District of Saanich Buys REALice® System for Municipal Rink

Saanich Pearkes Arena

District of Saanich Buys REALice® System for Municipal Rink

Installation at Pearkes Recreation Centre means significant energy savings

March 11, 2016 – REALice Canada, the supplier of a cold water method for making ice in arenas across Canada, is pleased to announce that the District of Saanich, B.C. has purchased a REALice® System for its Pearkes Recreation Centre.


Indoor ice has been made for decades with very hot water, which removes tiny air bubbles from the water, resulting in a smooth skating surface when poured thinly and then frozen. The REALice® System is a radical approach to ice making, removing the microbubbles in the water through a high-speed patented vortex (hydro-dynamic cavitation) delivering the same results, without the expense of hot water.

In 2014, the patented REALice® system was part of a large-scale Ice Rink Resurfacing Efficiency pilot project spearheaded by FortisBC, the regulated gas utility in British Columbia. At this time, the REALice® system was already installed and saving energy and money in over 300 ice arenas in Europe.

For the pilot, the REALice® system was installed in 10 rinks around British Columbia. At the end of the study, 90% of the rinks involved adopted the technology, which lets icemakers build and maintain ice without the use of hot water.

The District of Saanich, which was not a part of this pilot, heard about the trial and the REALice® system and asked if they could rent the system for a six-month period so they could try it themselves and buy it, if it performed as expected.

The rental contract expired on February 29th, 2016 and the District of Saanich decided to purchase the system after only six-months of use.

Florian Gabriel, the managing director of REALice Canada says he knew the District of Saanich would be pleased with the results.

“I believe so much in our product and the tremendous difference it’s making to the carbon footprint of rinks. I knew they’d be so impressed with their savings and their ice that they would eventually convert to purchasers. And they did!”

During the rental period, the staff at the Pearkes Arena was able to lower the temperature of the resurfacing water from a scorching 71ºC (160ºF) to a cool 10ºC (50ºF) for an average of 12 daily resurfacings. They were also able to raise the brine temperature by 1.5ºC (2ºF) giving additional energy savings.

The anticipated and calculated savings amount is based on the input data running up to 90,000 kWh of electricity and 900 GJ of natural gas per year. That is an estimated cost savings of $17,488 given a rate of $0.09 cents/kWh and $10/GJ of natural gas, the going rates in British Columbia.

The estimated return on investment for the District of Saanich is under two years, with a projected savings of $150,000 over the next 10 years based on current utility costs plus an adjustment for inflation of 1.5% per year.

Last month the District of Saanich was named one of three Canadian cities — and 45 global finalists — in the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour City Challenge by demonstrating leadership in sustainability and climate change. The national winner, which will be decided in May, will participate in the finals. The other chosen Canadian cities are Vancouver and Edmonton.

REALice Canada is currently offering two types of rental contracts: a 12-month contract for rinks operating year-round and an 8-month contract for rinks operating for a short season. Both contracts come with an option to buy-out the technology after 6 months. In addition, the REALice® system is available for purchase or lease.

 Image source: District of Saanich

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