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"Green" Ice Resurfacing Machines Fail In Vancouver

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the i-wish-we-had-a-zamboni-section dept.

Earth 356

lurking_giant writes "The Seattle Times is reporting that the Men's 500 meter speed-skating competition was delayed more than an hour Monday evening by the breakdown of the two ice grooming machines at the skating oval. The real story is that the machines that failed were the latest state-of-the-art 'Resurfice Fume-Free Electric Groomers' leased to the Olympics committee. An old, propane-powered Zamboni had to be brought out to fix the ice. This makes two nights in a row with ice resurfacing machine failures. If you're going to spend twice as much on electric devices to replace non-green designs, at least test the things first."

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There's Always... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154928)

...Stephen Colbert's snow drive! If enough people mail in snow, they should be covered.

Summary & Article Leave a Bit to Be Desired (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154938)

If you're going to spend twice as much on electric devices to replace non-green designs ...

From the linked NYTimes article:

Electric resurfacers are also cheaper to run — about 25 cents a flood, Mr. Schlupp said, compared with at least $3 for a propane-powered flood and at least $4 for gasoline. The drawback is the cost of the electric machine, which he said would sell for about $160,000, twice the price of a propane model.

So like a lot of 'green' things they are designed to save you money in the long run. Like paying out your ass for CFL bulbs or installing a windmill. Granted that's over 29,000 floods you'd need to recoup the eighty grand, it's a bit misleading to say it's more expensive. The other thing to look at is whether or not the eighty thousand is worth the health of your fans (you know, where you get your revenues from). I mean, fume free might not mean much to me but to the six year old kid suffering from asthma in the front row?

... at least test the things first.

Again, from the NYTimes article:

Mr. Hainault said that so far the machines had run, well, smoothly.

Sounds like they tested them to me. The Seattle Times article is either wrong or confusing when they say that the Zambonis also had problems:

It's the second straight day there have been issues here treating the ice between sessions --- yesterday it was the women's 3,000. Problems with that Zamboni left only one available for today, and then that one that began to have problems. The Zamboni left some piles of slush in the turn near where I am sitting --- which is also the front straightaway.

The Resurfice Olympia models appeared to be the electrics with the Zambonis being the gas fed ice resurfacers. So are they saying they had problems with the Zambonis just as much as the Resurfice Olympia models? Or are they using Zamboni in place of "ice resurfacer" like Kleenex and Frisbee?

I would bet they were having problems with temperatures. I've been to Capitals hockey games were breaks between periods went long since the abnormally high temperatures caused problems with the Zambonis.

How long is your run (1, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155014)

So using the figures listed, 25 cents versus four dollars per flood. Flood is apparently a single event tied to resurfacing the ice. Can you make up the $80,000 cost in the lifetime of the machine? If we assume a per hour cost instead you can do 20,000 hours of work using gasoline before the cost is made up, or ten years continuous operation.

I am still trying to determine the justification other than in FGU, Feel Good Units

I guess if convince ourselves its by the minute costs then it might start looking right.

Is my math that bad this morning?

A few years to recoup the cost. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155128)

Are you from India, or some other nation where they don't have arenas, let alone natural ice?

During a single high-level amateur or semi-pro hockey game, the ice will be resurfaced:
    1) Before the warm up.
    2) After the warm up.
    3) After the first period.
    4) After the second period.
    5) After the third period.
    6) If the game is tied, there may be one (or more) over-time periods, during which the ice is resurfaced.

During a typical day, the ice at a single rink will be resurfaced approximately 12 to 15 times, and being specialized facilities they're open year-round. So those 29000 resurfacings will have been done in about 6.5 years.

Most arenas these days have three or more rinks within the same complex, serviced by the same machines thanks to staggered schedules. So those 6.5 years could quickly become two years, or less.

Re:A few years to recoup the cost. (2, Insightful)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155554)

Well, I'm from Florida, and this was certainly news to me.

Not Bad Math At All (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155228)

No, your math is correct. You also forgot to mention that the propane ones are also "fume free" in terms of producing NO toxic fumes. Someone with asthma is going to be equally effected by the electric one as the propane one.
 
ALSO, you people are forgetting to mention the carbon footprint the electric one has: is it's power source a petro power station? Or a coal power station? Those cases would make the electric one worse. I love how we are doing a bunch of fancy footwork in the name of "green," but it is just the same old problems all over again (if not worse in the case of CFL bulbs) at twice the cost.

Re:Not Bad Math At All (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155372)

There is also no calculation for the loan rate to buy the machine as well. Almost nobody pays out cash so the cost of borrowing twice as much raises the price over the life of the machine significantly more. Feel good all you want. I will take my propane Zamboni and run over you with your electric.

Re:How long is your run (2, Interesting)

necro81 (917438) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155258)

Have you seen most of the Zambonis (here I use the term generically to cover all ice resurfacers) in the world. I can pretty much guarantee that the median age of them is more than ten years. It is not unreasonably to expect the total cost of ownership to come out net positive for an electric.

The olympics didn't purchase these machines outright solely for use during the games. The NYTimes article pointed out that an area company purchased the machines, then leased them to the IOC for the games.

Pure economics aside, there is the air quality argument. Gasoline and diesel-powered machines put out a lot of not-very-nice exhaust. Even the propane ones will leave the air a little stale. Unless you are using an outdoor skating rink, having a Zamboni that doesn't emit exhaust is a nice thing for the athletes and the owners. You can't necessarily put a price on it, but you can bet that for something like the olympics people notice.

Re:How long is your run (1)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155314)

Considering these machines are often run for 20+ years, it's not a bad investment.

Re:How long is your run (0, Troll)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155446)

It doesn't sound like these are even running for 1 event. Plus how long are those batteries expected to last? Cold and batteries don't usually mix.

If they want electric, they need to do it bumper car style and just have an overhead grid.

Re:How long is your run (0, Troll)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155322)

I am still trying to determine the justification other than in FGU, Feel Good Units

Why?

I don't need any other justification for drinking coffee instead of brown muddy water, besides that it tastes better!

Re:How long is your run (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155574)

Your years are shorter than mine?

20000 / 24 / 365.25 = 2.3 years.

But that article says busy rinks can need flooding every hour. But I wouldn't expect them to be "busy" 24 hours a day anyway.

The propane one is $3 so you need 29000 runs to break even, so 5-6 years or so depending on how "busy" the rink is. Of course the time value of money means that depending on what interest rates are it'll be a bit longer.

Of course not running a propane/gasoline burning machine in an enclosed area will be of benefit all by itself and might be the worth the extra up-front cost.

Re:Summary & Article Leave a Bit to Be Desired (3, Insightful)

DarKnyht (671407) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155034)

So like a lot of 'green' things they are designed to save you money in the long run. Like paying out your ass for CFL bulbs or installing a windmill. Granted that's over 29,000 floods you'd need to recoup the eighty grand, it's a bit misleading to say it's more expensive. The other thing to look at is whether or not the eighty thousand is worth the health of your fans (you know, where you get your revenues from). I mean, fume free might not mean much to me but to the six year old kid suffering from asthma in the front row?

I am pretty sure that it will be a long time before the Olympic Committee manages to run their ice resurfacers the 29,000 times needed to break even.

Re:Summary & Article Leave a Bit to Be Desired (1)

blyloveranger (525451) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155118)

Yeah, but they only need to run it once to make the cost less than twice the amount.



Point being, the summary is just as inflammatory.

Re:Summary & Article Leave a Bit to Be Desired (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155148)

I am pretty sure that it will be a long time before the Olympic Committee manages to run their ice resurfacers the 29,000 times needed to break even.

All I was asking that the summary be more clear as to how much these things cost. It sounds blatantly one sided.

I'm not an expert on these machines but I did find an analysis for the town of Halton Hills [haltonhills.ca] which (on page four of that PDF) finds the per year cost of a natural gas ice resurfacer to be $14,225 versus $12,700 for an electric. Note a different service life is assumed:

The fuel source comparison chart illustrates that the natural gas powered machines would cost an average of $14,225 per year based on an 8 year service life and the projected cost for an electric battery powered machine is an average of $12,700 per year based on a 16 year service life.

I don't know where they got these numbers but I'm assuming this guy did the footwork. Even then, that report notes that the natural gas models have a history of performing satisfactorily and probably wasn't worth the $1,500/yr savings afforded by the electric model. This is called being prudent.

All I was saying is that I found the summary to be more than a little misleading in this respect. It just gave me an "electric will never be viable" vibe that I didn't really care for.

Re:Summary & Article Leave a Bit to Be Desired (2, Informative)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155272)

That's why they're leasing them.

Re:Summary & Article Leave a Bit to Be Desired (4, Informative)

Tridus (79566) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155106)

Or are they using Zamboni in place of "ice resurfacer" like Kleenex and Frisbee?

'Zamboni' is the common name for an ice resurfacer. Particularly in Canada, that is what almost everybody calls them. People not in the know don't even realize that it's a brand name.

Re:Summary & Article Leave a Bit to Be Desired (1)

mog007 (677810) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155444)

"Zamboni" is probably a generalized trademark by this point.

Re:Summary & Article Leave a Bit to Be Desired (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155126)

I thought the propane ones were fume free? I guess it has been a long time since I read up on that - but my understanding was propane engines only exhaust was carbon dioxide and water. Which, although containing the CO2 (a green house gas) would not really constitute "fumes" like what would come from a gasoline or diesel engine.

Re:Summary & Article Leave a Bit to Be Desired (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155460)

No. They have not yet invented the magic zero emission fossil fuel engine yet, and if they did the first installation probably wouldn't go on a Zamboni.

Re:Summary & Article Leave a Bit to Be Desired (1)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155288)

Granted that's over 29,000 floods you'd need to recoup the eighty grand, it's a bit misleading to say it's more expensive. The other thing to look at is whether or not the eighty thousand is worth the health of your fans (you know, where you get your revenues from). I mean, fume free might not mean much to me but to the six year old kid suffering from asthma in the front row?

I did some rough "on the napkin" calculations at about how long it would take to recoup the extra cost on the electric resurfacers for a busy ice rink and I figured it would take about eight years, give or take. Figure about eleven resurfaces a day for a rink that's available 320 days a year. If that number seems high, it's really not. All the rinks I'm familiar with have ice sessions from about 6am to 11pm at night at hour and a half intervals, so it's not out of the question. The resurfacer (Zamboni is a trade name) runs after each ice session. Given those rough numbers, in about eight years it would pay for itself. It's not a bad investment..if it works.

Also, the point about the health, I recently read (I can't quite remember the source or I'd link it here) that there were concerns about the air quality in ice rinks, which really can affect kids who are practicing every day in the rink. Think about it...you have the fumes from the machines in a walled-in environment (remember the glass!) and in a cool environment which can keep the fumes lower to the ground. It can be a real problem.

Oh, and the Capitals have some of the worst hockey ice in the league. Every Caps game I've been to, I could see the wet ice from the second deck...plus, it never seemed cold enough in the arena. But I guess that's what you get for a multi-use arena where the Caps are not the primary lease partner.

Re:Summary & Article Leave a Bit to Be Desired (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155440)

Seems to me like they are not doing enough, you have the winter games, and if you impede the games because you are too cheap to fly in some extra zambonies that DO work from other cities, I hope that this will lead to the Olympics fining Vancouver city for such a lame reason to not have proper ice. Snow I understand, but the ice on rinks that you
have hockey games all over the place...and major cities have plenty of , even if in the end you were not able to use your cool new toys cause they are broken, don't make the olympians suffer and hurt themselves on the ice , stop being so cheap vancouver!

Canada? (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154978)

More like Can'tada!

amirite?

Re:Canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155176)

No, you aren't. You are just an idiot.

Re:Canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155384)

No, you.

Re:Canada? (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155248)

He shoots and scores!!! I see you're still living up to your /. ID

Electric Zambonis nothing new (2, Insightful)

ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155006)

Despite the summary's gas-good/electric-bad tilt, there is nothing new or experimental about electric ice resurfacers. The Zamboni company's site claims to have been making them for fifty years now.

For indoor ice rinks they have obvious advantages. Greenhouse gasses are one thing, but CO poisoning is quite another. (Though this could also be ameliorated by ventilation.)

Re:Electric Zambonis nothing new (2, Interesting)

fropenn (1116699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155366)

I played in a hockey game as a kid where the fumes from the Zamboni caused numerous players on both teams to get sick on the bench - you would be surprised how difficult it is to barf with a mouth guard in your mouth. But, hey, the ice was in great condition!

Green ? (2, Insightful)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155012)

I'm always confused about "green" electrical devices.

I mean, the power is in most cases still being generated by coal or oil fired power stations in most countries, so aren't you just playing "out of sight, out of mind" games with the pollution ?

Re:Green ? (3, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155048)

Ever been around a homeless person? Typically, they smell very bad.

You and I take for granted the ability to wash ourselves in a shower or bath. We are able to get much cleaner in a very short amount of time. Homeless people, on the other hand, may not have access to such luxuries and be forced to wash themselves in gas station or park sinks. The water is the same, and given enough time the bums should be able to wash themselves to cleanliness. However it is very inefficient because instead of dousing themselves all at once in hot water, they are forced to wash themselves piecemeal.

Same with electric vehicles vs gas vehicles.

Re:Green ? (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155114)

I think I'll get this printed on a t-shirt.

"I got BAGged on Slashdot".

 

Re:Green ? (1)

Skreems (598317) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155142)

Hilarious.

Re:Green ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155530)

Analogies may be getting too good. This one and the fish one are pretty clear.

Re:Green ? (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155548)

" Homeless people, on the other hand, may not have access to such luxuries and be forced to wash themselves in gas station or park sinks. "

Not very many homeless people even wash themselves after using the restroom, what makes you think they are all a bunch of Adrian Monks who wash themselves one part at a time????

Most have mental problems which prevent them from really caring how bad they smell, a lot of them could benefit from a mental facility ran like a group ghome where they would have a couple of showers of week and wear bathrobes all day with fuzzy pink slippers.

Re:Green ? (0, Troll)

frankxcid (884419) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155086)

The whole Green movement is "Feel Good" Games. The other posters have hit the nail on the head. Electric is needed because you can not expel CO in an enclosed area. Something that is so obvious. However, everyone will feel good my labeling it "Green"

Re:Green ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155370)

Are you sure its feel good and not the future economy of the world? What is a country like the US going to do when China has the tech advantage and labor advantage and economic advantage on energy? PVis beating long-scale cost projections by 2 fold. In or 10 years Chinese silicon PV will be cheaper than oil, gas, coal, and American thin film ventures (FS, NS)

Whats your brilliant plan then? Wait until PV is economically feasible? Does this mean it was a mistake for governments to foster the industrial age? If we wait until things are viable do you realize how far behind we will be [presently are] compared to countries that invest in their future?

What is better than sustainable economies? Using resources until their gone?

I'm perfectly content to watch Americans allow our country to self destruct by denying ourselves future economies, as long as those same people are willing to burn at the stake for their short-sighted selfish treason in our decaying corpse of a future.

Re:Green ? (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155476)

Clearly, you have never been to a real arena.

Re:Green ? (5, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155168)

If the electricity comes from 100% pure coal, then it is nearly 100% swap (assuming that all cars are kept tuned up). However, even with 100% coal, you have a big advantage. You can
  1. dump the CO2 into the ground.
  2. Run it through a green house.
  3. Run it through an algae farm.
  4. etc.

Basically, it is much easier said to clean up a single source than millions of tiny ones.

With that said, electricity is actually better, because few countries rely 100% on Fossil Fuel for their Electricity. China probably has the most at more than 90% Fossil Fueled (and growing). America is less than 50% Coal (and dropping) with another 20% Natural gas (rising, but not that fast). Vancouver has a lot of Coal, but they also have Hydro, and IIRC, they have a nuke there (???? not sure about that).

Re:Green ? (5, Informative)

The Waffle King (1093801) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155378)

Vancouver (all of BC) uses no nuke, and no coal (at least not for power). We're about 90% hydroelectric. http://www.bchydro.com/about/our_system/generation.html [bchydro.com]

Re:Green ? (3, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155578)

Shush, you. It's no fun making fun of Canadians when you just go bringing up facts about how much better things are up there.

Now let's get back to talking about how their nuclear plants always explode, their hockey teams always lose and their health care system is stuck in the stone age, okay?

Re:Green ? (3, Insightful)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155466)

Yes. OTOH, a lot of power is lost during transport from the central plant to the consuming device.

Basicly we have three fields here:

1) "Greener" energy usage (no local fumes)
2) "Greener" energy production (Windmills vs. whatever)
3) "Greener" energy transport and storage

It's the weakest link that defines overall "greenlieness" amongst these three. (anything else is just shifting from local pollution to remote pollution)

And in addition to these three we have efficiency. Any gain in that directly goes to the total "Green"-Result.

Re:Green ? (2, Informative)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155576)

Vancouver has a lot of Coal, but they also have Hydro, and IIRC, they have a nuke there

COMPLETELY wrong. Power in Vancouver is over 90% hydroelectric with the vast majority of the remainder natural gas and a small fraction diesel. They have NO coal, and BC (the province ) has no nuclear reactors.

Re:Green ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155178)

This is partly true, but electricity can be generated much more efficiently by these central power plants, than every single device having it's own combustion engine.

Re:Green ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155332)

Not every single possessive pronoun needs ITS own apostrophe. As a matter of fact, none of them do.

Re:Green ? (3, Insightful)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155184)

Although to a certain extent you are correct, you aren't accounting for the scale of the operation. Now, I'm not saying all electric plants are clean - not by any means. However in a large plant it is much easier to have the correct systems in place to clean the exhaust air than it is with small gasoline engines (especially mobile ones like in a car as weight is much more of a consideration). So yes, the electric plants can certainly be a bit of the NIMBY and also the "out of sight, out of mind" that you mention. But really the scale they operate on can work towards better systems to prevent noxious emissions.

Re:Green ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155192)

At this point: Yes, it is "out of sight, out of mind". That will change.

By centralizing the electricity generation we have one large item to make more "green" instead of many thousands of smaller items. Chances are that the power company has their gear in better shape than most of the households near me, although they are still burning sulfur laden coal.

My local power company is also investigating tide, wind, and other means of going green. Although I can do that too, the cost for that experiment is prohibitive.

Re:Green ? (1)

Alinabi (464689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155312)

No, because this is Canada, not the US. 70% [wikipedia.org] of Canada's power generation is either hydro or nuclear. That figure is up to 89% in British Columbia. So, in Canada electric=clean indeed.

Re:Green ? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155342)

It really does depend. Sometimes it really is just pollution-shifting, although you could argue that discharging aerosols in the middle of nowhere is better for human health than discharging them in the middle of the city. Either way they're diluted to parts-per-septillions in the atmosphere or whatever, but before that they exist in concentrated levels either around people or around trees.

The other factor, which is potentially large, is efficiency. Thermodynamics dictates that the efficiency of any heat engine is fundamentally limited by the temperates it operates across. A power plant can operate on very large temperature differences, while a mobile or locally-deployed generation device usually cannot. Also, a power plant can use exotic emissions-control equipment far more efficiently than a mobile device of some kind.

So, even after taking into account the coal/etc used to generate electricity, an electric car can still be more green than a gas-powered car (just looking at operational impact - manufacturing impact is a whole different kettle of fish).

Then factor in that there are a lot more practical green options for large-scale electricity generation than for portable generation, and you now have a pretty solid case for running more stuff from the grid. You're not going to find wind-powered cars, but you can charge a battery from wind power.

All that said, I agree that we need to be honest about true costs and impacts when we talk about "green technology" - otherwise we just end up having a movement hijacked by various interests (just look at corn-based ethanol fuel).

Re:Green ? (2, Informative)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155368)

"British Columbia's current electricity supply resources are 90 per cent clean and new electricity generation plants will have zero net greenhouse gas emissions." - government of BC

Interesting that you made a generalized argument based on an assumption that you didn't check. And ATM you 6 replies, not 1 pointed it out :/ many encouraging your tunnel vision.

Re:Green ? (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155584)

Before you accuse anyone of Tunnel Vision, it it worth noting the following :-

British Columbia != World. Not everywhere has the mountains in which to store the potential energy (water) needed for hydro.

To call nuclear "clean" simply because it doesn't emit any CO2 but has a half life of however many thousands of years is simply scary. The CO2 may or may not have any effect on the atmosphere, but it sure clouds people's common sense.

Whatever you build your clean power stations out of, be it PV, Hydro, Wind, Nuclear, none of them have a zero "cost" ... unless you've found a way to create cement for concrete damns, or steel for wind turbines, or a new process for turning sand into silicon that doesn't require huge amounts of energy input in the first place.

Re:Green ? (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155416)

Generating all the power we need at centralized power plants is typically more efficient than running a bunch of small motors everywhere. Not to mention that most non-polluting energy sources can only be exploited on a large scale. No one is going to have a personal hydroelectric dam, and a windmill to power your home has horrible efficiency- note how turbines have only been getting bigger lately. Solar panels are starting to get cheap enough for home use, but they still depreciate too quickly to be all that green when you consider the materials they are made out of.

I agree that "green" marketing often ignores the impact of the power source, but in general green technology can still come out ahead.

Re:Green ? (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155432)

It depends upon where you are. The games are in Canada, where electrical production is about 60% renewable. In the US it is 7%; the remainder of the world (ie. not US) is about 21%.

So, in most of the world it makes a difference.

Re:Green ? (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155438)

It depends on how the power is generated, of course. If it's something like coal, you're actually playing "efficiency of large-scale centralized power facilities".

Re:Green ? (1)

temojen (678985) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155456)

BC produces so much Hydroelectric power we export most of it.

Re:Green ? (1)

victim (30647) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155462)

In general large power plants are more efficient than small point of use engines, this is traded off against transmission losses and can end up either a win or a loss for total input energy.

For cleanliness, power plants run much cleaner than small point of use engines and they don't concentrate the adverse effects in close proximity with people. (You may need to pee, but don't do it in the pool.)

Re:Green ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155482)

Large scale electrical generation is more efficient than small-scale generation. Plus the electric versions tend to be smaller and lighter. You aren't moving the fuel and generation capability around, which also improves efficiency.

Re:Green ? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155494)

No.

It's easier to make large scale devices more efficient or to replace them with ones that don't emit whatever the thing is you don't like this decade.

So it's a valid step if you want "greenness".

Re:Green ? (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155552)

the power is in most cases still being generated by coal or oil fired power stations in most countries, so aren't you just playing "out of sight, out of mind" games with the pollution ?

In BC (the province Vancouver is in), over 90% of the power produced is hydroelectric. Their thermal generating capacity is primarily natural gas, with a small fraction diesel. They have little if any coal or oil burning generating stations.

Deals with "Official Olympic Partners" (5, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155032)

I heard (on TV, so no link) that they weren't allowed to use the old machines because those are not official Olympic partners...

Even the engine (which isn't visible to the audience) had to be made by an Olympic partner.

Anyway, that, plus the fact that the band was only allowed to play 2 songs in the break, showed to me that the Canadians keep to the rules a bit too precise. The organisation seemed so afraid of problems by unexpected events by people that when the machines broke down, all creativity and initiative was smothered under a blanket of Bureaucracy On Ice.

Coaches didn't like it (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155044)

I think that's the first time I've seen coaches come out and say their athletes wouldn't compete until conditions were improved.

In my day... (1)

bbbaldie (935205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155046)

We were just glad to have ice to skate on at all!--Hans Brinker

Green... EPIC FAILURE (1, Troll)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155054)

The terms green and CO2 are being tossed around as blatant lies to convince people to spend more to get the the same, or in cases like this, to get nothing at all.

It's really a shame that people believe politics over science. It makes me a cynic. Someone obviously decided to buy these "green" ice resurfacing machines because it made them feel like they were doing "their part" to help the environment. The problem is they were sold a lie. Not only were they sold a lie, but a non-functioning lie as well.

Seriously people, CO2 emissions are nothing to be afraid of. CO2 emissions are nothing you should be paying extra to decrease. The fact is that the CO2 that humans put into the atmosphere is infinitesimal compared to volcanoes and the oceans.

Phil Jones, ex-head of CRU, admits no GW (0, Troll)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155116)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm [bbc.co.uk]

In this interview he admits there has been no statistically significant global warming occurring for the last 15 years.

Re:Phil Jones, ex-head of CRU, admits no GW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155220)

statistics 101 FAIL.

Re:Phil Jones, ex-head of CRU, admits no GW (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155266)

Possible replies:
1. Yeah sure, trust that ONE guy who says the opposite of what most of the others say.
2. Didn't we start reducing CO2 emissions about 15-20 years ago? See, it's working!
3. Oh, look, a rabbit!

Re:Phil Jones, ex-head of CRU, admits no GW (0, Troll)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155360)

Ice core samples have shown that temperature increases first, then CO2 levels rise in response.

The Great Climate Change Swindle [youtube.com]

The 1/2 of a degree Celsius change that started a little over 100 years ago mostly occurred before much of the modern CO2 emitting manufacturing plants ever existed. How anyone can argue against science and claim we are DOOOOOOOOOOMED is beyond me, and I generally treat such individuals as mentally handicapped.

Re:Phil Jones, ex-head of CRU, admits no GW (0, Troll)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155430)

Q: How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible?

A: I'm 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 - there's evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity.

GJ picking and choosing words. And removing his caveat about 15years "Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.".

Re:Phil Jones, ex-head of CRU, admits no GW (1, Insightful)

CaptCookie (181349) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155496)

You say: "Phil Jones, ex-head of CRU, admits no GW"

Yet in the article Phil Jones says:

"I'm 100% confident that the climate has warmed."

Apparently, the article doesn't support your initial statement.

Re:Green... EPIC FAILURE (4, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155146)

And the fact is saying that human CO2 emissions are "infinitesimal" is to miss the point entirely.

An analogy (that does not involve cars). Imagine the balance between CO2 sources and sinks is like a funnel. Into this funnel, you pour one litre per second of liquid. The funnel can allow up to 1 litre per second to leave, too. Therefore, the level of liquid in the funnel remains the same although 1 litre per second is constantly being added. However, add an infinitesimal increase, let's say, just 0.1% more - just one mililitre extra per second, and as sure as night follows day, the level in the funnel increases and eventually it will overflow. What is more, what we have done is effectively not only added more liquid to the funnel, we have also constricted the exit (by removing carbon sinks). The rate compared to other things is totally irrelevant. The only thing that's relevant is - is the CO2 being added at a rate higher than which it is being removed?

Re:Green... EPIC FAILURE - fact check? (2, Informative)

Fractal Dice (696349) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155274)

Before coming up with convoluted rationalizations, it's best to do a little basic fact-checking first:

"Volcanoes emit around 0.3 billion tonnes of CO2 per year. This is about 1% of human CO2 emissions which is around 29 billion tonnes per year." -- source: http://www.skepticalscience.com/volcanoes-and-global-warming.htm [skepticalscience.com]

Re:Green... EPIC FAILURE (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155484)

"And the fact is saying that human CO2 emissions are "infinitesimal" is to miss the point entirely."
It is also a complete and total lie.

"Scientists have calculated that volcanoes emit between about 130-230 million tonnes (145-255 million tons) of CO2 into the atmosphere every year (Gerlach, 1999, 1992). This estimate includes both subaerial and submarine volcanoes, about in equal amounts. Emissions of CO2 by human activities, including fossil fuel burning, cement production, and gas flaring, amount to about 22 billion tonnes per year (24 billion tons) [ ( Marland, et al., 1998) - The reference gives the amount of released carbon (C), rather than CO2.]. Human activities release more than 150 times the amount of CO2 emitted by volcanoes--the equivalent of nearly 17,000 additional volcanoes like Kilauea (Kilauea emits about 13.2 million tonnes/year)!"

Re:Green... EPIC FAILURE (3, Insightful)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155568)

Well, starts like a good analogy.

But to be more accurate, you'd need to have that water comming in anything from doplets to gushes, into a funnel thats unpredictably changing it's diameter, periodically clogging up by freezing (at the exit) while some of the water may evaporate because it's boiling. While walking on a tightrope.

And you know that either spilling or letting the funnel run dry is going to kill you.

And so far, it's only the analogy for the natural CO2.

Now you have to take a lieak and the only possibility for that is said funnel. Blindfolded.

I guess thats closer to the actual state of climate research.

Re:Green... EPIC FAILURE (1)

Skreems (598317) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155156)

Source?

Re:Green... EPIC FAILURE (-1, Troll)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155498)

Source?

Just open your eyes and see the lies being used to generate record profits. Oh, and maybe read up on what the IPCC says on the subject. There are plenty of articles on the subject at BBC, CNN, Aljazeera, etc.

And if you're too lazy to read: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TqqWJugXzs [youtube.com]

Re:Green... EPIC FAILURE (3, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155252)

It's really a shame that people believe politics over science.

You are confusing "green marketing" with science. The first one happens to be full of crap, but well, what do you expect from marketing? That however doesn't make the issue they peddle to a non-issue, climate scientist will tell you quite the opposite, CO2 is an issue and current evidence points to a man made climate change, go watch this [youtube.com] and educate yourself.

Re:Green... EPIC FAILURE (-1, Troll)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155402)

It's really a shame that people believe politics over science.

You are confusing "green marketing" with science. The first one happens to be full of crap, but well, what do you expect from marketing? That however doesn't make the issue they peddle to a non-issue, climate scientist will tell you quite the opposite, CO2 is an issue and current evidence points to a man made climate change, go watch this [youtube.com] and educate yourself.

Real scientists will laugh at you for claiming CO2 is an issue, as the oceans and volcanoes emit several orders of magnitude more CO2 than humans ever could. I'll see your enlightened video link and raise you one [youtube.com] .

Re:Green... EPIC FAILURE (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155324)

This is blatantly wrong.

From http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch/2007/07_02_15.html

Our studies show that globally, volcanoes on land and under the sea release a total of about 200 million tonnes of CO2 annually.

This seems like a huge amount of CO2, but a visit to the U.S. Department of Energy's Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) website (http://cdiac.ornl.gov/) helps anyone armed with a handheld calculator and a high school chemistry text put the volcanic CO2 tally into perspective. Because while 200 million tonnes of CO2 is large, the global fossil fuel CO2 emissions for 2003 tipped the scales at 26.8 billion tonnes. Thus, not only does volcanic CO2 not dwarf that of human activity, it actually comprises less than 1 percent of that value.

I don't know where you're coming from with the oceans, but these days they act as carbon SINKS.

From http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Bi-Ca/Carbon-Dioxide-in-the-Ocean-and-Atmosphere.html

CO 2 moves between the atmosphere and the ocean by molecular diffusion when there is a difference between CO 2 gas pressure (pCO 2 ) between the atmosphere and oceans. For example, when the atmospheric pCO 2 is higher than the surface ocean, CO 2 diffuses across the air-sea boundary into the sea water.

The constant atmospheric CO 2 concentrations in the centuries prior to the Industrial Revolution suggest that the oceans released a small amount of CO 2 to the atmosphere to balance the carbon input from rivers. Today, this trend is reversed and the oceans must remove CO 2 added to the atmosphere from human activities, known as anthropogenic (humanderived) CO 2 .

In the 1980s, the oceans removed an estimated 2.0±0.6 Pg of anthropogenic CO 2 each year. Because humans are producing CO 2 at an everincreasing rate, the average ocean removal rate increased to 2.4±0.5 Pg of carbon each year in the 1990s.

Also, like other people have said, it's better for your HEALTH to not have burning fossil fuels in an enclosed area. Don't believe me? Shut your doors and windows, unplug those carbon monoxide detectors, and fire up a lawnmower next to you.

Re:Green... EPIC FAILURE (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155354)

The fact is that the CO2 that humans put into the atmosphere is infinitesimal compared to volcanoes and the oceans.

Not quite. Read on McDuff [answers.com] . And look, even more refutation [scientificamerican.com] .

Are we done with this canard yet?

Re:Green... EPIC FAILURE (0, Troll)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155458)

The fact is that the CO2 that humans put into the atmosphere is infinitesimal compared to volcanoes and the oceans. Not quite. Read on McDuff [answers.com] . And look, even more refutation [scientificamerican.com] . Are we done with this canard yet?

Yes quite. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TqqWJugXzs [youtube.com]

The percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere is currently measured to be 0.038%. A staggering 0.28% of that is directly attributable to human beings. I can keep this up as long and probably longer than you can...

Re:Green... EPIC FAILURE (2, Informative)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155524)

"The fact is that the CO2 that humans put into the atmosphere is infinitesimal compared to volcanoes and the oceans."
Complete and total lie. [usgs.gov]

Re:Green... EPIC FAILURE (3, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155564)

The terms green and CO2 are being tossed around as blatant lies to convince people to spend more to get the the same, or in cases like this, to get nothing at all.

It's really a shame that people believe politics over science. It makes me a cynic. Someone obviously decided to buy these "green" ice resurfacing machines because it made them feel like they were doing "their part" to help the environment. The problem is they were sold a lie. Not only were they sold a lie, but a non-functioning lie as well.

Seriously people, CO2 emissions are nothing to be afraid of. CO2 emissions are nothing you should be paying extra to decrease. The fact is that the CO2 that humans put into the atmosphere is infinitesimal compared to volcanoes and the oceans.

The people who bought the electric zams, which are actually pretty common, probably made the decision to reduce the carbon monoxide and particulate emissions that are not so great for the health of spectators in enclosed ice arenas.

Also, you made a blunder in your CO2 rant. The argument that CO2 emissions aren't bad is supposed to be, "increased CO2 doesn't lead to significantly more global warming," not "humans don't significantly affect CO2 levels." The reason for this is that contention 1 may be true, while contention 2 (yours) is demonstrably false. Note the ~25% increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration in the last 50 years shown here [wikipedia.org] .

Time to Move Winter Games OR Invent Warm-Wx Games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155102)

So, all this seems to be coming from Global Warming, right?

If so, maybe it's time to move Winter Games higher up the
mountains (ie, to places were the snow will stay long enough
to be 'Games friendly)...

OR

maybe invent some totally NEW games, that aren't climate-
sensitive, eg, Geocaching? :-/

(If you don't think that one will "fly" why not come up with
one of your own, eg, as a reply to this post...)

Re:Time to Move Winter Games OR Invent Warm-Wx Gam (0, Troll)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155174)

I couple of weeks ago, you could have held the Winter Olympics at sea level ... London, Florence, Amsterdam, take your pick. Global Warming my ass.

Re:Time to Move Winter Games OR Invent Warm-Wx Gam (2, Informative)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155452)

Yet once again we see "weather" being mistaken for "climate".

Re:Time to Move Winter Games OR Invent Warm-Wx Gam (0, Troll)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155506)

A Whole Continent for the Winter Games....

I thought this is why Antarctica exists in the first place, hold the games down there, and it is "international" territory so no more country squabbles about who gets to host it.

Last I heard the Ice was growing on Antarctica.

Affected the outcome? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155186)

It's interesting that 15 of the top 16 finishers skated after the breakdown, when the "non-green" Zamboni was brought into service. Only the finisher in pairing 9 (8th place) was before the break. Wonder if this is grounds for a protest from some of the athletes?

http://www.vancouver2010.com/olympic-speed-skating/schedule-and-results/mens-500-m-race-1-of-2_ssm205101pA.html

Propane propane (1)

Scarumanga (1022717) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155194)

propane and propane accessories

Olympic Fail.... (2, Insightful)

dtml-try MyNick (453562) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155262)

Gah, the whole Olympic speed-skating competition is a giant fail already..

Very poor ice conditions, very high humidity in the stadium, ice that is cleaned/groomed only once a hour (wtf!) during contests, contests that have to be delayed because of machines breaking down, a 2 minute break between each next match.... puhlease....

I expected a whole lot more from the Canadians when it comes to ice-skating to be honest....

Re:Olympic Fail.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155300)

Most 2 minute breaks were because of skaters that ripped chunks of ice off the track by kicking their foot forward to cross the line first.

Re:Olympic Fail.... (2, Interesting)

dtml-try MyNick (453562) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155364)

Nope, ice repairs are done during the breaks when the ice gets shaved of across the entire track....

The two minutes breaks between each and every run are purely for the $.
Apparently in some countries (I'm looking at you USA) they have small commercials between each run.

Re:Olympic Fail.... (3, Funny)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155376)

Hey, it's Vancouver. Vancouverites aren't quite sure what ice is. They've heard it's frozen water, but really, if the copious amounts of rain that fall on Vancouver froze that would really hurt, wouldn't it?

Apparently this thing called ice exists on top of those mountains you can see from the city, and there's lots of it on the other side of them on the "prairies," but those are just rumours.

Bad news for the anti-environmentalists too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155292)

All the people gleefully cheering this news need to remember that one of their own ideology's primary claims is that we don't need to be "environmental" because technology will improve so much through efficiency that improvements will come naturally. So far, as we have seen, it is still all the dirty old crap technologies that are more reliable, so the argument that they will improve through technology has so far failed pretty miserably.

I dunno about green ice... but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155326)

Don't eat yellow snow.

The new testing is releasing! (1)

eyepeepackets (33477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155392)

It's the Microsoft model: The release is the test.

I think you've all missed an important point (5, Funny)

tcampb01 (101714) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155518)

These machines were not creating any greenhouse gases while they were broken.

Electric devices are still powered by fossil fuels (1, Insightful)

harl (84412) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155522)

Green? *chuckle* They're still fossil fuel powered. The grid is not magic. The electricity doesn't magically come from the hole in the wall. There's a whole infrastructure behind that hole and that infrastructure runs on fossil fuels.

Clean the source and every single electrical device you own becomes green with zero work on your part. You also have to replace nothing. Batteries are horrible for the environment. What damage are we doing through their manufacture and disposal?

Can't we get over this fear of nuclear power yet? Please? For the good of humanity.

How green is...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155542)

Airlifting the replacement Zamboni from Calgary??? Could they not find a propane powered Zamboni in Vancouver to use?

I think the design of the venue is to blame too. The building was designed to acheive a LEED silver rating, which means they probably didn't overbuild their HVAC and ice refrigeration systems as much as in other buildings (or else they would have hurt their LEED score).

Problems, problems, problems... (0, Troll)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155572)

A dead Luger, broken Zamboni, what's next a near fatal curling accident????

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