which keeps us on track to meeting our targets.”

Incentives were received from Enbridge Gas and saveONenergy as a result of REALice’s electricity and natural gas savings at the Complex, which were redirected into the Town’s Corporate Energy Revolving Fund to sustain it for future projects, such as deploying the REALice system to additional Town-owned facilities.

REALice for a Sustainable Future

REALice is technology for a sustainable future. It is 3-D printed, maintenance-free and uses water pressure to treat the water, acting like hot water but without the expense of heating. With REALice there are no other consumables needed like chemicals, filters or membranes and there are no additional power requirements unless the static water pressure is lower than 43 PSI. It’s a brilliant example of fluid dynamics that takes the place of needing extremely hot water to make great ice.

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