ice castlesWinters in Minnesota are cold. The best way to get through the bone-chilling season is to have fun with it, just like Roger Hanson does. For the last four years the ice builder has been growing ice castles in his front yard with the help of his geothermal heating system, some fancy sprayers and a computer program he created himself.

ice castlesEach year the crystalline castles at Hanson’s Winter Water Wonder are getting bigger and bigger with more intricate rigging systems and more complicated programming.

ice castlesThese amazing sculptures are made possible because of Hanson’s geothermal heating system used to heat his home. As you will recall, a geothermal heat pump works like a reverse refrigerator taking heat from one source and rejecting cold into another. In Hanson’s case, his system takes ground water at 47 degrees to preheat his home and then rejects the water at 37 degrees into the pond near his home. During the winter, he takes this super cold, but not frozen, water and uses it to form his ice castles.

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