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ComStar Introduces Easy Conversions from R22 to RS-45 Refrigerants for Liquid Overfeed Ice Rink Systems

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ComStar International Inc., the world’s most comprehensive manufacturer of environmentally safe, industrial strength chemical products, announces a turnkey system for ice rink managers to comply with the government-mandated phase-out of R22 refrigerant.

Since the United States Environmental Protection Agency declared that new production and import of most R22 will cease by 2020, conventional refrigerant costs have risen and also left ice rink managers facing depleted supplies.

ComStar, a 47-year-old U.S. company, manufactures the only R22 replacement refrigerant for use in flooded, R22 liquid overfeed ice rink systems without changing components or oil. ComStar’s RS-45 (R434a) refrigerant is a true drop-in replacement for R22 and blends with any remaining R22, with low glide for high performance applications.

“We’re proud to offer an affordable solution to ice rink managers who are stuck in a tough situation. Our RS-45 refrigerant has all the qualities to make the conversion seamless,” said Steve Mella, CEO of ComStar.

A recent ice rink project in Michigan showed how easy the transition can be. Brownstown Sports Center is a 40-year-old sports complex with two full size ice sheets. The rink had a direct liquid overfeed refrigeration system with approximately 11,000 lbs of R22 refrigerant operating with mineral oil. 

Ron Zimmers, VP of Operations, said, “I did a fair amount of research and concluded the easiest and least expensive fix was to change out the R22 to ComStar’s RS-45 (R434a) drop-in replacement refrigerant. I breathed a sigh of relief knowing I wouldn’t be caught without any R22 options down the road.”

ComStar supplied the new RS-45 along with empty cylinders for the R22 that was removed from the system and subsequently purchased by ComStar. Serv-Ice Refrigeration of Northville, Michigan evacuated the R22 and recharged the system with RS- 45 for the two rinks over a four-day period in August. The cost of the RS-45 was offset by the R22 buyback, resulting in a small net cost to Brownstown. There was no maintenance performed on the system before or during the replacement of refrigerant. 

Zimmers monitored the sequence of events and said,  “We charged the first ice sheet system with approximately 5,000 pounds of RS-45 and the ice was good to go the next morning. The results were much better than I imagined.”

Remarkably, the second ice sheet conversion began with no ice, just concrete. After observing the performance of the first sheet for two days, the crew charged the second rink with RS-45 in the afternoon and flooded the rink with water during the night. The next morning the ice was solid, ready to be painted and then re-flooded. Hockey players were skating on it the next day — an amazing 36-hour turn around. 

“I’ve never seen ice freeze that fast. The system actually runs a lot more efficient and smoother now,” Zimmers said.

Mella added, “The Brownstown conversion to RS-45 proves, without a doubt, that a sheet of ice can be changed out and operating in 24 hours or less. We’re excited to make this happen for rinks all around the country.”

Media Contacts:

person_outline  Full Name:Media Contact
phone  Phone Number:1-800-328-0142 ext. 20.
business_center  Company:ComStar International, Inc.
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