Energy Manager

Kamloops saving energy with cold water Zambonis

City reports savings of $48,900 in 2019 using cold water resurfacing at four ice rink facilities.

January 9, 2020
January 9, 2020
By Energy Manager Canada

The City of Kamloops in south-central British Columbia has reported the energy savings figures achieved at four of its city-owned ice rinks where it has eliminated the use of hot water in its ice resurfacers (Zambonis).

The Zambonis have traditionally used large quantities of hot water, which is produced by natural-gas-fired boilers. The city reports that the natural gas saved in 2019 by using cold water for flooding the ice is equivalent to 1,807 gigajoules, and the resulting energy cost savings was $48,900.

“Ice rink facilities can be very energy intensive,” said Jeff Putnam, the city’s parks and civic facilities manager in a release. “This change in our operating procedure has reduced our carbon footprint by the equivalent of 20 residential homes heated by natural gas each year.”

The city plans to add another rink to this energy-reduction program in 2020.


Print this page


5 Comments » for Kamloops saving energy with cold water Zambonis
  1. Peter DeMan says:

    No comment about qualaity of the ice??? Hot water is used to allow the water time to spread evenly before it freezes.

    Cold water is known to freeze in “Shingle” type layers, making a poor playing surface.

    It’s all fine to save money, but there shouldn’t be a significant trade-off. Surely the hot water can be pre-heated/tempered by running it over the refrigeration heat rejection coils before being further heated by gas boilers

    • Florian says:

      You are absolutely correct. That’s why if the water was not treated it would create chippy ice and produce lots of snow.

      The system in use removes the micro air bubbles – just like hot water does and lowers the viscosity. This means the water flows out faster and spreads evenly before it freezes.

      The quality of ice produced with the REALice system is equal or even better.

  2. Mike McCartney says:

    Did the article take into account energy savings via the refrigeration system? just askin’….

  3. Unfortunately what this story has left out is how they’ve gone to cold water resurfacing and that’s with REALice. REALice uses pressure to remove the micro air bubbles from the water — replacing the need to heat the water to do the same thing.

    You can find out more at or contact me at

  4. Florian says:

    Please note that this operational procedure change is thanks to the REALice technology.

    The REALice technology uses a vortex de-arator to remove the macroscopic and microscopic air bubbles in water to simulate hot water. The air and treated water go into the ice resurfacer, and then the air is released into the atmosphere.

    REALice changes the properties of the water. It becomes denser and freezes faster, using less energy to freeze and less energy to keep frozen, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *