How is the ice sheet of an ice rink made?


The commissioning of the chilling plant of a Napapiri ice skating rink!

Once we have unrolled the refrigeration floor, a refrigeration technician will be dedicated to filling the circuit with anti-freeze and to set up and start the chiller plant.

The temperature of the anti-freezing liquid goes down to a maximum of between -10 and -12ºC and circulates non-stop through the tubes of the refrigeration floor thanks to the pump incorporated in the chiller. From this moment, the machine (also called "chiller") should be running 24 hours. Once it has been verified that all the parameters work correctly and the anti-freeze temperature has reached its set point (-10 to -12ºC), the technician's task has finished.

Perform the ice sheet on a natural ice rink!

Now it's the turn of the Napapiri supervisor who will make the ice sheet. The thickness of the ice sheet in a mobile ice rink should be between 6 and 8 cm above the refrigeration floor pipe. For this, the client has to provide a water intake and a hose with head. The task of making ice is a slow process and requires a lot of patience. 

According to the weather conditions of the moment, the Napapiri supervisor will have to assess whether or not he can make ice during the day. On outdoor ice rinks in full sun, it is very likely that only ice can be made at night, but that also depends on other factors such as the heat during the day, the humidity and the wind.

How long does it take to make the ice sheet on an ice rink?

Actually, a lot depends on the weather conditions of the moment. As you can understand, it is not the same to make ice with + 18ºC in full sun or to make ice with + 8ºC in the shade or indoors. We always take 3 to 5 days / nights, depending on the conditions.

Is it possible to accelerate the realization of the ice sheet?

Actually, yes ... it's possible, ordering crushed ice with a local ice maker. If you have a fish market nearby, it will not be difficult to get it. In this case, our Napapiri supervisor will cover the refrigerated floor with a first layer of crushed ice and will continue to spray water on top to achieve a homogenous ice layer. In this case, in two days / nights the ice rink will be ready to open to the public.

Conditions to get a good ice layer:

  1. We need to be able to build on a level ground. Any unevenness will complicate the task of making the ice sheet and can have dire consequences on the quality of the ice.
  2. It is also important to have a flat floor. Any bulge or hollow in the ground will cause difficulties when it comes to achieving a homogenous ice layer.
  3. Also to keep in mind is to look for a firm soil. It is near to impossible to build directly on top of sand or gravel. 

Any problem with the floor, can be solved with the installation of a platform / podium that will level the floor to perfection and will also offer a flat and firm surface.