Science Club
  1. Does Black Bark Mulch Help Keep Moisture in the Soil?
  2. How Much Water does a Fountain Use?
  3. Find your Body Surface Area
  4. How Fast do French Fries Cool Down?
  5. My Year of Coincidences
  6. Which Firework is the Loudest?
  7. Cost to store a VHS tape in a NYC apartment?
  8. Guess Your Blood Alcohol Level Booth
  9. Find the Loudest Restaurant in Sacramento
  10. How Much do Clothes Weigh?
  11. Trying to Make Clear Ice
  12. Searching the Indian Ocean for a Plane Crash
  13. Electronic Cigarettes - The Fog Machine for Your Face
  14. Scott Leased an Electric Ford Focus
  15. Testing the Effectiveness of a Beer Cozy
  16. Eggshells vs. Taco Shells
  17. How Ice Rinks are Made
  18. Shaken vs. Stirred
  19. Real Appliance Energy Use Tests
  20. Christmas Lights Power Cost
  21. The Best Cold Drink Cup
  22. LED vs. Regular Bulbs & CFLs
  23. Coldest drink in town?
  24. Using Salt to Cool Down Beer
  25. Coors Light Cold Indicator
  26. The Fastest Way to Cool Down Beer
  27. Hairdryer vs. Bowl of Water
  28. Bathroom During a Movie?
  29. Video Projector on a Disco Ball
  30. Cool Trunk
  31. The weight of popcorn
  32. Sunchips bag decomposition
  33. Disscating a cockroach
  34. Sensefly Drone Camera
  35. Entrance Locked
  36. End Rubbernecking
  37. Eyeclops Night Vision
  38. Miracle Fruit Taste Test
  39. Hot Air Bubbles
  40. Helium Bubbles
  41. Neighborhood Speed Trap
  42. Pizza Race
  43. Eyeclops - Bionic Magnifier
  44. Breathalyzer Testing
  45. Fishing Line Fiberoptics
  46. The Value of CFL Bulbs
  47. Barry Marshall Fan Page
  48. Bottling the Keg Leftovers
  49. Spinning Rim Centrifuge
  50. Backwash Experiments
  51. sidewalk chalk
  52. Red Hot Vioxx Action!
  53. Balloon Delivery
  54. Tanning
  55. Making a Candle Out of Lipstick
  56. Evaporation
  57. The lift of a Helium Balloon
  58. Lard Candle
  59. The Properties of Heat Transfer
  60. Insulation Testing
  61. Eating Out
  62. Eating In
  63. Tattoo Removal
  64. Drying Laundry
  65. Viscosity Testing
  66. Magazine Advertising
  67. Collecting Data
  68. Dropping Toast
  69. Refilling an Ink Cartridge
  70. Tampons
  71. Light Bulbs

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How Ice Rinks are Made

Back in November, I caught Brian from Studio 33 setting up the outdoor ice skating rink in Folsom.

His crew was painstakingly inspecting a series of tubes moments before they began filling it up with liquid refrigerant. They are on their knees on the right hand side of this photo.

Here comes the red propylene glycol.

I asked him some questions about the engineering involved. I didn't realize that the rink was a rare configuration, a circle. Typically skating rinks are long ovals, allowing some dead space, center ice, for experienced skaters to try their leaps and spins. The circle meant that he'd had to re-configure the typical plumbing layout used on outdoor, artificial ice rinks.

These white spacers kept the tubes apart and kept them from resting on the surface plastic.

The ice was to be kept frozen with very cold liquid flowing inside the tubes. There was 40,000 ft of tubing in the rink, filled with 1,620 gallons of water mixed with propylene glycol to a 35% solution. These were the numbers off of the top of his head, but 5 ounces per foot of tube sounds about right to me.

The rink space had been prepared with ducting which ran under the ring of the rink.

One of these 8" tubes was the path from the truck, one was the path back to the truck.

The ice rink is supported by two large motors mounted on trucks. One is the pump, and one is the freezer. The pump pushes the coolant around the tubing at about 70 gallons per minute. That means that the entire volume of coolant can be recirculated every 23 minutes. The cooler is set to keep the fluid between 14°F and 22°F.

One of the engines is a 275 amp, three phase motor. I think this figure was for the compressor for the freezer, but it might be the pump.

Soon afterwards, the cooler was running, and the surface of the orange tubes started to collect condensation and freeze it. I snapped these photos days afterwards, so I don't know how long it took for them to freeze up.

The ice rink in operation, on a Monday afternoon.

Here is a side view from outside the rink. The ice looked about five inches thick, but some of that is probably a layer of styrofoam insulation. The ice has to be thick enough to support a small Zamboni, one of those ice-smoothing tractors.

It was a fairly simple concept, in a grand scale. It worked well! The Folsom Historic District Ice Rink is $10 for adults, $8 for kids. Open until January 23, 2013.

The Quest for a solid ice beer tray   Heat Transfer Experiments   Eyeclops Digital Magnifier   Trying to make hot air bubbles   Eyeclops Night Vision goggles   How to Eliminate Rubbernecking   My Homemade Speed Trap 
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