HOW WE DO IT
A dedicated, knowledgeable team of staff and volunteers ensure the complex operation of managing the Ice rink runs smoothly. Murrayfield ice rink has an excellent reputation for producing "Good Quality Ice" but how do we actually achieve this? The main reasons are experience, planning ahead and implementing a good ice programme which meets the needs for a variety of ice activities.
The law of physics upon which all ice rinks depend is that when a gas expands it drops in temperature much like when you put deodorant on in the morning (ever noticed how cold it can get). Using this principle to actually make ice upon which people can skate involves using a whole variety of differing gases, fluids, pumps, fans, pipes, compressors and heat exchangers which is often simplified down to one word, the "Plant". That's the easy bit, because the hard bit is actually operating the "Plant" efficiently and correctly to get the right type of ice surface at the right time for any particular skating activity.
At Murrayfield the ice pad is used for figure skating, ice hockey and public skating all of which require different ice conditions. For instance the ice for a hockey match would not be acceptable for figure skating and would not appropriate for public skating sessions. Only 1 degree of difference in indoor temperature can alter the quality of the ice and there is a considerable time lag between the Plant starting, achieving freezing mode and actually having an effect on the skating surface. Rink Management need to plan at least a day ahead to create the right type of ice taking into account the weather forecast, humidity, expected inside and outdoor temperature and the anticipated number of skaters and spectators. The Plant and ice surface conditions are both constantly monitored and recorded to keep in touch with changing conditions. The golden rule is plan for tomorrow today in order to get it right because you can't play catch up.
ICE MAINTENANCE PROGRAMME
The plant compresses the refrigerant gas into a liquid, it then expands and cools through a heat exchanger known as a chiller to lower the temperature of the brine which is then pumped through the pipes which in turn freezes the water above the concrete floor. There is a series of 2 inch bore plastic pipes containing brine, laid in 4 inches of concrete, running underneath the ice pad fed by steel header pipes located under the rubber matting at the south end of the rink. There are 274 pipes approximately 202 feet long resulting in a total length of 55,400 feet, which is over 10 miles of plastic pipes!
An Ice maintenance programme has been developed at Murrayfield to provide and maintain the best possible ice quality. When water is applied to an artificial surface it freezes from the bottom up therefore the greater the thickness of the ice the greater the insulation will be. Ice thickness therefore has a significant bearing on the ability of the plant to freeze the ice surface resulting in higher running costs.
ICE RESURFACING MACHINES
Murrayfield have two ice resurfacing machines supplied by Marshall's International LTD. Murrayfield were the first rink in the UK to purchase the new Olympia Millenium model which is considered to be the best hydrostatic powered resurfacer in the world. Advertising space is now available for both machines for your business at competitive prices. As the Rink is open for business 363 days of the year and the machines are used throughout the day to clean the ice in between ice hockey games and other on ice activities including public skating sessions, figure skating, competitions, events, educational visits, skating school and Murrayfield Skating Club this will give your company maximum exposure to a wide demographic of people annually. Murrayfield welcomes skaters from all over the World who visit as students or tourists, particularly during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and pop in to sample some Scottish skating. All eyes are on the resurfacer during ice cuts and your company could be too.
All skates need to be booked in via the BOX OFFICE. The skate sharpening service price is £5. Please allow 48 hrs before collection.
Other changes which may be more visible to customers are the ladies toilets upgrade, revamp of the foyer area, cafe picture montage made up from thousands of historic photographs, Academy training harness, Racers merchandising kiosk and the disabled viewing platform.
The rink owners are determined to keep an Ice Rink available to the people of Edinburgh and while it may not be apparent to most of our visitors a substantial amount of investment has been made over the last 10 years to ‘future proof’ the facility. This has seen a new ice plant which meets modern standards of efficiency and gas regulations, a de-humidifier to reduce the amount of moisture in the building which achieves a better quality of ice, a complete roof overlay, an internal 'low e' foil ceiling installed to improve efficiency and reduce electricity usage, led lights, Ice re-surfacer, ice hockey scoreboard and a new more efficient boiler system.