Hotly loved: GEA Refrigeration for ice rinks

The history of ice rinks proves that developers at GEA Refrigeration Technologies always have a new innovation up their sleeves. In 1961, the first 400-meter ice rink of the Netherlands was opened and named for the famous Dutch speed skater Jaap Eden. It was designed and built by GEA Refrigeration Technologies. It was the first rink in the world to be cooled by a direct system in which liquid ammonia (NH3) evaporates in a network of steel pipes embedded in concrete. At that time, it represented an enormous energy saving of 22 to 25 % over the conventional indirect ice systems that used the refrigerant R22. The new cooling system was furthermore really impressive by providing a skating surface with especially uniform temperatures prevailing over the ice. The basic benefits of such systems mean that they are still in use today.

Refrigeration technology for leisure - Artificial snow


In 2004 GEA scored an additional technical triumph: our engineering team converted the cooling system at the 400-m open-air round Kennemerland Rink in Haarlem, the Netherlands (built in the 1970s), to a modern system with liquid carbon dioxide. This created an additional, highly advanced ice surface. Our experienced technicians even succeeded in this modernization project to save time and money: they kept the old steel pipes, pumps, evaporative condensers, and piston compressors for further use, and added the required technology. The additional systems included an ammonia-carbon dioxide cascade condenser and a compressor.

Refrigeration technology for leisure - Artificial snow


The Dutch have of course cultivated ice skating as a cultural tradition for centuries now, so it is not surprising that we can call attention to another of our reference projects in the Netherlands: the Eindhoven IJssportcentrum with an ice surface of 8,400 m2, which offers three ice rinks – two covered rinks and one 400 meter half-covered rink, in addition to a heated ice-hockey hall with a playing surface of 30 x 60 m. A special attraction here is the largest Disco on Ice in the country, open on weekends. Seven GEA Grasso compressors with a total rating of 2.8 MW assure effective cooling of the ice surfaces. Ammonia is the refrigerant for the round skating areas, with glycol used under the ice-hockey surface. Heat exchangers lower the surface to a temperature of - 12 °C there. It was not difficult for the contracting parties to decide for GEA: our good customer relations with them have existed for decades now. And reliable and prompt GEA service speaks for itself.


Available references:

Kennemerland ice rink in Haarlem, the Netherlands

Eindhoven Ijssportcentrum

Modernization of the Kennemerland ice rink in Haarlem, the Netherlands:

Ice surface expanded to approx. 7,000 m2 Total cooling duty: 2,400 kW Volume of refrigerant in the system: 16,500 kg CO2 and 1,800 kg NH3 Compressors: 3 Grasso RC 911, as well as 1 newly installed Grasso RC 912E


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