ORLANDO, FLA.— Comprehensive Energy Services provided custom-designed hvacr, environmental controls and plumbing on a design/build basis for the “Titanic - Ship of Dreams” attraction, which opened here last year. Since the original Orlando exhibit, CES has worked on similar Titanic exhibits in Chicago, which opened in February 2000, in Las Vegas, which opened in November 1999 and in Toronto, which opened in September 1999.
The $180,000 project in Orlando took five months to complete. At peak time, CES had 12 people working on the job. CES created a 16-ft.-by-18-ft., 10,000-lb. replica of the iceberg that sank the Titanic. The fast-track schedule for this portion of the project — from CES’ initial conceptual design to the exhibit’s opening — was 60 days. This included design, prefabrication in CES’ shop, on-site fabrication, installation and final adjustment of the low-temperature refrigeration system for ice formation.
“The owners asked us if we could create the ice wall, and we said yes, even though this has never been done before,” said CES President Todd S. Morgan. “After all, ice is what happens when an air-conditioning unit is not properly working and the coil gets iced up. We also had to create a cold, clammy environment to simulate standing on the deck under the starry night sky.”
CES monitored the project through a series of direct digital controls and was able to keep track of any emergencies that developed on site. While the owners of the real Titanic ship weren’t so lucky, the owners of the Titanic exhibit ran into a problem of a melting iceberg.
“One of our technicians took out his laptop, connected to the project via telephone lines and was able to pinpoint the problem,” Morgan said. “One of the air-conditioning units switched into the heat mode and was blowing hot air on the ice. Our tech changed the settings and effected the repairs without making a service call.”
The iceberg replica was formed using CES’ custom-designed low-temperature refrigeration system, which condenses and freezes the moisture in the air from the surrounding space only. The base of the iceberg was fabricated of angle iron and aluminum plate and is refrigerated by more than 600 ft. of refrigerant tubing. The refrigeration system runs 24 hours a day to maintain a constant temperature of -26°F.