The City of Airdrie is pleased to announce the installation of a higher-efficiency ice system (REALice) at Ron Ebbesen Twin Arenas.

This enhances energy efficiency and improves ice quality by enabling cold water to be poured onto the ice instead of hot water.

“This upgrade represents one of several steps the City is taking to reduce its environmental impacts,” says Mayor Peter Brown. “The grant funding we received from the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre made this project possible and supports Airdrie in environmental leadership and creating improved user experiences in our facilities.”

Nearly 78 per cent of the $72,946 project's funding came from the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre's (MCCAC) Recreation Energy Conservation (REC) program. The project includes installing new water lines and a pump in the facility. The City projects that the implementation of the REALice system will result in a $12,000 annual savings on utility costs.

“Recreation facilities – ice rinks especially – typically use more energy and produce more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than other municipal facilities. The REALice system will help the City reduce its GHG emissions by 64 tons per year,” says Joad Clement, Municipal Energy Advisor.”

Less air bubbles in hot water result in ice that is smoother and stronger. However because this method removes air bubbles from cold water, hot water is no longer required.

“We expect regular users will notice small positive differences in the ice,” says Stephane Rainville, Team Leader, City Arenas. “The arena lines are more visible for players and the public because the installation produces brighter ice,” says Rainville. “Additionally, the system lowers the wear and tear on the arena’s refrigeration plant, which provides longer-term cost savings for the facility above and beyond the annual natural gas and electricity savings.”

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