12 Feb Better rink ice with energy-saving cold water process
Laura Stewart writes about REALice in INK online, School of Journalism in Regina – 06 February 2018
When Vancouver coach Guido Lamberti-Charles’ young players hit the ice, they don’t give much thought to how it feels under their skates.
“They just want to play,” Lamberti-Charles said.
But when he returned to Vancouver from coaching at development camps at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, and in Innsbruck, Austria, where the ice is made with vortex-treated water, the traditional ice made with hot water felt slow to him.
“I almost felt like I’m skating on concrete, I’m tipping over forwards,” he said.
Traditionally, rink operators fill a Zamboni with hot water, because heating drives out air and the resulting ice is harder.
But that good ice comes at a cost. At over 500 litres a fill, the water heating alone draws a lot of energy.
Then out on the ice sheet, the refrigeration system has to work to cool the water back down again before it can freeze to form a new ice surface.