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Author Topic: When Zamboni's Attack  (Read 1001 times)

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Offline AgnesNitt

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When Zamboni's Attack
« on: December 15, 2014, 08:52:07 PM »
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Offline lutefisk

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Re: When Zamboni's Attack
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2014, 08:56:40 AM »
I'm kinda surprised that Zamboni hasn't moved wholesale to electric powered equipment.  If all-electric cars like the Nissan Leaf can go 75 miles per charge you'd think that an electric Zamboni should be able to successfully stagger around an ice rink.  Given most rinks reluctance to resurface more than maybe every two hours, there'd be plenty of time to recharge before the next outing, even for an Olympic size rink...

Offline jbruced

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Re: When Zamboni's Attack
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2014, 10:33:01 AM »
Part of the Zambonis function is to melt the ice it shaves from the surface. Maybe an electric unit can't generate enough heat to do that in the time required?? I think part of the reluctance to resurface the ice frequently or thoroughly has to do with keeping the CO emissions as low as possible. This has been a problem for awhile.

Offline FigureSpins

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Re: When Zamboni's Attack
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2014, 10:44:59 AM »
Ice resurfacing machines themselves are HEAVY, especially when filled with snow scrapings.  Plus, they carry fuel and water tanks.  If the rink does frequent ice cuts, there may not be enough time between cuts to charge an electric machine.  Not to mention that the facility would be dependent on reliable workers to keep it charged between uses.  (Uh, I forgot - no ice cut before freestyle, of course.  It'll be ready to go by open hockey time, though.  Snicker)

The machines don't "melt" the ice per se, the blade scrapes the ice surface, the shavings get dumped into a hopper by the auger, and the operator sprays heated water from a tank for the cloth at back of the machine to spread.  The engine has to heat the water, power the hydraulic lifts as well as drive the heavy machinery around the rink.  After the cut, the scraped snow is dumped into a pit or melt pile; the ice resurfacer doesn't really melt it, nature does.  (That's why you always see snow piles behind ice rinks when it's cold out.)  I don't think the machine heats the hopper - that would be a safety issue.  Maybe there is some heating to keep the snow from getting frozen inside the hopper.  Do you have a source for that function?

I don't think electric technology is at a point where they can produce a cost-effective ice resurfacer.  Although, I'd love it if Santa brought me a Tessla...♥
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Offline Query

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Re: When Zamboni's Attack
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2014, 04:04:41 PM »
http://www.zamboni.com has two electric models. Many rinks prefer them to reduce emissions. Some counties require them. I think most of the older gasoline (or diesel??) powered models, which produced higher emissions, are no longer in operation in the U.S. - electric, natural gas and propane are all cleaner.

I do not know how much ice the electrics can surface between charges, but I've seen one surface an entire rink. I also don't know how fast the charge is, but I think I've seen the electric do a few surfaces (of a slightly undersized rink) an hour apart.

I would guess this has a lot to do with cost. Lead-Acid batteries are heavy, and lighter weight batteries (e.g., Lithium Ion) are expensive. Also, I'm not sure Lithium Ion batteries work well in the cold, so you might have to use extra A/C power to heat them.

They could perhaps heat the water while they were plugged into A/C...

I once felt somewhat ill after skating all day in a rink that may have been using one of the gasoline models, and which has been reputed not to always keep them in good tune.

P.S. From a quick web search, the electrics have may less horsepower. Perhaps they go slower. Time is money.

Offline Neverdull44

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Re: When Zamboni's Attack
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2014, 05:26:31 PM »
Good that no one died. 

An elderly friend of our family left his car running in a garage, went back into the house and got distracted  He suffered from dementia.  Killed himself and his wife due to carbon monoxide poisoning.