MORRIS PLAINS, N.J. — Honeywell announced that the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA), which manages the world-renowned Herb Brooks Ice Arena in Lake Placid, New York, is adopting its Genetron Performax® LT (R-407F) to maintain perfect ice rink temperatures. Honeywell’s refrigerant will replace the currently used R-22 refrigerant as a more cost-effective alternative that provides better performance and long-term savings without requiring significant equipment retrofits.

The Herb Brooks Arena is the site of one of the most famous matches in U.S. Olympic History. In 1980, the U.S. team beat the Russian team 4-3 in a historic match known as the “Miracle on Ice.” The team later beat Finland to secure the gold medal. The arena’s historic significance draws thousands of tourists every year, and its three indoor rinks host hundreds of competitions, programs, and events per year, so consistent ice quality is critical.

“We take pride in the reputation of the Herb Brooks Arena and other rinks at the complex, which together provide a huge economic engine for the area. To sustain that reputation and the economy, a primary goal is to meet expectations for ice quality throughout the year,” said Denny Allen, ORDA manager. “To meet that goal — given aging equipment, growing maintenance costs, and changing regulations — required us to take a step back to make the right decisions for the future.”

R-22 was installed in 1978 through six chillers. However, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain. R-22 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), which depletes the ozone layer and has a global warming potential (GWP) of 1760, making it subject to new environmental regulations.

ORDA engaged its long-term partner Mollenberg-Betz, a mechanical contracting company, to find a replacement. Options such as R-404A and R-507 have high GWPs, aggressive regulatory phase-out schedules, impending service bans, and compatibility issues. Mollenberg-Betz determined that Genetron Performax LT was the best solution to meet the ORDA’s needs because it was a near drop-in replacement to R-22 with a lower GWP.

“We had worked with Honeywell on previous retrofits and were confident they could help us pick the best solution for this ice rink application, and that solution turned out to be Genetron Performax LT,” said Bob Miller, manager, Mollenberg-Betz.

The ease of conversion means long-term savings in the form of reduced operational costs related to planned equipment upgrades. “The conversion was a lot faster and cheaper than other alternatives that would have required new equipment and major capital investments.” said Tom Borden, ORDA refrigeration technician manager.

Genetron Performax LT was introduced in 2009. Honeywell projects that the refrigerant has saved more than 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent to date, equal to eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from more than 5 million cars. It is specifically designed to replace R-404A, R-507, R-407A, and R-22 refrigerants, and  it can be used in retrofits, as well as in new installations.

“Genetron Performax LT represents breakthrough refrigerant technology that powers important American landmarks like the Herb Brooks Arena,” said Ken Gayer, vice president and general manager, fluorine products, Honeywell. “Honeywell is committed to providing the best environmental technology to help customers achieve their goals for energy savings, reduced costs, regulatory compliance, and sustainable growth.”

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Publication date: 6/2/2017

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