How did Thialf manage to reduce its energy costs by more than 85%?

In 2015, Thialf reopened after a comprehensive programme of renovation works with both social and economic objectives. The social objective was to play an important role in society as a sports facility which brings people together. The economic objective was to substantially reduce operating costs. Thialf succeeded in reducing its energy bill by 85%!

During Building Holland, Eelco Derks, former director of Thialf, spoke about the renovation programme at Thialf. Eelco Derks was in charge of the renovation programme which was carried out by means of collaboration with a number of parties including Imbema.

How has Thialf reduced its energy consumption?

One of the greatest challenges was its energy bill. How to keep the quality of the ice high and the energy bill low? That bill was no less than €2 million per annum. Eelco explains:

‘We introduced several engineering solutions. For instance, we significantly improved the building’s insulation. We installed an additional physical shell around the ice rink which enhances peoples’ experience by giving them space to walk around, while at the same time it

provides direct insulation. People used to come straight into the ice rink out of the sun or rain which had a huge impact on the ice. We have also taken other insulating measures, such as significantly improving the foundations, purchasing new machines and putting in a cold conductor underneath the concrete.’

‘Another measure that we took involved installing a huge number of solar panels on the roof, more than 5000 in fact. We now have more solar panels than any other sports stadium in the Netherlands.’

Smart metering of energy flows creates plenty of opportunities for making savings

‘Finally, and I would advise every sports facility to do this, we have introduced smart energy metering and spoken to our energy supplier about this. We now have a very clear picture of how much energy we have used, when it was used and what type of energy we have used. All this information is clearly displayed on a dashboard with alarm functions.

‘We were involved in intense negotiations with our energy supplier regarding our energy tariffs. Now, we supply a lot of our own energy thanks to the solar panels that we installed. All in all, this combination of measures has enabled us to reduce our energy bill from € 2 million to € 300,000.’

Top-quality ice

As always, the new Thialf will play an important role in the international skating world over the next few decades. It is now possible to manage the quality of the ice much more effectively than before and keep it in tip-top condition using Zamboni ice resurfacing machines.

Watch the video of the renovations:

Collaboration between Imbema & Thialf

The relationship between Imbema and Thialf goes back a long way. Since 2017, Imbema has also been a partner of the Thialf Innovation Lab. Together we work on innovative solutions and advanced test set-ups. Over the next three years, Thialf, the Thialf Innovation Lab and Imbema will work together on the world’s fastest ice rink.

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• Smart metering of energy flows
• Accelerated ice resurfacing with Zamboni

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