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Arena refrigeration plants get cool upgrades

The City of Lethbridge’s Facility Services department has modernized the City’s arena refrigeration systems, bringing them out of the ice age and into the present day. Beginning in 2019, arena refrigeration plant replacements and upgrades occurred at several facilities, including:

  • Logan Boulet Arena
  • ENMAX Centre
  • Civic Ice Centre
  • Labor Club Ice Centre
  • Henderson Ice Centre

Many of the projects included relocating refrigeration plant components from within buildings into purpose-built portable structures.

“This not only enhances safety by segregating the components,” explains Facilities Engineer, Muhammad Durrani. “But the new plants also require far less ammonia refrigerant, with reductions ranging from 46 per cent to almost 96 per cent.”

Reducing the amount of ammonia to improve safety was a key objective of these projects.

The new structures free up space within the facilities for other functional purposes, while the layouts allow for improved access for maintenance and operational personnel.

Modern technology is also allowing for more efficient oversight.

“The new automated control systems can be accessed remotely to streamline system controls and monitoring,” says HVAC and Controls Technician, Mike Jensen. “We’ve also introduced redundant components that boost reliability and increase capacity for year-round programming.”

Facilities Engineer Muhammad Durrani and HVAC and Controls Technician Mike Jensen

The new refrigeration plant rooms meet all safety code requirements, and site fencing and alarm systems are installed at each structure for enhanced security.

“I would like to thank everyone involved in this five-year initiative,” says Facilities Planning and Projects Manager, Sam Conard. “When we undertake lifecycle replacement projects, our team often considers associated improvements that can be made to increase safety, efficiency, maintainability, accessibility and functionality. These refrigeration plant upgrade projects are great examples of this comprehensive approach to project delivery.”

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