Ice skating is a great exercise that promotes cardiovascular health and burns calories. It also improves strength, balance, and coordination. Traditional ice rinks require electricity to cool them, which produces carbon emissions and contributes to climate change. Synthetic rinks can be used year-round in any climate and don’t require refrigeration systems.
Reduced Carbon Emissions
In a world where climate change is becoming more of an issue, all business owners can play their part. For ice rinks, that can mean transitioning away from synthetic refrigerants with high GWP (Global Warming Potential) to climate-friendly natural ones. Using synthetic ice panels instead of traditional ice is also better for the environment. Because these products don’t require refrigeration, they do not emit greenhouse gases or use harmful chemicals. Synthetic ice is made from a particular type of plastic that mimics the gliding sensation of natural ice. The sheets are typically 8′ by 4′ and are designed with a dovetail or jigsaw pattern that fits together for easy assembly. Engineered HDPE (High-density Polyethylene) is used in most of these ice panels. This material is optimized for reduced friction and better scalability and is easy to clean.
Reduced Water Consumption
Synthetic ice rinks require a fraction of the water and electricity traditional ice rinks require. The rinks also do not need resurfacing or everyday protection typically needed with conventional ice rinks. This saves money, power, and resources, making them a more environmentally friendly option than traditional ice rinks. While synthetic ice does not need refrigeration systems, it requires a sturdy subfloor and a durable surface to support skating. This is why choosing a reputable manufacturer specializing in the highest quality synthetic ice available today is essential. These ice panels are made of polymer materials, usually HDPE (high-density polyethylene) or UHMW-PE (ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene), and they come in interlocking pieces that can be easily fitted together. Once the ice is installed, the only energy consumption is for the space heating and cooling of the facility. By adjusting air temperature settings when no spectators are present, it is possible to reduce energy consumption by 25%-50%. This also reduces the water the ice plant uses since ice melts faster at higher ambient temperatures.
While natural ice is feasible only in cold climates, synthetic rinks can be installed worldwide and do not require refrigeration or costly water supplies. This makes ice rinks operational year-round, increasing the skating season and attracting more visitors. Cheap synthetic ice produces a lot of shavings that can be a nuisance to the environment. These shavings can be a source of microplastic pollution. Synthetic ice rinks are also easier to maintain. Instead of gassing up a Zamboni for regular maintenance and resurfacing, an artificial ice rink requires only the occasional sweep with a power vacuum cleaner to remove debris. This saves money and energy and eliminates the need for waste disposal. This is especially important given that many of the same resources required by traditional ice rinks are not recycled after their skating season.
Increased Energy Efficiency
Ice rinks consume large amounts of electricity, water, and gas to keep them operational. Energy-efficient systems reduce the energy used and help minimize environmental impact. A high-quality synthetic ice rink uses less electricity than traditional rinks. In addition, it can be used all year round and is independent of weather conditions. It also reduces the need for refrigeration, significantly reducing costs and environmental impact. The materials used to make synthetic ice substantially impact its performance and quality. Cheaper options often cause abrasion and shavings, leading to messy rinks and sky-high cleaning bills. However, premium quality ice is self-lubricating and has UV protection to prevent color fading over time. Skating is a great workout that increases endurance, strength, balance, and coordination. It’s also a great stress reliever and can improve mental health. It can also encourage creativity and self-expression through figure skating and ice dancing. Moreover, it’s accessible to people with disabilities and promotes inclusion. It can even turn cities into winter wonderlands, attracting tourists worldwide and invigorating local economies.
Synthetic ice rinks are easy to install and require little maintenance, making them a more convenient and environmentally conscious option than traditional ice rinks. They eliminate the need for energy-consuming refrigeration systems and can be erected virtually anywhere, even during hot summer. From figure skaters honing their skills to hockey players advancing their careers, these artificial ice surfaces allow skating enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels to enjoy the sport year-round. They also encourage physical activity and create opportunities for seasonal employment, including trainers, ice maintenance, ticket sales, and food stall management.