Toronto-based HVAC&R contractor CIMCO Refrigeration has announced a new all-in-one low-charge ammonia (R717) system that can meet all of the refrigeration, cooling and heating needs of an ice rink – or similar facility – while also providing heating and cooling for the wider community.
The Thermal Force One (TF1) is made up of four “siloes” to create a fully-integrated system, explained Benoit Rodier, Business Development Manager at CIMCO Refrigeration, in an interview at the IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo, held March 12–15 in Long Beach, California.
“The first silo serves the ice rink itself, the second meets the building’s space cooling demand, the third provides heating and hot water for the facility, and the fourth acts as a district heating and cooling plant for neighboring buildings like a swimming pool or library,” he said.
“It’s complete synergy,” he added. “The system can provide everything, monitoring who needs what, when, where and how much.”
According to Peter Reeve, Director of Engineering at CIMCO Refrigeration, TF1 is built for the future.
“It’s no longer about refrigeration, but thermal energy,” he said. “It’s all about the movement of thermal energy within a building.”
“It’s no longer about refrigeration but thermal energy. It’s all about the movement of thermal energy within a building.”Peter Reeve, CIMCO Refrigeration
Extension of Eco Chill system
TF1 builds on CIMCO’s existing Eco Chill product, which recovers waste heat from an ice rink’s refrigeration system for the facility’s heating and hot water production, said Rodier.
“Thermal Force 1 is a fully integrated concept that is one step closer to net zero,” he added.
TF1 includes several features that further improve the efficiency and performance of the system, such as thermal storage. It also has an additional compressor that boosts the supply temperature of water for heating up to 90°C (194°F), making it suitable for applications that require higher temperatures like retrofitted buildings and district heating.
Assisting ice rinks to reach net-zero emissions is an important part of CIMCO’s work. With its Net Zero Naturally road map, the company is helping facilities reduce their environmental footprint through the adoption of natural refrigerants and energy-efficient technologies.
CIMCO also contributed to the North American Guide to Natural Refrigerants in Ice Areas, which was produced by ATMOsphere, publisher of Ammonia21.com.
The low-charge TF1 system contains 0.5–1lb (226.8–453.6g) of ammonia per ton, with models ranging from 80–250TR (281–879kW).
To offer additional safety, TF1 also includes a Smart Transfer module, which automatically moves the entire ammonia charge within the package into a protective storage tank if a leak is detected.
This feature also works on demand for system maintenance.
While the system is currently being marketed to ice rinks, it is also well suited for other applications, such as mixed-use developments with supermarkets and residential properties, said David Fauser, Director of Sales at CIMCO Refrigeration.
Rodier also noted TF1’s suitability for more remote communities that have limited access to other services and might require an integrated system for multiple purposes.
CIMCO is also likely to develop a CO2 (R744) version in the future, he added.