Behind this record-breaking ice rink for the Winter Olympics is China’s ice-making technology

2022-06-12 0 By

Science and Technology Daily reporter Liu Yuanyuan “Short track speed skating ended, a total of 9 events, 7 events broke the Olympic record, 1 event broke the world record…”At 10:30 p.m. on February 16, Liu Kai, chief engineer of the ice maker of the National Key Research and Development Program for the Winter Olympics special “Ice Maker RESEARCH and Development and Application Demonstration” project, sent wechat to the reporter of Science and Technology Daily.During the Beijing Winter Olympics, the Capital Gymnasium will host two events, figure skating and short track speed skating.Liu Kai on duty in the ice machine room, always paying attention to the ice rink “record-breaking” news.In his view, the records being broken on the rink are also a testament to China’s “ice-making” technology.”To break a record, you need the right time, the right place and the right people.”Liu Kai speaks proudly with a strong Chongqing accent.Some members of the “Ice Machine research and Development and Application Demonstration” project of the Scientific and technological Winter Olympics pose for a group photo on the ice rink of Capital Gymnasium.”The ice rink of the Winter Olympics, the ice making process is not like what ordinary people imagine, directly pouring water on it.”Liu Kai said with a smile.He explained that there are many steps to make ice: first pour the bottom ice, then spray the ice paint, then cover the ice paint, then draw the line, and spray the LOGO.Generally, only 0.5 mm of ice can be poured out with a layer of water.In this way, layer by layer, pouring a piece of ice rink.Project team members measure the temperature of the ice surface.Different events, the rink also has different requirements.Figure skating generally requires an ice temperature of -3.5 degrees Celsius, so that the ice is soft and the impact of falling ice is not too great after three or four weeks of spinning in the air.Short track speed skating generally requires the ice temperature of -6.7 degrees to -7 degrees, the ice is relatively hard.Too soft, not conducive to ice knife grasp;It’s too hard and the ice is brittle.The ice dispenser gives instructions from the rink, while the ice system is the “magic” behind the scenes to meet the strict requirements.”A good ice surface can help athletes achieve better results. Besides the skill of the ice maker, the uniformity of temperature difference and hardness of the ice surface determined by the ice making system is the key foundation.”This is the summary of Professor Tian Hua from the School of Mechanical Engineering of Tianjin University, who is in charge of the “Ice machine research and development and application Demonstration” project.It can be said that the ice machine is the key to the construction of artificial ice rink.The ice-making system for this Winter Olympics has been described by the media as the “greenest” in the history of the Games.”From the perspective of previous Winter Olympics ice rink ice machines, they mainly use synthetic refrigerant technology such as freon or ammonia refrigeration technology, the former has serious greenhouse effect problem, and the latter has hidden safety risks.”Tian said.”Carbon dioxide transcritical direct cooling ice making technology”, which uses carbon dioxide as refrigerant, is considered as a green, low-carbon, efficient and energy saving solution, but its technology has been in the hands of European and American enterprises.In order to help the Green winter Olympics and the high-tech Winter Olympics, eight companies, including Ouyue Ice & Snow Investment Management (Beijing) Co., LTD and Tianjin University, jointly developed, designed and built the co2 transcritical direct cooling ice machine group with independent intellectual property rights through industry-university-research cooperation, which was demonstrated and applied in the ice rink of The Capital Gymnasium.Carbon dioxide transcritical direct cooling ice machine group with independent intellectual property rights.Tian told Science and Technology Daily that the system is designed to save energy through compression, cooling, throttling and evaporation.For example, two-stage compression is used to make the source energy consumption to achieve “twice the result with half the effort”, and full sensible heat recovery is used to recover the cooling heat.”The ice machine from the key components to the integration of the whole machine, are to achieve domestic design, processing, assembly and operation, especially the water-cooled air cooler is the first application in the world, effectively solve the first cooling loop long engineering problem, the system comprehensive energy saving scheme of more than 50%.”Tian said.During the Winter Olympics, Yuzuru Hanyu, a Japanese figure skater, praised: “I can skate very easily here and jump very high. I love the ice in this stadium.”This can’t be done without the help of the “Made in China” ice machine.Project members in the carbon dioxide transcritical direct cooling ice system room.”Our ice-making system can better control the temperature difference of the ice surface.”Liu kai told Science and Technology Daily that the system can be realized on the ice rink of 1,800 square meters, the actual temperature difference is only 0.3 degrees, the best time up to 0.1 degrees, the ice temperature is very uniform.Liu kai said that previous Winter Olympics rinks did not have such detailed control over the temperature of the ice, but this time in Beijing, the ice system can provide exactly what kind of temperature the ice irrigators need.”A French ice spater tried our machine and thought it was amazing.”Liu Kai said with a smile.Carbon dioxide barrel pump unit in ice making system.It is worth mentioning that the ice rink of the Capital Stadium will need to make 30 changes to meet the different needs of figure skating and short track speed skating during the whole Winter Olympics due to the hosting of two events, sometimes only three hours in between.But that doesn’t faze the ice system behind it.”The team took full advantage of the uniform temperature of carbon dioxide ice, combined with precise control system and linear cooling strategy to achieve a rapid and efficient ice conversion within two hours, far less than the ioc’s three-hour ice conversion requirement.”Tian said.Source: Science and Technology Daily Article photos provided by interviewees editor: Liu Yiyang Review: Zhu Li final review: He Yi