Alaska Aces Hockey Team’s ‘Green’ Ice Is a Winner
Sullivan Arena is second rink in the nation to use a CO2-based refrigeration system to generate its ice
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaska Aces, a professional hockey team in Anchorage, Alaska, and winner of three league-championship Kelly Cups, is skating on “greener” ice this season. It’s not the color of the ice that’s changed, but the effect it has on the environment and its money savings.
The team’s Sullivan Arena is the second rink in the nation to use a carbon dioxide (CO2)-based refrigeration system to generate its ice. The Advansor CO2 Booster System from Hillphoenix uses refrigerant that does not contribute to global warming. CO2 refrigerant has a global warming potential (GWP) rating of 1. By comparison, a traditional hydrofluorocarbon-based system can have a GWP rating as high as 3,985.
Reducing its carbon footprint also saves the team money. The cost of traditional hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants can be as much as six times higher than CO2 refrigerant. Plus, the Sullivan Arena’s new refrigeration system is much more energy efficient than the equipment it replaced. And — most importantly — the CO2-generated ice is a winning surface for the Aces.
“The ice is excellent — consistent and smooth,” said Alaska Aces Coach Rob Murray. “It’s just what our players need to maximize their skills.”
Earlier in 2015, Anchorage’s Harry J. McDonald Recreational Center became the first U.S. rink to use CO2 refrigeration to generate ice. It installed the same Hillphoenix Advansor CO2 Booster System that the Sullivan Arena now uses. The McDonald Center expects energy savings of 25 percent to 40 percent.
Anchorage’s early adoption of CO2 was a well-studied decision. The city’s Parks & Recreation Department spent a year considering options before opting for CO2 for its ice rinks. City officials say the decision to move to greener ice not only saves money, but also greatly reduces time spent on maintenance and regulatory compliance associated with their old, hydrofluorocarbon-based refrigeration systems. Anchorage plans to upgrade two more ice rinks to CO2 over the next few months.
“The Ben Boeke Arena is the next Anchorage ice rink conversion, and we are in the design phase for several other 2016 projects in the lower 48 states that will use our Advansor CO2 Booster System,” said Tim Henderson, industrial program manager for Hillphoenix. “The story of success in Anchorage continues to draw interest in this proven technology.”
For more information, visit www.hillphoenix.com.
Publication date: 1/18/2016