Blog: Refrigeration System Upgrade Project – Utah Olympic Park Legacy Slide
Jim Crockett, PE
In 2019, the Olympic Park reported ice melting on a particular section of the bobsled track. Energy efficiency engineers and energy systems technicians from ETC Group and Kemper Northwest found that not enough refrigerant was reaching the cooling coil of turn #4, leaving that section of track with insufficient cooling. The bobsled track has more than 100 independently adjustable manual valves utilized for balancing refrigerant flow. During winter months, track operators are required to dig through ice and snow to access the various valves and are only able to make coarse adjustments to refrigerant flow. ETC Group, Kemper Northwest, and Harris Controls removed several manual control valves and replaced them with digitally controlled valves that allow for remote and precise flow adjustments from a computer terminal front end, resulting in greatly improved refrigeration control.
Cooling for the slide track is provided by three systems serving the upper, middle, and lower sections. In 2020, controls/valves were upgraded for the section of track demonstrating immediate cooling issues. In the near future, we expect to replicate these energy systems engineering efforts for the other sections of track as well, providing tighter temperature/refrigeration control for the entire course.