Most powerful portable refrigeration system uses ammonia

By Sabine Lobnig, Apr 09, 2009, 17:46 1 minute reading

In January 2009 the Wrigley Field Stadium in Chicago, which normally hosts baseball games, was transformed to host the National Hockey League. The temporary ice rink was made possible thanks to the most powerful portable refrigeration system using ammonia refrigerant.

The 2009 National Hockey League (NHL) required the design and construction of an ammonia portable refrigeration system able to sustain an outdoors ice rink. The selection of the system components was critical in responding to the challenge of designing a powerful system that would fit inside a single 53 ft tractor trailer, be simple enough to be fully assembled and ready to run in less than 6 hours after on-site arrival and be light enough to travel to any location in North America with minimal special permitting.

The ammonia/glycol refrigeration unit, designed by Canadian company Cimco Refrigeration, is capable of providing 400TR and includes:
  • two Frick RXF ammonia rotary screw compressors totalling 500hp
  • an Evapco evaporative condenser system
  • a 42 inch in diameter Cimco surge drum,
  • an Alfa Laval MK stainless steel plate and frame flooded ammonia/glycol evaporator
  • 150hp of brine pumps interconnected to a 300-PSIG rated pressure vessel that serves as refrigerant surge tank
  • Controls via a PLC based system that monitors ice temperature at different points on the rink as well as brine supply temperature, brine return temperature and the refrigerant suction pressure
  • Variable frequency drives that allow for precise control of the flow required by the floor under varying ambient and environmental conditions
The system, which was able to deliver in weather conditions ranging from sub-zero temperatures to nearly 60˚F temperatures with intermittent rain and snow, is stored in Canada and will be available for future NHL as well as other outdoor events.


By Sabine Lobnig

Apr 09, 2009, 17:46

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