We, EKA, have worked with the refrigeration solution that will deliver the best possible ice and good results of next Winter Olympic Game. National Speed Skating Oval, NSSO, in Beijing is a striking architectural creation reminiscent of speed and movement. The appearance of it looks like an illuminated skater photographed with a long exposure time and transformed into a light vortex. The facade consists of 22 bands, which represents that it is 2022 when Winter Games will take place.
National Speed Skating Oval was first planned with traditional refrigeration technology, HFC refrigerant and glycol. But when the last Winter Games in South Korea received sharp criticism for bad environmental decision in the ice arenas, voices were raised to instead choose solutions with carbon dioxide. We were involved as advisors and specialist expertise for the refrigeration technical solutions, which has included dimensioning, heat recovery, cooling units and safety functions. We also helped with documentation for the procurement of the various parts that are included in the cooling system. The procurement was finally won by a consortium where Carrier is involved, and they will use cooling machines from Swedish Green & Cool. The arena has been given a direct CO2 system, carbon dioxide in both the ice sheets and the refrigeration unit, and a well-developed heat recovery function.
Today, there are only 100-200 ice rinks in the whole of China, which can be compared with the 360 we have in Sweden, but they plan to build as many as 1000 hockey rinks over the next ten years.
MORE ABOUT THE ICE SHEETS
Apart from competition skating oval, an additional arena surface can be covered with ice. From function aspect, the whole ice surface can be divided into 4 different sections: external competition skating oval, internal training skating oval, and two ice hockey rinks in the middle. From technical aspect, the whole ice surface is divided into 9 different zones for ice quality controllability. Except one zone above athlete entrance path, all other technical zones are connected to CO2 refrigeration system and can be iced individually. The design concept makes NSSO a sustainable multifunctional facility. After the Olympic game, it can be used as competition site of speed skating, ice curling, and ice hockey.