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Cimco fridge truck skates into New York

Citi Field in the Queens district of New York is being prepared for the 2018 Winter Classic ice hockey match (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

USA: One of the largest mobile refrigeration units rolled into New York this week to create an ice rink within Citi Field, the home stadium of US baseball team the New York Mets.

The 53ft (16.2m) trailer owned by Canadian company Cimco Refrigeration is the vital element in the staging of the National Hockey League’s annual Winter Classic. This special annual event in the US ice hockey calendar sees a regular-season ice hockey game being played outdoors, generally in an American football or baseball stadium.

This year’s event on January 1 pits the Buffalo Sabres against the New York Rangers at Citi Field in Queens, New York. The first Winter Classic was held in 2008.

The Cimco refrigeration unit is a 300TR ammonia system with all of the typical machine room equipment, all mounted inside of the trailer.

The trailer comes with all the necessary refrigeration components, including the compressor and condenser, this way all that needs to be supplied to the trailer is power and make up water for the condenser.

The system is designed with an evaporator temperature of 10°F (-12.2ºC) and a condensing temperature of 95°F (35ºF). Up to 3,000 gallons (13,638 litres) of glycol is supplied to the floor of the rink at a temperature of 15°F (-9.5ºC).

The ice, which is normally between 1in to 1.25in (25.4mm to 31.7mm) thick in indoor NHL arenas, needs to be as thick as 2in (51mm) outdoors because of the more extreme elements.

The system has two Frick RXF compressor packages, one rated at 166TR and one rated at 138TR, powered by 263HP and 235HP motors respectively. Due to their large size, the compressors are mounted at a 30° angle to the trailer, leaving a bit of space for work to be carried out around them.

The condenser is an Evapco LRC-379, which is one of the largest low-profile condensers offered by Evapco. This unit is such a close fit with the trailer that Cimco had to remove the condenser fan guards so that the unit would fit between the roof rails.

The Cimco-built plate and shell heat exchanger uses stainless steel plates supplied by Vahterus Oy of Finland.

The team behind the installation of the rink are scheduled to start spraying water tomorrow (December 20). The ice surface is expected to be ready by December 28, four days before the game.

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