7 energy-saving tips for your ice rink

As we face an energy crisis worldwide, perhaps you are questioning whether you should still operate an ice rink? Or whether it is profitable to organize an ice event? The good news is that you can do a lot yourself to make the ice rink more energy efficient and sustainable.

Liesbeth Oeseburg
23 September 2022

More energy efficient and sustainable

First of all, Ice-World uses green energy generated by wind turbines and our own 6.000m2 of solar panels. In addition, we compensate our CO2 emissions via buying carbon credits every year.


How much electricity does an ice rink really consume?

We did the math: an average ice rink of 450 m2 that we build in different cities or amusement parks uses as much in 30 days as 6 families use in a year. During that period the ice rink is used by an average of 15,000 skaters and attracts between 30,000 and 40,000 visitors. Besides providing a festive atmosphere and entertainment, this also has a positive effect on social cohesion and the local economy. Last but not least, it promotes physical exercise and outdoor sports. An ice rink and an ice event have many benefits!

Compare that to the 3.4 kWh of electricity and the 1.0 m3 of natural gas that a visitor to an indoor pool consumes. That means one pool guest consumes as much energy as 8 skaters.

If you put the following 7 energy-saving measures into practice you can save more energy, making skating even more sustainable:

1. Place insulation under the ice rink
This way the ice rink loses less cold at the bottom. Also make sure that the wind cannot blow under the rink platform. Seal the sides of the platform. This creates a layer of cold air that serves as an additional natural insulation of the ice rink.

2. Set the chiller to a higher temperature
At night, it is often colder, and the wind is not as strong. This allows you to set the chiller’s set point a little higher (sometimes even to switch it off). Just remember to return the temperature to the correct set point in the morning!

Always give the chiller enough space for ventilation. “Do not place construction fences or any other material right next to it.

3. Remove the water from the ice rink when it rains
This prevents rainwater from freezing and thickening the ice. Keep the ice surface between 7 and 8 centimeters. If the ice is thicker, the chiller will use more energy.

4. Don’t remove too much ice scraps
Ice scraps can also serve as insulation. Keep the edges of the ice rink clear so that no dam is created that prevents the water from running off the rink. Join our ice master training day and learn all about ice management!

5. Place the ice rink (partially) in a marquee
An ice rink protected from wind, sun, and rain uses far less energy. A marquee also guarantees an open ice rink in all weather conditions.

6. Insulate buffer tank and pipes
Insulating the pipes and buffer tank ensures that as little cold as possible is lost before the glycol enters the ice rink.

7. Use closed barriers
Especially for outdoor rinks, there is an advantage of using closed barriers over wooden barriers as they protect the ice surface better from the wind.


Let’s go for it

With current energy prices, these tips make more money than they cost. In addition, they might help you in discussions about the “high” energy consumption of an ice rink. Let’s go for it!

How does the Ice-World system work?

Ice-World’s mobile ice rinks are built up out of foldable aluminium elements which are 1 metre wide and available in various lengths. They can easily be connected to one another using quick-fit connectors. The design has been patented worldwide.

Operational within 24 hours
Energy Efficient

Components of the ice rink system

Take a closer look at all the different components that ensure that everyone has a great time on the ice!

Components of the ice rink system

The water in an Ice-World ice rink is cooled using an environmentally-friendly refrigerant called mono-propylene glycol (or just ‘glycol’). This refrigerant flows through an open system composed of the following parts:

  • A buffer tank
  • A cooling machine (also known as chiller)
  • A pump
  • Flow and return pipes (we call these begin headers)
  • Aluminium ice rink elements
  • An end pipe (we call this an end header).

An Ice-World ice rink consists of aluminium elements that are connected to one another by means of small flexible rubber hoses. You can build an ice rink of any desired size by connecting multiple elements together. Because the elements can be folded into compact packages, the ice rink can be transported easily and installed quickly.


The refrigerant path

The refrigerant is pumped through the chiller, where the glycol is cooled to -10°C, from the buffer tank. The glycol is then pumped from the chiller to the connected ice rink elements through the flow pipe system.


How we make ice

Because the refrigerant in the pipes is colder than the surrounding water, this system will absorb the warmth of the water. As a result, the temperature of the refrigerant will rise to -6°C during its passage through the ice rink. When the glycol is discharged from the ice rink it will flow into a buffer tank from which it will once again be pumped through the chiller in order to lower its temperature. The cycle then repeats until all the water is frozen.

Weather conditions and the ground temperature may make it necessary to continue cooling the ice rink, even after the ice has formed. In winter, when the outdoor temperature is lower, the cooling system will only use a quarter to a third of its maximum chilling capacity. Depending on the ambient temperature it is sometimes not necessary to operate the chiller at all because the aluminium system conducts cold so well.


The advantages of aluminium

Ice-World ice rink system consists of aluminium elements. This system has several advantages:


1. Energy-efficient

The use of aluminium means, first of all, considerable energy savings. Because aluminium is a good heat conductor, warmth from the water is absorbed more easily and the water is therefore chilled faster. As a result, the ice rink uses up to 40% less energy. This is better for the environment and makes a substantial difference in operating costs.


2. Rain or shine

Exposure to the elements (wind, rain, sun) and the ground’s natural heat will always cause an ice rink to heat up. Thanks to the aluminium system the effect of the ice-chilling system produces faster and better results, making the ice less susceptible to weather conditions. As a result, the ice floor will quickly dry after a shower and the rink can remain open at ambient temperatures up to as high as 30°C.


3. No leakage

A third advantage of aluminium is that there is hardly any risk of leakage. Aluminium does not attract dirt as quickly and is sturdier than plastic, making it less susceptible to wear and damage.


4. Fast installation

Thanks to the smart construction of the Ice-World ice rink elements and the excellent chilling capacity of aluminium, the rink is often ready to be skated on within 24 hours. After all, the more days that the ice rink is open, the more profit it will generate!


Building up an Ice-World ice rink step-by-step

Would you like to know more about how our ice rinks can be made ready to skate on within 24 hours? If so, please read the article: Step by step: building an ice rink in 24 hours.

Anne Gierveld
08 July 2022

An ice-rink for top-class sport

Maintaining an ice rink for top-level sports requires professional skills. Every type of ice sport requires its own quality of ice and maintenance rules and the ideal temperature of the ice varies from sport to sport. Moreover, an indoor ice rink demands other qualities from the ice maker than when the top-class sport is practised outdoors.

During a figure skating competition, for example, the ice must not be too hard because it could easily break when the skater lands after a jump. On the other hand, the ice for a long-distance skating competition must not be too thick because the topmost layer will not be able to retain its temperature. If a curling competition is being held, there cannot be any grooves whatsoever in the ice to ensure that the curling stone will stay perfectly on course. There are many more criteria with regard to the quality of the ice that must be meticulously monitored, of which the most important are set out in this article.



It is important to take the purity of the water into account when creating an ice rink as this has an impact on the hardness of the ice. We can, for example, increase the density of the ice by removing as many chemicals and minerals and as much oxygen as possible. This is particularly important for speed sports. In contrast, sports like ice hockey and figure skating require ice that is not so hard, because it is more prone to breaking on account of the force the athletes put on the ice during a competition.


Thickness and smoothness

The ice of a competition rink must be thick enough to survive the competition, but the layer of ice above the track markings must not be too thick to ensure that the lines remain clearly visible. Otherwise, this could lead to confusion during a competition. Additionally, a layer of ice that is too thick will prevent cold from being optimally transmitted to the top-most layer. Aside from thickness, smoothness is also very important. An ice hockey competition will cause many grooves to be quickly etched into the ice, which can be annoying – or even dangerous – for the players. Smoothness is also very important in curling competitions, because the stone must not be able to make any unexpected movements. An ice resurfacer can create precisely the right thickness for a smooth top layer.


Temperature of the ice

The temperature of the ice must be between -3 °C and -10 °C, depending on the sport:
• Figure skating: – 4.5 °C to -3 °C
• Ice hockey: -5.5 °C to -3 °C
• Short track: -5.5 °C to -3 °C
• Curling: -6 °C to -3 °C
• Long-distance skating: -10 °C to -6 °C

As you can see, there are substantial differences in the ideal ice temperature for each sport. Nevertheless, in some situations a rink will be used for multiple sports. Figure skating and short-track competitions can, for example, be held on the same rink. The rink can be made colder – and therefore harder – immediately after a figure skating competition to prepare it for a short-track skating race.


Ambient temperature

The ambient temperature also has an effect on the quality of the ice. If the competition is held in a stadium, you will need to take the heat and moisture produced by the spectators and fans into account. If it is raining outside the ice hall, the humidity will increase inside the hall on account of the damp clothing worn by the spectators, and this moist air will then precipitate onto the top layer, making it uneven. Proper ventilation and good air drying are of great help to the ice master.

Skating competitions on artificial ice rinks can also take place outdoors. If so, the ice master must be aware of the effects produced by the sun, the wind and precipitation on the ice. The ice master can create the same circumstances for all participants by adjusting the temperature of the ice on the tracks and by controlling the mopping pattern of the ice resurfacers.


Ice-World: the experienced partner in top-class sports ice rinks

Worldwide, Ice-World has implemented more than 50 professional ice rink projects for major and minor sports events. It takes only a few days to render an Ice-World sports ice rink fully operational, whether for a temporary event or at a permanent location. A professional ice hockey facility, a fast short-track skating rink or a certified 400-metre track: Ice-World can install it for you. Considering that the number of ice-skating venues and ice sports centres is rapidly dwindling, this is the solution for successful sports moments on ice.

The biggest advantage of an Ice-World ice rink is that the patented Ice-World ice rink elements are completely surrounded by ice. As a result, the quality of the top layer is much easier to assess, and can therefore be adapted much faster. All other existing systems are installed directly onto the underlying surface, which implies a much slower influence over the topmost layer.
A favourable side effect of this setup is that the Ice-World system is up to 40% more energy-efficient compared to other ice rink systems.


5 reasons to opt for an Ice-World ice rink

  • 40% more efficient than other ice rink systems
  • Unprecedented installation and dismantling times: an ice hockey rink ready within 48 hours
  • High quality of the ice up to 30 °C/86 °F at every type of location
  • Ice quality recognised by official institutions such as the KNSB, the IIHF and the ISU.
  • 24/7 support during the event


13 July 2020

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17 June 2020

1. Obtaining a permit

At Ice-World we do not have a crystal ball to see how the post Covid-19 world will develop in the next few months nor do we know what kind of events will be permitted around the world next winter season.

However, we do know a few things about ice rinks, and we have looked into the research of Covid-19 transmission risks and the likelihood of developing the disease.

The good news is:

  • Covid-19 transmissions in the open air, where people are socially distancing are very unlikely. As widely reported, some research demonstrates this, and we expect more studies further proving this point in the next months. Ice rinks in temporary structures such as marquees or inside buildings should make sure the space is very well ventilated.
  • Seasonal ice rinks are mainly frequented by children, families and young adults, all low risk groups. Nearly all children and young adults suffer no or only mild symptoms of Covid-19.
  • Ice skating is a sport and therefore good for health and ice skating is one of the few sports practiced outdoors in winter. Physical activity helps build up resistance against infections and improves lung capacity. In most countries, individual sport activities, though limited, were allowed, even during lockdown.
  • Ice skating is a non-contact sport.
  • Seasonal ice rinks offer a fun activity and low entry barrier to a healthy lifestyle. The health benefits are larger than the risk of infection.

These factors will play a major role in local and national government’s assessment of whether to allow certain type of activities and events.

In addition to above factors we recommend a few new rules for ice rink events to reduce any risk of transmission even further.

We will keep monitoring the situation in our main markets very closely and update you regularly on the situation.

  • If you have any particular questions in relation to obtaining a permit or encounter challenges with the (local) authorities, please contact us for further support.

2. Financing your ice skating event

Most seasonal ice rinks projects earn money through various sources: selling entry tickets, hiring skates and skating aids, organising special events on and off the ice, selling food and drinks next to the ice rink, offering packages to sponsors and sometimes receiving support in forms of subsidies from local councils or foundations that promote sport or health activities.

In the post Covid-19 world it might be more challenging to refinance the investment in the ice rink project than it has been in recent years. The maximum capacity might need to be reduced, sponsors and councils might be less willing to support the ice rink project. This asks for a more creative and proactive approach to financing.

  • Presell entry tickets via online ticket platforms. This has a number of advantages: Cash flow in advance of the project, easier crowd managing by selling tickets for certain slots, opportunity to offer special deals (group, family, early-bird)
  • Crowdfund the event. A good crowdfunding campaign can create lots of publicity for your event and be the test for the feasibility. If you know that e.g. 5.000 people are supporting your event for €5. Reaching substantial local support will also help you to convince the sponsors and the council (see below).
  • Analyse the event you held in recent years. What worked financially, what did not? Did you ever reach the maximum capacity, or could you go for a smaller rink? Should you go for a bigger rink to ensure you can host the same number of skaters during shifts but shorten the event period by a week or two to save on operating costs? Do you need to increase the space for food and beverage? Diversify the attractions you offer? Attract groups such as schools or older skaters during the quiet weekday times?
  • Look for new sponsors. Depending on your country and local situation there are quite a few companies that profited from the lockdown and might want to give back to the community. Think for example of ecommerce, delivery companies, groceries, medical supply, sport equipment, garden centres. Other sectors such as retail need to do something to attract the customers back. Bigger retailers and shopping malls will invest in publicity.
  • Ask your council. Situation for public finances will not be easy, but councils might still want to support you e.g. in exchange for free skating for schools in the morning. City marketing might want to promote the city centre and its retail, especially now.
  • Look for private or public foundations or companies that promote health and wellbeing or sport activities. These could, for example, be health insurance companies, lotteries, and private foundations with the goal to promote a healthy lifestyle.

Above are a few options to finance your project in new ways. As Ice-World we understand that every project and every local situation is different.

Please contact us for customized advice as well as for details on our special Ice-World Covid-19 insurance that we’ve introduced to minimize your financial risks.

Disclaimer: Above rules are only recommendations by Ice-World. All ice rink operators must check and comply with the local rules and regulations that apply to their event.

  • The Covid-19 measures ask for a more creative and proactive approach to financing.
11 June 2020
01 June 2020

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12 May 2020

How the ‘new normal’ affects our business

In the past few weeks we have worked very hard on innovative business concepts and new opportunities for constructive partnerships. Referring to our business it is crucial to think about questions like: what will the ‘new normal’ be and how does it affect our business? Will there be (more) COVID-19 restrictions and how do we deal with these rules referring to our ice-experiences and winter events? How can we help our partners and clients to get their business up and running again and develop and organize Corona proof winter events in the future? What does it look like? How can we keep our people safe?

Fewer restrictions for children

The good news is that in some European countries kids are allowed to go to school and their sports clubs again. Kids are an important target group for us and we know how it is good for them and their well-being, both mentally and physically, to go outside and have fun! And we will do our upmost best to keep on building our (temporary) ice-rinks where ever possible and help our clients and partners to create an unforgettable ice-experience.

Re-inventing our business

Re-inventing ourselves and our business is necessary in this unpredictable time, but it gives us energy and hope as well. We are convinced that there is future for our events. We trust that, especially this autumn and winter, we can bring people back together again to enjoy an ice-experience and all the fun and laughter skating, curling and sliding can bring.

Stay strong and stay in touch

A shout out for everybody in the event business. Stay strong and let’s join forces to develop and organize events for the future. It is possible. In the following months we will share our latest developments and experiences on building ice-rinks and organizing successful ice-experiences and winter events in a ‘new’ environment.

Keep an eye on our LinkedIn page and keep on following us for the latest news.

Let’s stay in touch to re-invent our business together.

Team Ice-World

Anne Gierveld
01 March 2019

Increase your turnover with a portable ice rink

Every year skating rinks become more popular, and increasingly they are being set up as a crowd-puller for all kinds of events. This isn’t hard to explain: from a study carried out in four different European countries by the NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences into the economic effects of skating rinks in city centres, it appears that having an ice skating rink at a winter event leads to extra money being made across the board.

The growth in popularity also ensures revenue growth for businesses in the surrounding area. The hospitality and catering industry, as well as shops, make a good profit during winter events. Moreover, it appears from the same study that 85% of businesses report seeing a positive impact on turnover after a temporary ice-skating rink is set up.

But what does a skating rink revenue model actually look like? This article describes the major sources of income.


1. Ticket sales

Obviously, more visitors equals more income. Thanks to the reliability of the Ice-World skating rink, the ice floor dries quickly after a rainstorm. On warmer days too, the rink can simply stay open so that visitors keep coming. And don’t forget: for every skater, there is a friend or family member looking on.

The price of a ticket is usually 5 to 10 EUR/USD.


2. Rental of skates and skating aids

Renting skates, and skating aids such as Bobby the Seal® and Tommy the Reindeer®, along with special equipment such as the IceByk® and curling sets, generates additional turnover.


3. Sponsoring

Several local businesses benefit from brand awareness in their vicinity, which is why they are interested in sponsoring ice-skating-related events. Large companies that have families as their target audience are also frequently prepared to contribute, but it is also the case that they may offer their own customers discounts or free tickets to the event as part of a savings campaign. These types of partners are a good way to increase turnover for both the sponsoring partner and the skating rink organiser.


4. Catering and hospitality industry

Whether it’s about visitors who have just come off of the ice or spectators, everyone needs to eat and drink. And for every event, this need also goes into overdrive. After all, no day of skating is ever complete without a tasty snack and a drink.


5. Special events

Special events are an excellent way to attract a wider audience. Among others, this can include: skating clinics, company outings, school outings, children’s parties, disco on ice, performances and tournaments. One way of giving these events extra appeal is to offer deals involving a free snack or drink, for example.


6. Merchandising

Increase your event’s revenue by offering fun gadgets like gloves, cuddly stuffed toys or warm scarves or hats. Your sponsors can also benefit from this type of activity, so be sure to involve them as well.

Would you like to know more about skating rink options for your event, or do you have plans to organise a new winter event? Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss the options!

Ice World
09 October 2018

Building an ice rink

Our pursuit of quality doesn’t automatically come at a cost to efficiency. And one important factor in efficiency is the time it takes to build an ice rink. After all, the faster the ice rink can be built, the more profit it will generate.

Ice-World boasts the very cool ability to build a mobile ice rink within 24 hours. Compared to other mobile ice rinks, 24 hours is extremely short: most require about 3 to 5 days to build.

How do we achieve such a fast build time of 24 hours? We are happy to explain this to you using the step-by-step plan below.


Step 1: Find a good build surface

An Ice-World mobile ice rink can be built right on the surface where the rink is required. There’s just one proviso – the surface must be completely flat. A hard, flat surface, like the asphalt of a car park or the concrete of a tennis court, is ideal.

If the surface is not perfectly level, we will install the ice rink on a wooden floor construction to ensure that the surface is completely flat. There is actually an additional advantage to this wooden floor construction: it has an insulating effect, making the ice rink noticeably more energy-efficient.


Step 2: Make it watertight

To make the surface watertight, plastic foil is rolled out over the entire surface and taped down where necessary. Next, a watertight reservoir is created using aluminium corner profiles. Just twenty hours later, this seven-centimetre deep reservoir will contain an ice rink ready to be skated on right away.


Step 3: Unfold and connect the elements

The water in an artificial ice rink is cooled by means of reverse floor heating. A cooling agent flows through a network of pipes causing the surrounding water to be cooled. These pipes are pre-assembled at our factory into patented ice rink elements one metre wide. They are available in various lengths.

Because these elements are pre-assembled, pressure-tested at 4 bar and checked for possible leaks, all that needs to be done is unfold them, lay them in the right place and connect them up to create a single system.

After the rink has been installed the system is connected to the cooling plant, which consists of a cooling system, a pump and a buffer tank. These components ensure that the cooling agent is cooled and circulated.


Step 4: Install the boards

The perimeter – also called boarding – is installed all around the ice rink and the various parts are connected to one another. The boarding is usually also screwed onto the wooden floor. When the water is frozen in the next steps, these wooden or plastic boarding parts will freeze solidly into the ice.


Step 5: Fill the rink with water

Step five is to fill the rink with water. Before the ice rink is filled with water, the cooling system must be tested. The cooling system is filled with mono-propylene glycol: a biodegradable cooling agent. The glycol is pumped into the ice rink and the cooling machine is switched on.


Step 6: Freeze

Step 6 is to freeze the water. Depending on factors such as wind and temperature, the cooling system will be set to its highest position for the next 12 to 24 hours. The ice will slowly begin to form, starting around the aluminium pipes, until all the water is frozen.

There you have it: this is how an empty square can be transformed into a full-scale ice rink within 24 hours and the ice-skating fun can finally start!

Do you want to know more about the technical aspects of our mobile ice rinks? Read the article: How does the Ice-World system work?.

Interested in renting or buying a mobile ice rink, or do you want to organize an ice event? We have over 25 years of experience in the rental and sale of ice rinks for recreation and sport. Feel free to contact us!