Powell River council approves energy saving ice making system

New apparatus will cut down on hot water costs for Zamboni machine

City of Powell River council has approved an expenditure of up to $23,000 from the Community Works Fund for the purchase of a water treatment system for Powell River Recreation Complex ice-clearing equipment.

At the city council meeting on Thursday, July 4, councillor Jim Palm said this is an upgrade to the recreation complex’s existing ice resurfacing equipment.

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“I hear on the sustainability front that it’s a cost-saving measure, which will save the city a great deal of money,” said Palm.

Sustainability planner Ana Lukyanova said the payback on the system will be less than a year and a half.

In a report to council, Lukyanova said with the existing system, the recreation complex arena and rink are resurfaced by one Zamboni unit that is filled with hot water for every round of ice resurfacing and flooding. The ice is resurfaced up to 25 times a day during the busy season.

Lukyanova stated that the use of hot water is necessary to remove air bubbles from the water to produce quality ice. However, heating the water is energy intensive and requires significant amounts of natural gas.

The REALice system council endorsed eliminates the need for using hot water by using a vortex to remove air bubbles. It allows the Zamboni unit to be filled with cold water, which creates substantial energy savings.

Lukyanova stated that it is especially suitable for Powell River Recreation Complex as the facility has one Zamboni filling station for both rinks and requires only one REALice unit.

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