San Jose Sharks Install REALice at Sharks Ice at San Jose

Sharks San Jose install REALice

San Jose Sharks Install REALice at Sharks Ice at San Jose

For Immediate Release

May 31, 2024 – San Jose, CA – Sharks Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League and the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League, is pleased to announce that three REALice water conditioning systems have been installed on five rinks at Sharks Ice at San Jose.

Sharks Ice at San Jose is a six-pad ice rink facility, the largest indoor ice rink complex in North America by square footage, and home to the American Hockey League’s San Jose Barracuda while also serving as the official practice facility of the San Jose Sharks.

Substantial Savings

The move is expected to save the facility around 250,000 kWh of electricity, over 11,000 Therms (1,160 GJ or 31,130 m3) of natural gas, and 230 metric tons of CO2 emissions – annually. The avoided energy consumption is the equivalent of the energy use of 30 homes in one year; the reduced CO2 emissions are the equivalent of over half a million miles driven by an average gasoline-powered passenger vehicle. The projected savings come to over USD 50K/year.

“Utilizing the REALice system marks a substantive change in our on-ice maintenance practices, towards a less expensive, more sustainable ice-making model,” says Richard Rocha, General Manager of Sharks Ice at San Jose. “We are continually striving for efficiencies and to reduce our carbon footprint and REALice does both. It’s such a simple installation, that brings immediate savings, which is a real win for us. We’re excited that our facility is showcasing the future of sustainable ice making.”

The 3D-printed REALice system replaces the need for using extremely hot water to maintain the ice by using pressure to treat the floodwater instead of high temperatures. Sharks Ice at San Jose is now using tap-temperature cold floodwater, treated by the REALice system, and delivering clear, dense, durable ice without the expense of heating. Additionally, because cold water is now being used, the facility has less humidity to manage.

Higher Refrigeration Temperatures, Reduced Compressor Run Time Hours

By removing the trapped air from the water, the resulting REALice-treated water exhibits a lower viscosity and higher density. This results in water that freezes much faster than before, requiring a higher brine setpoint compared to the hot water floods. So far, Sharks Ice at San Jose has achieved a 4°F higher brine reset, resulting in an anticipated drop in compressor run time hours by 35%.

Håkan Grönlund, the CEO of H2OVortex S.A.R.L., the worldwide distributor of REALice and other vortex process applications, was on hand for the REALice installations. Grönlund says the installations at Sharks Ice are a tribute to the high-quality ice the REALice delivers.

“The colder floodwater and warmer ice temperature results in faster ice that doesn’t scar as much,” Grönlund explains. “That means the skaters produce less snow, the blowouts are less, and for ice hockey, the puck stays flatter, longer. No one likes missing a pass because of a bouncing puck. The REALice system delivers ice that holds up better, and that’s something our customers recognize.”

In the USA, California-based Cypress, Ltd. is the energy consultant for REALice.


About Sharks Sports & Entertainment

Sharks Sports & Entertainment (SSE) is the parent company of the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League, and San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League, and oversees all areas of operation and management of the city-owned SAP Center at San Jose, the premier sports and entertainment venue in Santa Clara County. Additionally, SSE oversees management and operation for three public Ice facilities located throughout the Bay Area: Sharks Ice at San Jose which includes the new, state-of-the-art Tech CU Arena, Sharks Ice at Fremont, and the Oakland Ice Center operated by Sharks Ice. Headquartered in San Jose, California, the Sharks employ 300+ full-time employees and 1,250+ total during events. Collectively, this group of hard-working professionals is known as Team Teal.

Download the press release