The Ed Meagher Arena at Concordia University, which had been in use since 1967, was long overdue for a facelift. The main renovations planned for the arena included a complete upgrade of the refrigeration system and an entirely new rink surface. With today’s concern for the environment, energy efficiency and safety, a CO2 refrigeration system was under strong consideration, as CO2 is now recognized as a much superior option over all synthetic refrigerants. It is natural, non-toxic, non-flammable with no net greenhouse effect. CIMCO’s vast experience and expertise combined with its exclusive, patented CO2 technologies for ice rinks and other recreational applications enabled CIMCO to successfully secure this project.
The refrigeration system recommended by CIMCO for Concordia was a “direct CO2 system”, where the CO2 is circulated within the refrigerated floor slab. It is a Transcritical CO2 system, meaning that there is no condensation, rather, the refrigerant leaves the compressor as a gas and remains a gas (albeit at a cooler temperature) when it rejects heat to the atmosphere. And then, contrary to how conventional systems work, this gas has a phase-change to liquid when it goes through an expansion device with a subsequent lower downstream pressure.
The refrigerated floor for the system actually acts as the chiller where CO2 is overfed and evaporates in the floor. This allows the refrigerant to operate at a constant temperature throughout the floor providing consistent superior CIMCO ice quality. The system also has two stages of heat reclaim; high grade heat available for all hot water applications; and low grade heat available for space heating requirements.
The ECO2 CHILL® Thermal Plant provides:
- superior energy efficiency
- abundant high-grade heat reclaim (above 140° F and suitable for boiler replacement)
- full low-grade heat reclaim (at 100° F for underfloor heating, potable water and snow melting pit)
- efficient compressor operation
- very low pumping power (as much as 90% less energy required compared to other systems)