In February 2022, the National Speed Skating Oval (NSSO), also called the "ice ribbon," held its inaugural international competition in Beijing with athletes setting 10 new records and a world record in speed skating. Qingdao Haier Carrier Refrigeration Equipment Co., Ltd. (Haier Carrier) introduced the transcritical carbon dioxide (CO2) ice making system for the NSSO. Haier Carrier is a joint venture established in 2001 by Haier Group and Carrier Global Corporation.
To create higher-quality ice, the NSSO utilized carbon dioxide (CO2 ) as a natural refrigerant for its ice-making technology, a historic first for the indoor ice venue. Speed skating requires extremely flat ice surfaces. The smaller the difference in temperature between ice and the surface, the flatter the ice. The new technology can control ice temperature variances within 0.5 degrees.
To ensure the ice surface remains in peak condition, it must be resurfaced six to seven times a day during competitions. Carrier's transcritical CO2 ice making system takes less than 10 minutes to ensure that the ice surface is restored to competition standards.
The NSSO covers an area of about 12,000 square meters, almost equal to the size of a track field. The ice making system uses Carrier’s high-capacity PowerCO2OL solution and consists of several high-capacity racks with 4 MW max cooling capacity running on natural refrigerant CO2, which has a low global warming potential (GWP) of 1 and near-zero carbon emissions.
With more than 30% energy savings compared to a standard system, Carrier’s transcritical technology achieves optimized energy efficiency. In post-event operation, it can save nearly two million kilowatt- hours of electricity each year, making the ice rink an environmentally sustainable venue. Carrier’s transcritical CO2 technology is also used in all types of high-energy applications such as medium and large warehouses, distribution centers and food processing sites.