Home of the Fernie Ghostriders, the Fernie Memorial Arena is a recreational ice rink located in Fernie, B.C. The facility was in need of a new system following a tragic incident.* The City of Fernie required a system that would meet their design criteria, provide low environmental impact while significantly decreasing any operational risk factors to facility staff and the wider public.
After examining several proposals, Startec was selected by the Fernie City Council to provide the new refrigeration plant. This project was undoubtedly delicate. Startec worked tirelessly to create a solution that focused on removing risk factors at the arena, while maintaining the highest standard of quality for the project overall.
By redesigning the refrigeration plant and moving it outside the complex to a stand-alone skid situated beside the facility, our Startec Mavericks were able to remove the plant from public access and reduce the safety risk to all.
Through internal collaboration, Startec utilized the unique and vast experience of the team, developing an innovative solution by placing the refrigeration condenser on the roof of the standalone refrigeration plant instead of traditional installation methods (placing the condenser beside the skid). This intelligent approach enabled the team to reduce the plant footprint to fifty per cent.
Next, Startec found an alternative refrigerant solution for ammonia by using an HFO blend refrigerant (R449A) and brine as the cooling medium, maintaining the plant and minimizing safety concerns. Incredibly, the HFO blend refrigerant R449A also supports the City of Fernie’s environmental requirement for the new plant, featuring a low 1,297 global warming potential (GWP). This is much lower than typical synthetic solutions such as R404Q and R507, which have a very high GWP (approx. 3,900~).
This final solution resulted in a nimble, innovative solution that achieved all its primary objectives while reducing GWP by half, thanks to the careful research, strategizing, and collaborative efforts by all.
* During the summer of 2017, an ammonia leak at the arena resulted in a tragic incident where three men lost their lives. Our continued deep and heartfelt condolences go out to the families and loved ones of these men, as well as the arena, the City of Fernie, and those impacted by the accident.