Credit Union Place has a new Zamboni that runs completely on electricity. Staff spent Tuesday brushing up on their skills and learning about the new piece of equipment. Colin MacLean/Journal Pioneer
SUMMERSIDE – Tuesday was a momentous occasion in ice-making history on P.E.I. - Credit Union Place received its new, electric powered, Zamboni.
The machine is believed to be the first of its kind to be put into service on the Island.
“It’s state-of-the-art. These machines are known to make really really good ice and with the new technology in batteries now they’re very functional for arenas now,” said Maurice Gallant, facilities supervisor at Credit Union Place.
The new machine will take over most ice resurfacing duties at the CUP from now on, though they are keeping the newer of their two Olympia ice machines in reserve for busy tournaments or emergencies.
The battery banks in the new machine can handle more than 50 floods a day depending on the ice conditions.
It’s also much quieter than traditional gas powered ice resurfacers and produces no exhaust.
According to Gallant, electric Zamboni’s have been around for about 10 years and have been gaining popularity ever since; most NHL rinks would use one form of electric ice machine or another.
Gallant said CUP staff was training on the new machine Tuesday. They found the biggest difference wasn’t so much the new engine than it was switching from an Olympia model to a Zamboni.
The new Zamboni cost the City of Summerside $140,030; it is replacing a 1991 Olympia, which was perpetually breaking down and in need of repair.