Ensuring perfect ice temperature for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

National Aquatics Center is now the world’s first double Olympic venue, able to host water and ice events in the same place. The top of the “Ice Cube”, which now hosts the Curling events of the Winter Olympics, is a membrane structure, therefore it was a huge challenge to create a perfect, stable indoor temperature that would be absolutely the same in every corner of the venue. The air distribution system had to guarantee a stable ice surface temperature of -8.5℃, so that all the athletes would have equal conditions in competition, no matter which lane would they be using.
The first challenge was to design multiple variations of air supply angles. The state-of-the-art fabric-based air distribution system was installed in the venue, which was both hanging and on ground level, dispersing air in 60°, 30°, 15°, 0°, -25°, -50°, depending on the needs of the game.

The second challenge was to precisely control the air volume and speed. With a large indoor space like the “Ice Cube”, it is relatively difficult to control the indoor airflow. In the case of high temperature and high humidity, the hanging fabric ducts increase the openings of nozzles as the temperature rises. In the case of low temperature and dryness, fabric ducts are placed on the ground, while reducing the number of nozzle openings, the air volume is also reduced accordingly, and the airflow is gradually distributed to the entire ice surface in the form of high parabolic diffusion.

Finally, all the fabric-based solutions were designed to align with the existing interior design of the “Ice Cube”, so it would not just match the color, but also maintain its round shape even if the air distribution system would be turned off or work on low velocity. All in all, FabricAir air distribution solution for the converted National Aquatics Center allows to cover the entire ice surface with no dead angles,and the ability to adjust the airflow ensures that the airflow reaching the ice surface does not interfere with the curling competition.

In addition to the technology and design, FabricAir solutions also contribute to the “Green Olympics” highlight. The fabric-based solutions are lightweight, they are compact, therefore much easier to transport, and use less energy. They are extremely flexible and need little to no maintenance, or can be just simply washed in a washing machine, there is no need for heavy machinery.

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