Helping Sub-par Mechanical Rooms Perform

Oilfields Regional Arena - sub-par mechanical room

Helping Sub-par Mechanical Rooms Perform

If you saw the ice at the Oilfields Regional Arena in Black Diamond, Alberta, you would never imagine the ice plant producing such great ice is what most ice makers would consider underpowered or “sub-par”. But behind it IS a sub-par mechanical room.

And it’s been that way been long before Les Quinton became the Town’s Parks and Recreation Manager back in 1997. Their sub-par mechanical room is one of the reasons why Quinton has been on a quest to make the ORA as energy efficient as possible. He’s been way ahead of the curve in transforming the ice barn from an energy-hogging black hole to an energy producer, logging two months of net-zero consumption in 2017.

Quinton takes care of his arena and diligently tracks how it’s operating. He can quickly pull up a spreadsheet and show the consumption reductions he’s been able to benchmark over the years. Take his water usage as an example. His arena used to use 600,000 gallons of water a season for his indoor single pad. Now they run three seasonal pads and with a water run rate that’s trickled down to just over 300,000 gallons.

Since installing a REALice system in October, 2017, Quinton has seen a big difference in the run time of his 75 hp compressor.

“What I’m most thrilled about,” Quinton says, “is the lowered run time. We’re using an undersized refrigeration system and even with all the previous things we’ve worked on to compensate for it, as of this morning, we were down 115 hours in 47 days. That’s an average of 2:45 hours less per day, 7,401 kWh less electrical consumption, or 157.5 kW less per day.”


Treating the resurfacing water with the REALice System results in water with fewer micro air bubbles in it. Without those air bubbles acting as insulators, the water freezes faster. To avoid brittle ice, the brine temperature needs to be reset 2-5°F higher. By running the ice warmer, there is less demand on the refrigeration plant, resulting in reduced run time on the compressors.

Want to know more about REALice? Check out our whiteboard video to see how it works. In just 2:54 it just might change your mind about cold water resurfacing and the difference it will make to the energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and run time at your arena. And…you’ll still make great ice!

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