US 3641782 A
An improved ice skating rink utilizing a refrigerated gas as a means for freezing and keeping frozen a surface which may be utilized for ice skating. The refrigerated gas is supplied to a plenum which is disposed beneath the skating surface.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
I United States Patent [151 3,641,782
Timms Feb. 15, 1972  ICE SKATING RINK 2,411,919 12/1946 Zamboni. .....62/235 3,108,454 10/1963 Rasken .....62/235  Inventor. Rayford W. Tunms, St. Louis, Mo. 3,119,239 1/l964 Sylvan 62/93 Air Film Company Inc 1 Pradel FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS m] June 2,239 6/1875 Great Britain ..62/235 [211 App]. No.: 41,862
Primary Examiner-William J. Wye Attomey--Charles G. Lamb and Ralph B. Brick  U.S. Cl ..62l177, 62/66, 62/235  Int. Cl ..F25d 17/00 57 S CT  Field of Search ..62/66, 235,139,177 U An improved ice skating nnk utilizing a refrigerated gas as a 6 R f Ted means for freezing and keeping frozen a surface which may be [5 1 E New utilized for ice skating. The refrigerated gas is supplied to a TE ES TENTS plenum which is disposed beneath the skating surface.
2,217,083 10/1940 Vetter ..62/235 9 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEDFEB 15 1972 SHEET 2 [1? 2 INVENTOR. PA YFOAO W. TIMMS Arro/e/vEY/ M ICE SKATING RINK BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Ice skating rinks, as known in the art, generally consist of a storage tank for water which is disposed in heat exchange relation with a refrigerating medium. The refrigerating medium is disposed beneath the storage tank and utilizes a liquid, such as ammonia and/or brine, as a refrigerating fluid.
One accepted method for fabricating ice skating rinks is to spread waterproof paper over a surface upon which a rink is to be installed, lay wood straps on the paper wherein said wood straps are to support piping for a refrigerating fluid, lay pipes for circulating the refrigerating fluid on the wood straps and connect the pipes to headers for supply and return of the refrigerating fluid to a refrigeration system. The piping is then covered with a layer of sawdust followed by a layer of sand. The sand, being the top layer, is added until the pipes are just visible. A storage tank for water is then constructed above and in contact with the aforementioned piping arrangement, The refrigerating system for refrigerating and supplying fluid, ammonia and/or brine, to the hereinbefore described piping arrangement is connected to the headers and water is then added to the storage tank.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In the present invention, it is recognized that it is desirable to provide an ice skating rink which is less expensive and more easily installed than the present accepted methods. Furthermore, in portable ice skating rinks which are used by skating review tours, hockey teams, and the like, which perform in cities that do not have ice skating rinks, it is desirable to have portable ice skating rinks which do not require elaborate refrigeration storage facilities. Also, it is desirable to have easily constructed and economical ice skating rinks which may be used as a recreation facility for a family or community.
The present invention advantageously provides a straightforward arrangement to be used in association with a refrigeration unit adapted to cool a gas, such as air, to a temperature which is sufficient to freeze and maintain frozen a given volume of a liquid, such as water. The present invention further provides means to efficiently transfer the thermal effect of a refrigerating gas to a frozen surface.
Various other features of the present invention will become obvious to those skilled in the art upon reading the disclosure set forth hereinafter.
More particularly, the present invention provides an ice skating rink comprising gas supply means to provide gas at a temperature sufficient to freeze a liquid, a plenum, a first conduit means to supply gas from said gas supply means to said plenum, a second conduit means to return said gas to said gas supply means from said plenum, and a storage tank for said liquid which is disposed in heat exchange relation with said plenum.
It is to be understood that the description of the examples of the present invention given hereinafter are not by way of limitation and that various modifications within the scope of the present invention will occur to those skilled in the art upon reading the disclosures set forth hereinafter.
Referring now to the Figures:
FIG. I is a diagrammatic view of one type of apparatus for refrigerating a gas;
FIG. 2 is an isometric view of an ice skating rink incorporating the novel features of the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of an ice skating rink incorporating the novel features of the present invention;
FIG. 4 is an elevated view of an ice skating rink incorporating the novel features of the present invention; and
FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective illustration showing a partial view of a second conduit means for returning gas from a plenum to a gas supply means and a corrugated configuration in the plenum in heat exchange relation with the liquid storage tank.
Referring to FIG. I of the drawing, details of an apparatus for refrigerating a gas, namely air, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention are disclosed. The air refrigeration system can be any one of several known systems and advantageously a system disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,1 19,239 is one preferred system.
In FIG. 1, a return air duct 2 is provided for returning air from plenum 26 (FIG. 2) to an air refrigeration unit I. The air duct 2 extends to the inlet of the air-cooling section 4 of said unit. A makeup air blower 3 is connected to the duct 2 to provide makeup air to replace any that is lost during circulation through the hereinafter described ice skating rink. The aircooling section 4 includes an upstream refrigerant evaporator 13, a downstream refrigerant evaporator 14, and an air blender device 19 having a series of holes 20 circumscribing the cooling air duct 22. The blender I9 is disposed between the evaporators l3 and 14, functioning to introduce recirculated refrigerated air back into the air-cooling section 4. Expansion devices 16 are provided for controlling the flow of liquid refrigerant to both the upstream and downstream refrigerant evaporators l3 and 14.
A solidified moisture separator 5, illustrated as a louver, is provided downstream from the air-cooling section and precedes the main air blower 6 which has its outlet connected to the supply air duct 7. Supply air duct 7 extends to the inlet side of the plenum 26. A recirculating air duct 8 is provided to recirculate a predetermined amount of air back to the air cooling section 4. Recirculating air duct 8 is connected to the supply air duct 7 downstream of main air blower 6. A damper 9 is provided at the junction of air duct 8 and air duct 7 to control the volume of air to be recirculated to the air cooling section 4.
The refrigeration zone 21 includes a refrigerant compressor 10 driven by a suitable motor, a condenser 11 and a liquid refrigerant receiver 12 for supplying liquid refrigerant to the upstream refrigerating evaporator 13, the downstream refrigerating evaporator 14, and a reheat coil 15. The components of the refrigeration zone and the components supplied by the liquid refrigerant are connected to each other in conventional fashion as illustrated in FIG. 1 by the refrigerant piping arrangement shown.
Referring to FIGS. 2-5 of the drawings, there is disclosed a supply air duct 7 extending from the air refrigeration unit 1 to the plenum 26. Supply air duct 7 has a series of apertures 23 disposed in the inner wall of said duct. Said apertures 23 are in alignment with and communicate directly to the overlying passages 24 of the corrugated transversely extending baffles 25 in the plenum 26. Further, a cap 27 is provided to close off the open end of the air duct 7.
On the return air side of the ice skating rink there is disclosed return air duct 2 extending from plenum 26 to the airrefrigerating unit 1 (FIG. 1). The return air duct has a series of apertures 28 disposed in the inner wall of said duct. Said apertures 28 are in alignment with and communicate directly to the overlying passages 24 of the corrugated transversely extending baffles 25 in the plenum 26. Also, a cap 29 is provided to close off the open end of the air duct 2.
There is also provided a liquid storage tank 30 which rests upon the corrugated transversely extending baffles 25 and defines the top wall of the plenum 26. The plenum 26 is further defined by the air ducts 2 and 7, baffles 25 at each extremity of the baffling arrangement, and the surface upon which the air ducts 2 and 7 are lying. This surface may be sand, dirt, or any other convenient support for the ice skating rink of the present invention.
Referring to FIG. 3, there is provided an air blower 33 for supplying ambient air to the supply air duct 7. This blower is utilized when the temperature of the ambient air is low enough so that the thermal effect between the ambient air and ice is sufficient to maintain ice in a frozen state. The blower may also be run in combination with the air refrigeration unit I if the temperature of the ambient air is such that by introducing ambient air the load on the air refrigeration unit I is reduced.
In the return air duct 2 there is provided a flow-regulating device 34, shown in FIG. 3 as a damper. The regulating device 34 may be operable by a temperature control means as represented by bimetallic element 35 in the air duct 2, a temperature-sensing means 36, and appropriate electrical connections, as represented by line 37. The regulating device 34 may also be operable by a pressure control means, as represented by a conduit 38 extending into air duct 2, a conduit 39 open to the atmosphere, a differential pressure measuring means 40, and appropriate connections to the flow-regulating device 34, as represented by line 41. The aforementioned flow-regulating device, temperature control means, and pressure control means are shown in detail only to illustrate two methods of controlling the flow of air through the unit. Furthermore, the temperature and pressure control means may be used singly or in combination with the other. Other regulating and control devices known in the prior art may be suitably adapted to practice the present invention.
In operation, a liquid, such as water, is added (means for addition not shown) to the liquid tank 30. The liquid storage tank is usually constructed of a material which will transfer heat very readily. Examples of materials which may be used include galvanized steel, aluminum, metallized fabric, and the like. The apparatus for refrigerating a gas, such as air, is then put into operation to supply gas at a temperature sufficient to freeze the liquid in the liquid storage tank 30. However, it is contemplated that the apparatus for refrigerating a gas may be put into operation before the liquid is added to the storage tank 30.
In the operation of the apparatus of FIG. 1, an outdoor airstream is admitted to the air-cooling section 4 of the air refrigeration unit 1 through makeup air blower 3. As the airstream passes through the air-cooling section 4, the temperature of the air is lowered to a temperature below the freezing point of the liquid to be frozen in storage tank 30. The evaporators l3 and 14 are usually designed so that the temperature of the air is lowered to a temperature just above the freezing point of water in the upstream refrigerant evaporator 13 and then further lowered to a temperature below the freezing point of water in the downstream refrigerant evaporator 14. By lowering the temperature of the air in the upstream refrigerating zone to a point just above the freezing point of water, it is possible to remove a substantial quantity of the moisture in the air as a liquid condensate. This makes for less workload further downstream in the cooling zone when the moisture in the air becomes a solid because of the lowering of the air temperature to a point below the freezing, point of water. However, as the air travels through the unit and is lowered to a temperature below the freezing point of water, solids do appear, but they are removed by the solidified moisture separator 5. The cooled and substantially dry air is then picked up by the main air blower 6 and conveyed to the supply air duct 7. A portion of the cooled air is recirculated back by way of recirculating air duct 8 to the air-cooling section 4 of the unit. This recirculated air is then mixed with fresh air at a point downstream of the upstream refrigerant evaporator 13. The quantity of recirculated air will depend upon, for example: (1) the temperature of the fresh air, (2) the temperature of the air leaving the upstream refrigerant evaporator 13, and (3) the quantity of moisture still in the air as it leaves the upstream refrigerant evaporator 13.
The supply air being conveyed through supply air duct 7 is then introduced into plenum 26 which is defined above as being disposed beneath the liquid storage tank 30. As the air passes through the plenum 26, the heat radiating from the bottom of the liquid storage tank 30 is transferred to the refrigerated air. In one preferred illustration of the present invention, baffles 25 are arranged in a corrugated configuration in the plenum 26, wherein the refrigerated air is conveyed through the overlying passages 24 of the corrugated configuration. In this type of baffling configuration, the maximum quantity of refrigerated air comes in contact with the bottom of the storage tank 30. Further, the material utilized in the baffles 25 is one that does not transfer heat very readily. Examples of materials which may be used include plastic, Fiberglas, expoxy resins, and the like.
Exiting air from plenum 26 is conveyed back to the air refrigeration unit I by way of return air duct 2. If a baffling arrangement is used as illustrated, return air duct 2 will have apertures therein located so as to communicate directly with the passages of plenum 26 through which the air is passing. In return air duct 2 there is provided a flow-regulating device 34. This device is normally used to create a back pressure in the plenum so that if a leak develops in the storage tank 30, the pressure of the air will be greater than the pressure of the liquid or solid in the tank. Thus, the liquid or solid in storage tank 30 would not leak into the plenum 26 and cause a large quantity of moisture to be picked up in the circulating air. Further, flow-regulating device 34 is usually connected to a temperature control means. In this case the temperature control means is set at a temperature which is sufficient to maintain a liquid in a frozen state, but not so low as to decrease the efficiency of the refrigeration air unit 1. One method of operating the temperature means is to set the control means at, for example, 22 R, then the flow-regulating device 34 will open, permitting more flow, if the returning air temperature exceeds 22 F. and will close, permitting less flow, if the returning air temperature drops below 22 F.
What is claimed is:
1. An ice skating rink comprising a gas supply means to provide gas at a temperature sufficient to freeze a liquid, a plenum, a first conduit means to supply gas from said gas supply means to said plenum, a second conduit means to return said gas to said gas supply means from said plenum, said plenum having baffles disposed therein in a corrugated configuration defining a plurality of overlying and uncle rlying longitudinally extended passages at least said overlying passages being in communicative relation with said first conduit means and said second conduit means, and a storage tank for said liquid which is disposed in heat exchange relation with said plenum.
2. An ice skating rink of claim 1 wherein said liquid is water.
3. An ice skating rink of claim 1 wherein said gas is air.
4. An ice skating rink of claim 1 wherein the gas supply means comprises means for moving air through an air passage, an upstream heat exchanger in said passage, means for operating said upstream heat exchanger with surface temperature slightly above the freezing point of the liquid to be frozen, a downstream heat exchanger in said passage, means for operat' ing said downstream heat exchanger with a surface temperature slightly below the freezing point of the liquid to be frozen, means for introducing a sufficient quantity of auxiliary air into said passage between said upstream and downstream heat exchanger at a temperature of sufficiently below the freezing point of the liquid to be frozen so that the temperature of combined air comprising said air passing through said upstream heat exchanger and said auxiliary air is below the freezing point of the liquid to be frozen before said combined air reaches said downstream heat exchanger, and means downstream from said downstream heat exchanger for separating and removing moisture in frozen particle form from said air.
5. An ice skating rink of claim 1 including means for supplying ambient air to said first conduit means.
6. An ice skating rink of claim 1 wherein said first conduit means and said second conduit means contain apertures therein disposed in alignment with said overlying longitudinally extended passages of said corrugated configuration.
7. An ice skating rink of claim 1 wherein said second conduit means includes gas regulatory means.
8. An ice skating rink of claim 7 wherein said gas regulatory means includes a pressure-regulating control means.
9. An ice skating rink of claim 7 wherein said gas regulatory means includes a temperature regulatory control means.