1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Ice rink build question

  1. Oct 15, 2012 #1
    Ok, so my 8 year old son started playing ice hockey and unfortunately to get good, you need lost of ice time which is expensive and hard to come by. I am trying to figure out how to make a homemade ice rink this winter. I live in south NJ and the winters are not cold enough to have a lasting rink using mother nature alone, which brings me to my question.

    I was thinking of first, building a rink with a frame and liner and thinking maybe elevating it on 4x4 timbers to eliminate the warmth of the earth.( the old "bridge freezes first" concept.)

    then I thought if I covered the plywood bottom with coils of copper tubing and ran ice cold water or glycol through it, that would really help keep the ice cold and solid, thereby extending the playing season.

    so is this a crazy idea? will the reward be worth the effort? what would be the best (cheapest) way to cool the water/glycol?

    any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2012 #2
    You would get bettor heat transfer if the coils were inside the ice and you ran a fluid that will not freeze through it to prevent the chance of a blockage or something, causing your pipes to freeze and bursting your pipes
  4. Oct 15, 2012 #3
    Sorry I was unclear. I did mean put piping on TOP of plywood in the ice.

    I was thinking of piping antifreeze through pipes and then through an ice filled cooler.
    Of course the outside temp would have to be pretty low.

    Is there a way to figure the highest outside temp could be for this to still work?
    Guess it would depend on liquid temp, ice thickness, amount of piping , ect...
  5. Oct 15, 2012 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Cooling the glycol mix really is the tough part. You need a chiller for that.
  6. Oct 15, 2012 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Maybe another option is to practice a lot on concrete with in-line skates? I know it's not 100% the same, but it's a lot simpler option...
  7. Oct 15, 2012 #6


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    It might be a better option to enroll your son in a hockey club to get cheap ice-time. Unfortunately, the ice-times allotted to youth groups may not be optimal, for him or for you. Still, if you want your son to get skilled at hockey, you need to put him on properly conditioned ice.

    Good luck finding a solution. Maine is pretty cold most winters, but budding hockey players need ice-time at decent rinks and that can be hard to manage.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook