World expo 2010

The resplendent new Shanghai Expo Performance Centre integrates people, city and culture, giving visitors an experience of urban life at its future best. The 126,000-square-metre building features many environmentally friendly solutions, including one used in the centre’s ice-skating rinks.

DATE 2023-11-28

A gem among the cutting-edge construction for the World Expo 2010 Shanghai, China, is the spectacular new Expo Performance Centre. The building, which looks like a flying saucer, has been in the spotlight since construction began in December 2007. To match Expo 2010’s theme, “Better City, Better Life”, the centre is expected to become a multi-functional facility for cultural and entertainment activities and a new landmark for the city.

The performance centre is one of five permanent buildings built for the six-month Expo, which begins on 1 May 2010. The four others are the China Pavilion, the Theme Pavilion, the Expo Centre and Expo Boulevard. The performance centre will host many of the 20,000 performances during the Expo.

Situated on the eastern bank of the Huangpu River, the new centre has 126,000 square metres of floor space, with two storeys below ground and four above. The underground space includes a commercial area, a parking lot, a public ice-skating rink and supporting facilities. The main auditorium is above ground. With a central stage, the
auditorium will become China’s largest performance arena. It can accommodate 4,000, 8,000, 12,000 or 18,000
people, depending on the requirements of the performance and the anticipated audience size. There will also be venues
for different forms of entertainment, such as a theatre, bars, clubs and restaurants.

The roof of the centre is dotted with lights to create the effect of a starry night, and the exterior walls of the centre are equipped with huge screens to broadcast outside the performances being held inside.

As an echo to the Expo 2010’s theme, the performance centre also embodies the harmony between humans and nature, showcasing its environmental protection mindset. It will feature a rain-collection system that will gather water
suitable for activities such as cleaning and watering plants. Water from the Huangpu River will be used in the air-conditioning system within the centre.

Expo Performance Centre designer Wang Xiao’an, a chief architect with the Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Design Group, explained his concept to the Oriental Morning Post: “The centre is designed to merge culture with high-tech, the present with the future, and China with the world.”

For the long-term operation of the centre after Expo 2010 ends, the central stage can be transformed into an ice arena for ice hockey matches and ice-skating performances or into a standard NBA basketball court. Some 250 performances and/or sport events are expected to be held in the centre each year following the Expo.

The two ice-skating venues – the public and the performance rinks – are especially attractive as Shanghai, a southern city, has no ice hockey arena.

CTC Industries (Beijing) Ltd won the job of building the two rinks. The company is a partner and the exclusive distributor of CIMCO Refrigeration, a company based in North America that specializes in the engineering, design, manufacture, installation and service of industrial, process cooling and recreational refrigeration systems.

With almost a century of experience, CIMCO Refrigeration has built more than 5,000 ice-skating rinks around the world. It partnered with CTC in a bid to introduce its leading energy-saving technology to China.

“We pay a lot of attention to the environment and continue to seek to reduce energy consumption in all our projects,” says Clifford Dang, engineering manager at CTC Industries (Beijing) Ltd.

“We introduced CIMCO’s Eco Chill system to reclaim the heat produced in the refrigeration process that has been used in the two skating rinks in the centre,” he says. “This is the first time that we are using this kind of system in China.” The recovered heat is used to provide heating for the building.

An Alfa Laval plate exchanger used in the Eco Chill system plays a vital role in capturing and transferring the heat from the refrigeration system to the cooling and heating system within the centre. According to Dang, the system has won great acclaim in North America by helping to reuse and retrieve heat, making considerable contributions to conserving energy. In the past, such heat was released from the refrigeration system into the surroundings and wasted.

Construction on the two rinks started in July 2009 and was completed in December 2009. “The project was not at all difficult for us, as we have plenty of experience building similar rinks around the world,” says Dang.

Due to the long-term – about 15 years – cooperation between CIMCO and Alfa Laval in North America, CTC has also chosen to partner with Alfa Laval since the company was formed in 2003. “What is most important is that Alfa Laval’s plate heat exchangers are reliable and almost maintenance-free,” says Dang.

A total of seven Alfa Laval plate heat exchangers are used in the Expo Performance Centre.

“The plate heat exchangers fully comply with our requirements for low-energy consumption,” Dang says. “Indeed, when energy recovery is considered, our whole system consumes up to 50 percent less energy than that of some other competitors in China. For a typical ice rink, this can mean an annual saving of 73,000 [US] dollars. The Expo organizers think highly of this aspect.”

Feeling the chill

Expo 2010 Shanghai’s Performance Centre has been designed as an environmentally friendly building and will use water from the Huangpu River to form a special air-conditioning system within the centre.

CTC’s Eco Chill system is also connected to the air-conditioning system. A gasket plate heat exchanger from Alfa Laval is used to capture the recovered heat and the excess heat from the refrigeration process and transfer it to the air-conditioning system.

“Three AlfaNova plate heat exchangers in the refrigeration system are used as condensers to cool the refrigerant from compressors, and the semi-welded units act as evaporators to cool down the freezing protected water (brine), which will be sent back to compressors to start a new round of refrigeration,” says Yuan Ling, sales manager of Comfort and Refrigeration Equipment from Alfa Laval. “In the application of the two rinks, refrigerant and the material facilitating cooling are in a totally enclosed circuit,” he says.

The AlfaNova is a 100 percent stainless steel plate heat exchanger and is a unique product from Alfa Laval. Compared with traditional brazed plate heat exchangers, it has excellent sealing performance and can better prevent the leaking ofrefrigerant. Moreover, it can withstand extremely low temperatures and is much more compact and corrosionresistant.

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