The ice resurfacing machine presently operates on propane, which is a relatively costly fuel. Natural gas is available at the facility.
It is recommended that the ice resurfacer be converted to operate on natural gas, and that a Vehicle Refuelling Appliance (VRA), which is essentially a high pressure gas compressor, be installed just outside the ice resurfacing room.
It is also recommended that the VRA be rented from the gas utility. The rental cost includes all maintenance that is required. Routine maintenance of the VRA is very specialized, and is best performed by a qualified utility employee.
As an added benefit, natural gas burns more cleanly than propane. With fewer byproducts, natural gas combustion is less likely to affect the skaters. Also, with natural gas, there is less risk of arena staff injury because refuelling consists of simply connecting a hose to the vehicle and starting the VRA. With propane, it involves carrying and lifting heavy tanks.
Issues and Concerns
The two principal manufacturers of ice resurfacing machines are Zamboni and Olympia.
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