Sheffield's FlyDSA Arena is changing the way its ice rink is made using a new '22-ton machine'

Sheffield’s FlyDSA Arena is changing the way it creates its ice rink in a move bosses say will safeguard the future of sport and entertainment events for years to come.

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 3:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 11:50 am

The venue’s operator Sheffield International Venues has won planning permission to install a new 22-ton ice-making chiller that is more environmentally-friendly than the existing, outdated equipment.

The arena opened in 1991 and has a permanent ice floor which is used to host up to 30 Sheffield Steelers ice hockey games each season, as well as shows such as Disney On Ice.

In an application to Sheffield Council, the venue’s managers explained that the replacement chiller will use ammonia rather than butane refrigerant which has a ‘high global warming potential’.

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“The new chiller will operate using a very low cost, environmentally benign refrigerant,” the application said. “This means any leaks will have zero impact on the environment.

“This is a massive improvement over the existing chiller as just one system charge of the existing machine is equivalent to 1.47 tonnes of CO2 pollution if it were to suffer a major leak.”

In addition the original system now faces ‘compliance issues’, the application said.

“The refrigerant is being phased out under the UK implementation of EU regulations which will expose the site to major operational risks if there were to be a leak and no recycled refrigerant could be sourced.”

The chiller unit will be placed on the southeast corner of the building in Attercliffe, within the service yard that serves the ice rink.

A three-metre high galvanised metal mesh fence is planned, to keep visitors away from the new equipment.

“The new ice chiller is significantly quieter than the original chiller, reducing noise pollution and risk from industrial deafness,” the application said.

“The anticipated life expectancy of the new equipment is estimated to be circa 20 years, providing substantial savings, which may secure the future of ice hockey, Disney on Ice, etc in Sheffield for the lifetime of the new equipment.”

The chiller will be supplied by Glasgow-based Star Refrigeration, which has installed 80 per cent of the UK's ice rinks.