Canadian contractor and manufacturer Cimco Refrigeration has installed what it calls the world’s first transcritical CO2 system for an outdoor ice trail at the College Park section of Toronto, Canada.
Opened last December, the Barbara Ann Scott Ice Trail – named after the Canadian Olympic figure skating champion – is an oval-shaped, 5.0m (16.4ft)-wide path that doubles as a walking loop in the summer. It is located in the green space behind College Park, a shopping mall and residential/office complex opened in 1930 in the heart of downtown Toronto. Adjacent to the ice trail is a wood, glass and steel structure that acts as a rink house and Zamboni station.
“Families can come out and experience this skating trail that takes an environmentally friendly approach to a winter activity that is cherished by so many,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory, in a statement.
According to Cimco’s website, the 50TR (176kW) CO2 system costs roughly half as much to operate as other options. In part that is because the CO2 system is a direct system, making it more efficient than a secondary system. “Instead of removing heat at multiple steps, the refrigerant in this system goes straight to the ice floor, removes the heat from it, then uses the same refrigerant to carry it and remove it,” the site said.
In addition, the system’s piping and CO2 pumps are “much smaller and more efficient than standard rink systems,” the site said. The pipes are just 2in (5.1cm) in diameter, while standard rinks are 6-8in (15.2-20.3cm). A CO2 detection system sends out an alert if it senses high levels of CO2, and then automatically turns on an exhaust fan.
Cimco noted that the CO2 ice rink system aligns with TransformTO, Toronto’s climate action strategy. The 2017 plan calls for GHG reduction targets, based on 1990 levels, of 30% by 2020, 65% by 2030, and net-zero by 2050 or sooner.
Families can come out and experience this skating trail that takes an environmentally friendly approach to a winter activity that is cherished by so many.”John Tory, mayor of Toronto