Fit for the Olympics with cooling technology from AST
Advert by IAKS member AST Eis- und Solartechnik GmbH
The Beijing Ice Sports Training Centre will serve as competition venue for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Supplied by AST China with the complete ice and refrigeration technology, it offers a total of four ice rinks for ice hockey, speed skating, curling and figure skating. The high-end technology used makes it possible to meet the requirements of all ice sports.
In addition to the sliding centre for bobsleigh, skeleton and luge competitions in Yanqing, AST was able to complete another major project for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games with the Beijing Ice Sports Training Centre.
As one of the largest ice sports centres in Asia, it serves both training and competition. The ice rinks are located on different levels. On the second floor, two 30 x 60 m ice hockey fields with 2,000 seats provide an impressive spectator experience. Equipped with scoreboard screens on both sides, the fields can be used for daily training of athletes as well as for competitions. The rinks for figure skating, short track and curling are located on the floor above.
A special dehumidification and air-conditioning system maintains the climate in the ice halls with their different ice temperatures. They ensure a smooth training and competition environment for the athletes, as well as a comfortable experience for the audience in the respective halls.
The AST China team designed and built all four of these training and competition ice rinks as CO2 direct evaporation systems. In this way, CO2 refrigeration technology celebrated its premiere in the construction of ice rinks in the People‘s Republic of China.
The main components of the plants were supplied by international manufacturers – the concrete slabs with refrigeration systems were designed and installed “state of the art“ with welded, jacketed high-pressure piping made of copper. The Swedish CO2 refrigeration specialist EKA provided support as a consultant for design and system dimensioning.
The intelligent, fully automatic control system of the ice rink, which was developed by the AST China team, can monitor the operating status of the entire refrigeration system in real time and regulate it precisely in the range from -3° C to -11° C. It is thus able to achieve the different ice temperatures for short track speed skating, figure skating, ice hockey and curling. The systems all comply with IIHF, ISU and WCF requirements.
As a refrigerant in general and especially in a direct evaporation system, CO2 has several advantages:
R744 (CO2) is a natural refrigerant with no negative environmental effects (ODP=0 / GWP=1).
CO2 is safe, non-toxic and non-flammable, an ideal choice for the future that can never be prohibited for environmental protection reasons.
ASHRAE calls CO2 the perfect refrigerant, as it follows the trend for global green refrigerant technology.
The temperature of the ice surface is stable and constant over the entire area – the ice quality is correspondingly high. As a result, the ice temperature is easier to control accurately. According to the actual operation test, the maximum temperature difference of the ice surface can be controlled very quickly and accurately within a deviation of 0.3° C, and can be set precisely for various ice sports or ice maintenance operations. The cooling capacity is achieved with excellent COP of 2.60- 4.80, and at the same time the energy consumption of the circulation pumps is relatively low.
The energy transfer of CO2 refrigerant during phase change and the waste heat utilization of the hot gas is more efficient than conventional indirect ice pad refrigeration systems. Thus, more than 50% energy can be saved by comprehensive use of cold and heat (heat recovery).
The new skating centre is a big step towards establishing ice sports as mass sports in China in the long term. During the time when there was no professional ice training base, the ice and winter sports teams from China had to cooperate with clubs at home and abroad and hire venues. Now the athletes of the Chinese national team have their own “home base”, which offers appropriate teaching and training facilities. Professional and efficient preparation for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games is thus secured. In the near future, the Beijing Ice Sports Training Centre will also be opened to the general public.