The regional recreation commission has decided to replace the condenser that recently leaked ammonia, injuring a worker. The condenser is part of the refrigeration unit that services both the NDCC arena and the Civic arena.
“I’m glad to report that our staff member who was injured is doing fine now and did not have to take time off work. The arena is still functioning well because we have isolated the leaking coils in the condenser, but this is a temporary fix,” said Marty Benson, recreation manager at the community complex.
Benson says the cause of the ammonia leak may not be discoverable, given the nature of condenser units, but that the failure could be due to environmental contaminants, problem welds, or galvanizing issues with the coils
But Bensen said the unit would have to be replaced regardless of the reason, because such units are not reparable, according refrigeration experts he has consulted. The condenser unit was eleven years old. Typically, condensers can last up to 30 years.
The $120,000 cost of the replacement will be taken from the budget for other upgrades to the refrigeration plant that were planned for the shutdown period, but most of which will now have to be delayed.
“The timing is both a blessing and a curse.” said Benson. “It is fortunate the condenser didn’t fail in the middle of the ice season. And we can do the repairs while we would be shut down anyway. The fact that we had capital budget already allotted that we can use now toward this project is fortunate.”