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Carbon dioxide in Ice Rink Refrigeration

The average energy consumption of one ice rink is around 1000MWh/year, which approximately 69% is occupied by the refrigeration unit and heating demand.

With the aim of decreasing the energy consumption, a new concept of refrigeration system with CO2 as a refrigerant has been developed and it is promising to become a high potential next generation for refrigeration system in ice rink.

This thesis is to evaluate a new refrigerant application in ice rink refrigeration system under three different aspects; energy performance, heat recovery potential and economic efficiency. In order to make this evaluation, three main tasks are executed.

Firstly, literature review and market statistic are processed to give a general picture of the CO2 development as a refrigerant. Secondly, a software Pack Calculation II is used for the simulations of CO2 refrigeration system and traditional ice rink refrigeration system. Älta ice rink located in Sweden, is chosen as a reference case for simulation’s input data. The simulation results is to compare these system in terms of energy performance and heat recovery potential.

Finally, life cycle cost of these systems is calculated to investigate the economic benefits from this new application.Results from this study show good benefits of the new CO2 application in ice rink. From the market statistics, CO2 has become a successful refrigerant in supermarket food and beverage industry with 1331 CO2 refrigeration system installed until 2011 in Europe (Shecco2012).

In ice rink industry, 24 ice rinks have been applied CO2 in the second cycle of refrigeration system; one ice rink in Canada applied a refrigeration system with only CO2 in the first cycle and the distribution system. From the simulation’s result, CO2 full system has been proven as the most efficiency system with the lowest energy consumption (30% lower than NH3/Brine system and 46% lower thanCO2/Brine system) and the highest COP (6.4 in comparison with 4.9 of NH3/Brine system and4.37 of CO2/Brine system).

Regarding heat recovery potential, CO2 full system has highest energy saving in comparison with the other two systems.Due to lower energy cost and service cost, the life cycle cost of CO2 full system is lower around 13% than the traditional NH3/Brine system, furthermore, the component cost of CO2 system is promising to decrease in the next years thanks to the rapid development of this market in supermarket industry.

To conclude, CO2 full system has high potential to become a next generation of refrigeration system in ice rink, however, because of its trans critical working, this application can be restricted in the regions of warm climate.
Source: KTH
Author: Nguyen, Tuyet

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