Founded in 1913, Cimco Refrigeration has installed ice-making equipment in over 4,500 arenas including new NHL rinks in Miami, Chicago, Montreal, Boston, St Louis and Ottawa. The "preferred supplier" to the NHL was chosen to install the ice-making equipment in the Air Canada Centre.
Building and installing the ice making equipment for the new Air Canada Centre was the responsibility of Cimco Refrigeration, on e of the country's oldest refrigeration companies. Founded in 1913, the company has manufactured and installed the ice making equipment in over 4,500 arenas, including new NHL rinks in Miami, Chicago, Montreal, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Ottawa and Boston.
The company has even exported its expertise to England, where they recently installed ice-making equipment in a new arena for the London Knights of the UK super league.
Originally known as the Canadian Ice Machinery Company, its name was shortened to Cimco in 1967, when the company was purchased by Toromont Industries Inc., its parent company.
Cimco's expertise has allowed it to attain the status of preferred ice rink equipment supplier to the NHL. That status, among other things, allows the company to use the trademark NHL logo on its letterhead. The company also co-authored the NHL's minimum refrigeration specifications for new NHL arenas.
At the Air Canada Centre Cimco installed an ammonia-based refrigeration system, which cools ethylene glycol through a heat exchanger. The chilled glycol, which has a lower freezing point than water, is pumped into about 55,000 feet of steel pipe embedded in the concrete floor. The cold fluid freezes the floor, which in turn freezes water sprayed onto the concrete floor.
While similar systems are used in arenas across North America, David Sinclair, a contract sales representative at Cimco explains, the requirements for an NHL facility like the Air Canada Centre are much higher than they would be for a community arena.
For community arenas the floor tubing typically be polyethylene, but for NHL rinks, the specifications call for steel pipes as steel offers a higher heat transfer. Since the pipes are embedded in concrete and the glycol has a rust inhibitor added to it, there's no danger or corrosion, says Sinclair.
The pipes have a one-inch inside diameter and are installed on four inch centres across the length of the 85 x 200-foot rink. The pipes comes in 40-foot lengths that are welded together on site.
A second difference is the amount of power required to run the compressor. Where a community arena might have a 120 horse power compressor, the Air Canada Centre's compressor is 375 horse power, or three times the size. That should allow the Air Canada Centre's ice makers to make a sheet of ice in about 24 hours.