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Case Studies: Albert Lea City Ice Arena

Facility: City Arena – Albert Lea, Minnesota

  • 85’-200’ ice sheet
  • 3,000-square-foot rink perimeter with spectator seating
  • 4,000-square-foot locker rooms
  • 200 square feet of shop
  • 1,300 square feet of hallways
  • Zamboni snow pit

Geothermal heat pump system:

  • 120-ton system with six IceKube units.
  • Computerized controls with staging of pumps in groups of two with unit and ice temperature requirements.

Geothermal loop system:

  • Horizontal slinky loops installed eight feet deep
  • 10 three-horsepower loop pumps

Annual cost savings:

Use of geothermal, foil ceiling and waste heat displacing natural gas reduced the first-year energy bill for the total complex by $2,141.

At a glance:

  • Foil ceilings used in new and existing rinks.
  • Installation uses a cold buffer layer of pipes 12” on center, 14” below the ice. Ten inches below buffer layer, and surrounding perimeter, is 2.5” of rigid insulation.
  • Buffer allows for faster freezing at surface, cold storage for peak demand reduction or power outages, and reserve chilling for dehumidification.


“Takes up less space, runs quieter and gives dry, heated locker rooms and halls – plus warm seats in old competition rink.”


Energy Efficient Engineering Group – Winnipeg, Manitoba

General contractor:

Larson Contracting – Lake Mills, Iowa