“I called you with a vague story about ice skaters, an ice track and mobile wind machines and not too much later we had a workshop filled with fans. That was pretty much effortless"
For a project with Red Bull and team Jumbo Visma, Actiflow came up with a system to generate wind on the track of ice stadium Thialf using fans. We spoke to Oskar van Dijk from Actiflow about the project. Oskar: “Together with Jumbo Visma and Red Bull we have set up a project in which the ice skaters in Thialf are constantly skating with a downwind of 5 to 10km/h. We did this by setting up fans at tactical locations on the sides of the track. With these fans, the ice skaters are able to practice at higher speeds, which is a lot more difficult in terms of technique. The demand for this solution primarily came from the training of the sprinters.”
Oskar indicated that there were several challenges during the project. “The biggest issue is the size of the track (400 meters) on which speed has to be generated with fans that also have to be brought back home in the evening. A logistical operation like that requires a lot of preparation. How many fans are necessary to achieve the goal and where do you put them? How will we provide them with power? Added to that you don’t want to pick any fights with the ice master, who would rather not have wind over his ice at all..”
Being asked what the most important factors were in their choice between different fans Oskar explains that their requirements in this case were slightly different than normally. “Usually I primarily look at the pressure characteristics. In this case, that was less important since the fans are being placed in an open space. They were equipped with controllers for the event but those are only really used during system checks.”
Eventually, Actiflow chose Multifan fans because they were easily transportable and because the fans could generate a gentle vortex across the entire track. “We made our decision quite quickly; These fans are nice and big, generate a lot of wind within the budget we had available and could be delivered within the period of a few weeks until the first event. For us it was also important that the fans could be made to be mobile easily. The square shape of these fans fit that requirement well. With a frame and wheels, they could go straight into the truck.”
Actiflow’s project gained many positive responses from the involved parties and luckily also the ice skaters themselves! “We can notice that everyone is very excited about the project, so the mission has definitely been accomplished.”
Concerning the service provided by Vostermans Oskar is also satisfied. “I called you with a vague story about ice skaters, an ice track and mobile wind machines and not too much later we had a workshop filled with fans. That was pretty much effortless, while there were still many doubts if the project was even manageable at all.