Minnesota ice arenas face expensive conversions as federal law phases out common refrigerant

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: February 26, 2014 - 11:43 AM

DULUTH, Minn. — Hockey arenas across Minnesota are facing off against a big challenge: a chemical currently used in ice-making equipment at many arenas is harmful to the ozone layer so federal law is prompting expensive changes.

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keeley2Feb. 26, 14 9:45 AM

Maybe it's just me, but wouldn't it make more sense to start saving now (users tax?) rather than relying on the government dole once again?

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peoplewatchrFeb. 26, 1410:15 AM

You'd think the feds would have more pending issues than this. Like the economy, unemployment numbers, the debt. Might want to focus on the issues folks and not worry about a couple hundred hockey rinks.

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lostinstpaulFeb. 26, 1410:18 AM

If anyone asks you about which Govt regulations are hurting the middle class- here is yet another fine example. PS- bonus points for answering when this new rule was passed. . .

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acctsah2Feb. 26, 1410:50 AM

That might be it for the rink where I grew up. It's a small town that could barely afford to keep the keep going as it was.

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BSLangeFeb. 26, 1411:06 AM

For what they charge for ice time it should be no problem to afford the conversion. Or maybe we just go old school and practice and play games on the 10,000 frozen lakes in this state.

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swschradFeb. 26, 1411:08 AM

maybe in multiple-sheet arenas, but the systems I've seen use the refrigerant in the chiller only, and circulate a glycol/water mix in pipes within the concrete pad of the ice surface to freeze the ice. that's only half a million to a million to replace the chiller, and you don't have to destroy and replace the pad.

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reader2580Feb. 26, 1411:21 AM

Phase-out of R-22 was announced as early as 1992. In 2007 the 2020 date for total phase-out of R-22 was announced. The use of recycled R-22 for existing systems will still be allowed until at least 2030. By 2020 a lot of these rinks will probably need new refrigeration systems anyhow regardless of the R22 phase-out.

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johnshFeb. 26, 1411:21 AM

@lostinStPaul - looks like the phase out regulations are part of an international accord agreed to back in the 1980's. The phaseout of this chemical was accelerated in 1993.

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puckluck77Feb. 26, 1411:27 AM

Boys Hockey teams are playing the last ever playoff games at the State Fair Coliseum this week. it needs a new ice plant as well.. Theyve been playing section playoffs games there since I can remember. Too bad, some of the best two games for 6 bucks admission you'll ever spend..

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dirletonFeb. 26, 1412:08 PM

swschrad: "freeze the ice" --- think about that.

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