The Project

Image 01

I heat my home with a geo-thermal system. This system takes ground water at about 57 degrees and extracts the heat from the water reducing the temperature of the water to about 47. The heat extracted from the water is then used to heat the house. The heat pump equipment works like a refrigerator by removing heat from one location and depositing it in another location. The waste water from this process is then discarded into a river or pond. This process is very efficient because it is just transferring heat from one source to another.

Instead of dumping the water into the river, I use it for the ice sculpture. When the furnace doesn’t run, a temperature probe on the nozzle triggers a valve when the temperature reaches 32 degrees. This keeps the water lines from freezing.

The robot that directs the spray is made from two antenna rotators that I have modified to position within ¼ of a degree. One rotator is attached to the other to allow azimuth and elevation motion. These antenna rotators are controlled by a computer using software that I have created. The computer program also uses weather info from a weather station on the top of the spray tower. The weather information such as the wind direction and speed is used to more accurately target the spray.

A steel cable that stretches across the top has a 150 foot span at a height of 65 feet this cable can be raised and lowered by remote control.

Every year I try to improve. My goal is to make it bigger and better. This year I have enhanced many aspects of the project. Improvements include stronger and taller towers, break away device, nozzle design, weight control, pressure control, six temperature probes, software design and many other advancements.

As with previous structures that used a frame of conduit for the water to freeze onto, this structure has no supporting structure. This is one of the requirements to qualify for the Guinness world record.

Roger Hanson

Image 01 I started these projects back in 2007 for basically for my own curiosity as what I could do with the expelled water from my geo-thermal heating system. To my amazement one day in January of 2009 Jana Shordal from KARE 11 TV news showed up on my doorstep wanting to do a story. The response from that story was overwhelming. I couldn’t believe that there is so much interest in something like this. It is very satisfying to develop something that people have an appreciation for. This has caused me to have even more enthusiasm in creating these projects and set goals each year to make it bigger and better. Each year this projects presents more and more problems as I try to develop new and better technology in order to improve from the previous year. I enjoy the feeling one gets from solving these problems, I guess that is why I am a software developer, every day I sit down at a computer, and it is a whole new experience.
  • Residents:
    • Lived northwest of Minneapolis Minnesota for 35 years.

  • Born:
    • Thief River Falls, MN: Aug. 1950.

  • Education:
    Self taught in the following areas:
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Electronics Engineering
    • Software Development

  • Married:
    • Linda Crompton: Jun. 1979, an elementary school media specialist.

  • Employment:
    • Founded Acucraft (a metal fabrication company): 1980
      Sold Acucraft in 1996 still in operation today.
    • Currently self employed developing software for the securities markets.

  • Hobbies:
    • Take a wild guess.
    • Billards - eight ball, last hole.