CO2 refrigeration was in the news recently once again because a Campbell River, BC arena will become the first arena in British Columbia to swap out its ammonia refrigeration for CO2. The facility, which is home to two arenas — and two refrigeration plants — will be retrofitted at the end of this hockey season. Campbell River is on Vancouver Island, and will be making the change for several reasons which you can learn about here.
Paul Taylor sent me the link. He’s a Nova Scotian I met via Twitter after I had published a story on CO2 arenas in Sweden. After a flurry of texts back and forth, I realized that Paul was more than advanced with his knowledge of refrigeration systems and the players who are active in the manufacturing and building of ice arenas around the world. Since then, we have talked many, man times and I got to know more about his interest in CO2 as a refrigerant. I told him that I had visited the first CO2 arena in Quebec where five years on, they’re still extremely happy with their installation. Soon we decided to collaborate on a Google Table that would let us track all the CO2 arenas that we could track down, all around the world. We reached out to equipment manufacturers, engineers and arena builders who have eagerly contributed details of their arenas, and told us of future projects. And we get Google Alerts, that helps too — especially when the news gets out that an upcoming arena project might be considering CO2.
All that has lead to the map you see below.
If you take a close look, you’ll see the majority of CO2 arenas are installed in the <<north>> –in the Northern Hemisphere, with a big concentration n the Scandinavian countries. But there are clusters — like the arenas in Quebec. Or Japan. Or the two down in South Africa — proof positive that CO2 is a solution for not just northern climes.
It’s a work in progress and we intend to keep updating it each time a new CO2 rink comes on board. If you know of CO2 ice facilities — indoor arenas, outdoor arenas, ovals or skating trails that aren’t on this list, please let me know. I will investigate, together with Paul, and add them to the list.