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On April 4, 2011, AFE members and guests had the privilege of experiencing a behind-the-scene tour of the architecture and infrastructure of the world class HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
On the exclusive tour, guided by Rich Sotelo, VP of Buildings Operations; and Assistant Chief Engineer Eric Gold; we got to walk on the catwalk above the arena. We examined 8 individually operated 40,000 cfm air handlers--each powered by two 30 hp motors connected to a variable frequency drive.
We carefully examined the storage and distribution center for all the beer dispensed at the events. The beer is pressurized by nitrogen gas for delivery from the central location to the point-of-use taps throughout the Pavilion.
We learned a lot about the special requirements for making high quality ice sufficient for professional hockey games. Many were surprised to learn that the ice on the hockey rink is only 1 inch thick.
We learned some interesting facts about the ice requirements and maintenance. The ice is made from water purified by a reverse osmosis system and is replaced only a couple of times each year. It takes about 5 hours to remove the ice and about 40 hours to replace it. For non-ice related events, such as basketball and concerts, the ice is covered with 550 sheets of fiberglass composite material.
The inside of the arena is 91 feet high and can hold 17,500 fans for hockey and up to 20,000 for multipurpose events. The Pavilion hosts about 180 events a year, has 7 full-time engineers, and 1150 employees—most of which are part-time.
The event included a nice buffet dinner at the arena. Afterwards, many attendees stayed after the tour to be part of the full-house crowd that witnessed a decisive win of the SJ Sharks over the LA Kings. GO SHARKS!!!
A special thank you goes out to Rich Sotelo and Eric Gold for hosting this event; and to Jim Elder of Computer Air/Power Systems, and Bob Adamo and Kady Blake of Technical Builders, for helping create and organize this very informative and interesting tour.
These activities and tours are sponsored by the Silicon Valley and Golden Gate Chapters of the AFE. In addition to being a lot of fun, these gatherings provide excellent networking opportunities. We bring together professionals who ensure the optimal operation of plants, grounds and offices at Fortune 500 manufacturers, universities, medical centers, government agencies and innovative small firms from around the world. And, they all look to AFE as the leading technical resource on engineering issues. AFE's mission is to provide education, certification, technical information and other relevant resources to plant and facility engineering, operation and maintenance.
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