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News

AZ-20 used in cooling system for ice rink

Honeywell Specialty Materials Europe : 07 December, 2001  (Application Story)
Refrigerant gases supplier Dehon Service Nederland (Son, NL), cooling installation contractor GTI Post Koudetechniek ('s-Hertogenbosch, NL) and HFC refrigerant producer Honeywell Fluorine Products (Heverlee, B) have teamed up to build a high-performance, energy-efficient, environmental-friendly and safe cooling installation for the new 400 metre speed-skating track and hockey rink in Breda (NL).
Refrigerant gases supplier Dehon Service Nederland (Son, NL), cooling installation contractor GTI Post Koudetechniek ('s-Hertogenbosch, NL) and HFC refrigerant producer Honeywell Fluorine Products (Heverlee, B) have teamed up to build a high-performance, energy-efficient, environmental-friendly and safe cooling installation for the new 400 metre speed-skating track and hockey rink in Breda (NL).

GTI Post contacted Dehon to find the best refrigerant for a new project: the development and construction of a semi-covered ice stadium in Breda. GTI specialises in cooling installation and has wide experience in delivering custom-made equipment for the cooling of warehouses, product lines and, in this case, a large scale ice rink with a 4-5m cover layer of ice.

Together with Honeywell, Dehon group (Honeywell's distributor for the Benelux) identified AZ-20 (R-410a) as the optimal refrigerant for this large-scale application due in particular to its energy efficiency performance, and environmental friendliness.

The temperature requirements for an ice rink are extraordinary. They must meet the demands of a large surface area and of changing weather conditions (both temperature and humidity) since the stadium is semi-covered, and of fluctuation in use. The rink is open from October until April, with a broad variation in number of visitors over that period (school holidays, weekends).
The cooling installation was built according to GTI specifications using York compressors with a total capacity of 1700 kW. A solution of calcium chloride (brine) is cooled in a heat exchange system, containing AZ-20 as the refrigerant. The brine is pumped through 90 km of plastic tubing which was set into the concrete floor when it was poured. To optimise the temperature control, the track is divided in four sections. A separate hockey rink is the fifth section. The cold fluid enters the track at four access points and the flow through these sections can be adjusted to obtain best quality ice.

The cooling system's generated heat is recuperated and re-employed to heat, for example, offices on site and the water for the Zamboni ice resurfacers (the machines that prepare and optimise the ice's surface).

Beside the thermal properties, the energy efficiency and environmental impact, public safety played a major role in the decision to select AZ-20. This hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), developed and patented by Honeywell, is a near azeotropic mixture of HFC-125 and HFC-32 (50/50); two chlorine-free hydrofluorocarbons that have zero ozone-depletion potential. Moreover, as well as being more environmentally friendly than other refrigerants, the higher capacity of AZ-20 brings greater energy efficiency yet it is both non-toxic and non-flammable. This balanced set of properties has helped the growth in demand for HFC refrigerants. To meet this demand, Honeywell is in the process of doubling the production capacity of its fluorocarbon production facility in Geismar, Louisiana. The new plant is expected to come on-line in mid-year 2002.
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