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Join Drew Watson, Account Manager, Recreational Projects - Atlantic Canada, as he explores the remarkable potential of heat pump technology in ice rinks and multi-use facilities. Discover how the Thermal Force One, an integrated heat pump,is transforming ice rinks beyond mere recreation spots, providing heating and cooling to the rink and surrounding communities all while revolutionizing ice rink refrigeration, and shaping a greener future.



Nowadays, it seems that discussions about heat pumps in homes and businesses are ubiquitous, with the idea of achieving net zero at the forefront of everyone's minds. As someone who has worked in the recreational sector for two-plus decades, these conversations remind me of ice rinks and multi-use facilities, where heat pumps are a perfect solution and becoming an essential component in our fight against climate change.


Did you know that a refrigeration system is a type of heat pump? A heat pump is essentially a mechanical device that transfers heat from one area to another. While a conventional refrigeration system primarily provides cooling, it does not encompass the complete functionality of a fully integrated heat pump solution, which can now deliver both cooling and heating within a single application. The Thermal Force One serves as a bridge to fulfill this need.


Heat pumps are a remarkable technology used for both heating and cooling buildings by transferring heat from one location to another using electricity, eliminating the need for gas, propane, and oil. In the case of ice rinks, thermal energy is a critical element in maintaining the frozen surface. While this is a common way heat pumps are used in ice rinks today, CIMCO's Thermal Force One takes it a step further by leveraging the technology to provide heating and cooling for the entire arena, not just the ice surface.


Ice rinks and heat pump technology form an ideal combination as they work harmoniously. The task of maintaining a standard 200 x 80-foot ice rink frozen, regardless of weather conditions, demands a substantial amount of thermal energy. To address this, an integrated heat pump offers a remarkable solution. It efficiently extracts heat from the surface of the rink, compresses it to a higher temperature, and redistributes it to warm the rink itself, as well as auxiliary spaces, adjacent buildings, and other facilities. This process revolves around the effective transportation of thermal energy to its required destinations and its elimination from areas where it is not needed. The potential applications for district heating and cooling are boundless in this context!


Heat pumps are much more efficient than fossil fuel-based heating systems, and with Thermal Force One technology, they are up to 7 times more efficient. To put this into perspective, TF1 recovers heat that may otherwise be wasted and upgrades it to a more usable temperature. Temperatures up to 155 °F (68 °C) are possible with only one unit of additional compressor energy to create seven units of heat, boosting energy efficiency by 700%. Plus, the reliance on natural gas boilers to create high-grade heat is reduced. This means significant cost savings and lower carbon emissions. Heat pumps also reduce overall risk because they don't require gas pipes and can operate year-round, even in colder temperatures.


Furthermore, the Thermal Force One package by CIMCO can connect to both air-source and ground-source heat pumps, making it suitable for providing heating and cooling in a wide range of temperatures and conditions. Incentives are available for ice rinks that invest in heat pump technology, making it a smart business decision, particularly with the new emphasis on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

I am confident that the future of the industry lies in thermal designs that integrate heating, cooling, and refrigeration to maximize the transfer of thermal energy. CIMCO's Thermal Force One is a significant contribution to our fight against climate change, and it's a perfect example of how heat pumps can make a difference.




Drew Watson - CIMCO Refrigeration

     Drew Watson– Recreation Project Sales

Drew Watson is a seasoned professional with an extensive background in industrial refrigeration systems, bringing over 20 years of experience to his role at CIMCO Refrigeration. Drew has successfully overseen numerous complex projects, demonstrating his expertise in system design, installation, and commissioning. With a strong focus on customer satisfaction, he has consistently delivered innovative and efficient solutions that align with clients' specific needs and net-zero targets.



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