16 pages
Word Count
4942 words
McMaster University
Course Code

Electric Ice Resurfacing

April 21, 2020
Electric Ice Resurfacing Machine
Report Prepared by McMaster University
W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology
Energy and Public Policy
Prepared for: Jack, City of Hamilton
Prepared by: Nadeen Shehaiber, Suad
Abukamla, Tanmay Koche
Professor: Dr. Zobia Jawed
1. Introduction:
In 2019, the City of Hamilton declared a climate change emergency and set a goal to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030. The public works department is exploring various
initiatives within the portfolio to contribute to the savings and reach the goal. McMaster
University in collaboration with the City of Hamilton has undertaken research and presents the
following data to help educate a decision for future purchases of ice resurfacing machines.
2. Purpose:
The purpose of the following briefing (analysis) is to provide the City of Hamilton Public Works
department with the background required to determine whether it would be feasible to purchase
electric ice resurfacing machines instead of the current compressed natural gas inventory. The
report will consider costs (Capital and maintenance costs), maintenance, performance and
environmental factors in terms of emissions as identified under the key considerations section
below. The intent is to provide a recommendation noting the City of Hamilton priority being
reduction of greenhouse gases.
3. Current Situation:
The City of Hamilton has a current inventory of twenty-seven ice resurfacing machines, all
compressed natural gas with the exception of one fuel. More than half (18 units) the existing
inventory approaching end of life (exceeding 10 years). All existing models are Zamboni brand
(Model 400 series). The existing inventory services twenty four facilities across Hamilton. Five
(5) new compressed natural gas Zamboni units were purchased by the City in 2018 replacing
existing aged inventory. The City has planned for the replacement of five (5) existing ice
resurfacing machines for 2020.
2020 replacements identified as follows:
Machine #
Brand/Model/ Description
Purchase cost/ CAD$
Zamboni 445 CNG
Zamboni 445 CNG
Zamboni 445 CNG
Zamboni 445 CNG
Zamboni 445 CNG
The City of Hamilton is not alone in setting ambitious targets and
implementation actions to lower emissions from its fleets.
Many cities cross- the country have also adapted greening
polices’ and procedures for their fleets.
Many which focus on greater electric vehicle deployment.
Ice resurfacing machines are part of the fleet cities focus on replacing
the current powered by propane or CNG to electric.
City of Toronto, ON adapted electric ice resurfacing machines in 2008.
City of Ottawa, ON in 2011, Hilton Hill, ON in 2010, City of Surry,
City of Chestermere, AB. City of North Cowichan, BC . Town of
Kensington, PEI. Edmonton, AB. Laval, Quebec Montreal, Quebec.
Early this year, the City of Mississauga in Ontario purchased
22 electric machines over 10 years period and the City of Burlington, ON
has ordered 10 units over 7 years period. This year, The Town of Milton,
ON received fund from the Federation Canadian Municipalities (FCM) to
replace natural gas ice resurfacers with electric one. More and more
municipalitis are moving toward electric ice resurfacing machines.
4. Key Considerations:
To make an-informed decisions, a comparative is presented of an electric versus a natural gas powered
ice resurfacing machine focusing on key considerations which includes cost, maintenance, performance
and environmental factors.
4.1. Costs: A driving factor for feasibility would be cost, both capital and maintenance and operational
Relating to Capital costs, an electric ice resurfacing machine is approximately
40-50% higher than the cost of a natural gas unit; an electric ice resurfacing machine is quoted at
approximately $156,000 from Olympia (Elmira, Ontario) versus $90,000 for natural gas. The costs
will vary depending on size and model and brand. The following table is an analysis of costs based on
two (2) local Ontario based suppliers: Zamboni, Brantford and Olympia, Elmira).
In July of 1983, The Zamboni Company
shipped Zamboni Machine No. 3065, a
Model 550 electric resurfacer to the West
Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta,
Canada. This machine was the first electric
Zamboni ice resurfacer delivered to a
Canadian customer and had a very unique
environment. The machine spent its days
resurfacing the ice sheet enclosed within
the mall, where skaters could take to the
ice underneath a spectacular skylight. No.
3065 would go on to resurface for the next
23 years, finally reaching retirement and
being replaced by a 2007 Zamboni Model
552 electric resurfacer and in operation
until now
*It should be noted that for batteries purchased from alternate sources (i.e. not directly
from manufacturer), the costs are approximately $28,000 +HST.
* Machines Specifications are attached as appendices
~ $96,000+
2018 Millennium H
Series NG
~ $ 90,000+HST
2018 Olympia Ice
bear up to 660
amp hours
~ $ 165,000+HST
The electric
prices above
are Included
the charging
Price above not
included the
charging station, the
city to consult with
external company to
install the charging
~ $ 4,000
The maintenance costs of units will vary and increase with age. Based on existing
City of Hamilton records, annual maintenance will range from $2-3k for new units
and $15-18k for units exceeding 10 years (in exception for the propane unit which
is $28k annually). Comparatively, the electric units are estimated at $1k
maintenance costs annually plus the cost of replacement batteries at approximately
8 years.
Operating Cost
Operating costs generally include those costs that are incurred as a direct result of
the machine being used. Ice resurfacer machines operating cost will vary from
arena to another depends on the rink size, operating time and number of floods per
The following standard data from Zamboni’s company will help the city in
estimating the operation costs / each machine
Average standard travel time (TT)
0.9 km/ resurfacing
Average number of resurfacing / day (N)
9.7 time/ day
Time in operation/ day (Resurfacing) (R)
15 min /resurfacing
Approx. time travel/ day (N*R)
(9.7*15)= 145.5 minutes / day
Approx. Km travel/ day (TT*N)
(0.9*9.7)= 8.7 Km/day
Average annual operating hours
700 hours/ year
The daily energy consumption/ machine
Total km travel/ day * $/kWh or $NG m³/kWh
The City to take into consideration the travel time from / to the garage or/ and the charging
Chestermere Regional Community Association (CRCA), city of Chestermere in Alberta
Converting from propane to Electric ice resurfacing machine (Olympia Ice bear) saved the city $
7000 in total annual operation and maintenance costs
The CRCA rink does between 20-25 floods/ day on a weekend. The cost per flood with propane
unit is
$2.50 ( $62.5/ day ) while the electric Olympia ice bear will cost $0.18/ flood ($4.5/day)
Source: Presentation from Chestermere Regional Recreation Centre Ice Resurfacing Equipment Purchase
Hi-Tech Auto Care Co. (located in London, ON and specialized in alternative fuel
conversion facility ) data shows that converting from propane to CNG saves 40-
70%/ km in fuel cost, while converting from CNG to electric saves from 75%- 90%
in energy cost
The following table shows the annual general operation costs based on the type of
power and energy:
Data based on the general saving percentage and city of Chestermere, AB total
saving from propane to electric
The accurate maintenance and operation costs calculation requires consideration the
following issues:
The machine parts repair and replacement cost during the warranty time and
after. (i.e. Zamboni offers two (2) years warranty on parts
Take into consideration the charging stations and the natural gas compressor
maintenance cost
Building ventilation is required when resurfacing by CNG, So the energy
consumption from the heat loss in winter and Cooling loss in summer should
be consider
Although not directly quantifiable, an important item to note with respect to
maintenance is that electric units weigh more than natural gas units, which
means that mechanics have to report to the site to conduct maintenance as
they are heavier to float back and forth to a garage. Costs associated with
availability of resources and travel to be considered depending on arena
location in proximity to mechanics and repair garages.
Site costs pertaining to modifications required for charging stations are negligible
and dependent on site conditions and therefore have been omitted from the
comparison of this report. It is recommended that prior to purchase of electric units,
City of Hamilton review existing site conditions to assess feasibility for charging
stations that come with the battery and learn and from other jurisdiction
4.2. Maintenance
The maintenance costs for electric machines as noted above is a fraction of the
cost of compressed natural gas. In consultation with other municipalities, older
The City of Edmonton purchased a Zamboni 552 Electric for one of their indoor double rinks. In
the beginning the operators experienced some difficulty with the charging system. The power
had been wired into the same system that ran our compressors and computerized lighting
systems. The power feed to the charger must be very pure, free from surges and brown outs to
operate effectively.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to view full document

View Document