The Second Largest Freezer in Norway
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The Second Largest Freezer in Norway

November 15, 2019


TOM SCOTT: The Youth Winter Olympic Games have brought me out to Lillehammer, in Norway,
and to this: the Hunderfossen Bobsleigh Track, the second largest freezer in Norway. I know, you see “Norway” and “freezer”, and you think about the seed vault that’s
up in the Arctic which is technically bigger than this but this track really is one giant freezer. This track stays frozen in temperatures up
to 20°C so athletes can speed down here and pull 4G on the final turn even when there really shouldn’t be any ice
for them to slide on. JAN ODDVAR TANGEN: We can keep it frozen during the summer — in a normal Norwegian
summer! It’s built with concrete. Inside the concrete, there are lots of layers with pipes. Inside the pipes, it’s running with ammonia. TS: When a liquid evaporates, it pulls in
heat from the surrounding area. So there are 90 tonnes of ammonia circulating
in pipes inside this freezer, underneath the track, being repeatedly compressed and then evaporated to move heat away. Ammonia, by the way, really dangerous if it’s not handled properly. JOT: Because ammonia is the fastest working
fluid to drag away the warmth. All the ammonia is going inside 65km of pipes and it will stay inside the pipes in all conditions. If something happens, I will shut down the
spots that accidentally have the leaks. It’s lighter than air, so it will be going
upwards so you won’t be harmed! TS: But the laws of thermodynamics always
hold true. You can’t create cold. You can only ever move
heat. And in the process of moving it, you generate
more heat. That’s why the back of your fridge at home
is warm, and why air conditioning units need to vent
outside. And on a freezer this big? That’s quite a
lot of heat to move. JOT: The first thing we’re doing is cleaning
the track with normal hoses with water, cleaning from
the summer. And then, start of the season, we’re running
with luge the first week, and then we start with the skeleton bob after
approximately 10 days because then the ice thickness is thick enough to cope with the bob and skeleton. TS: And with bobsleigh and luge runs being
measured in hundredths of a second, keeping the ice consistently frozen is important for what is called “competitive
parity”: basically, making sure everyone has a fair
shot. A little bit more or less friction over a
day could change the result. And when there’s this much riding on how fast
someone goes down a track? Turns out having a big freezer is really important. There’s a load more videos over on the Olympics
channel and on my channel, go check ’em out, go subscribe, and thank you to the Youth Winter Olympic
Games for bringing me out here to Lillehammer. [Translating these subtitles? Add your name here!]

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  1. What? Where is the heat going? I was waiting for you to show us the big swimming pool they are warming up with all the heat 😉 or whatever they do with it

  2. All that talk of heat and I thought we were going to see the heat exchanger making a hot spring at the top of the mountain.

  3. After writing and checking Subtitles for two of Tom's relativly short videos, YT asked me to write subtitles for one of John Green's CrashCourses…. Oh boy, I spent 1h on that and got only half-way done ^^ He is talking sooo fast 😀

  4. Gotta wonder what the carbon footprint of that facility is, between the ammonia manufacture and the electricity used to keep the track frozen. I bet it's the same as a small village.

  5. The one thing I was wondering half way through, and you almost got to it when you said it's all about moving heat, where do they move the heat to? Was there a massive condenser on the other side of the hill? Or geothermal piping over a larger area than the coolant pipes would occupy? I was curious about that.

  6. feel so gutted for you Tom, having to go away on trips like this 🙂 always enjoy your vids more power to your elbow 🙂

  7. awesome video of awesome tech!

    What a HUGE friggen waste, where humans could spend the resources so much better to reduce worldsuck (vlogbrothers term).

  8. Interesting.  I always try to visit the Olympic spots when I'm in an Olympic city.  I've seen Olympic sites in Barcelona, Mexico City, Seoul, Lillehammer, Amsterdam, Munich, Lake Placid, a few others.

  9. Its awesome riding down this track.Even in summer without ice.I was there with the whole class in 10th grade,and we was riding in some kinda bobsleigh on wheels,3persons in each bob sleigh,it went very fast,and the g forces are pretty strong at points.

  10. Where does the heat go, though? Do they use it to heat buildings, for example?

    (Also, as a Norwegian, it's fun to see you over here. 🙂 )

  11. I work for a refrigeration company so I kinda half understood some of that, although we don't use ammonia for any of our plants.

  12. The heat gets pumped off the track with ammonia and the heat pumping process itself generates heat.. I'm curious to know where all that heat goes. I'm guessing it's put to good use, right?

  13. We Norwegians speak so horrible English. Just listen to the Norwegian guy speaking in there ._.

  14. I wanted to see how they vent the heat :/ It's ok to make short meme videos, but at least give us a little info!

  15. i've been there!! it's fast and kinda rough going down… really shakes you up. don't recommend wearing any sort of glasses or earrings if you do it

  16. I'm surprised that they can run Luge on it before skeleton – it's not a surprise that you need more ice for Bobsled as they're nearly small cars but skeleton bobs, I would have guessed, would be lighter and have less impact on the track than Luges.

  17. if the cleaning crew slips while working

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh– weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  18. God I hate people with Norwegian accents. If I hear that accent, even if it is an interesting topic I just go away, and I'm Norwegian

  19. I hate to say this, but ……………
    Seems like an exceptional amount of money put into a sport that very few people participate in.
    Say no more ………

  20. so where does the heat go? I feel like that part is missing, I hoped for some clever solution where they reuse the waste heat for something usefl

  21. Wait a minute "You cannot create cold, you can only remove heat"?
    I've never heard of this law of thermodynamics before , thanks. As a Canadian I have a lot of questions, like where the hell does winter come from and who's stealing our heat? ?

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