Modern civilization loves to re-create nature. We have artificial light, artificial Christmas trees, artificial grass, artificial hearts and even artificial beaches! Curious as to how an artificial beach actually works? Take our quiz and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the workings of the giant wave pool "Thunder Bay" in Greensboro, North Carolina.
In the ocean, how are waves created?
through the magnetic pull below the earth's surface
In the ocean, waves are created when the wind pushes on the water, disturbing the molecules and creating a domino effect of disturbed water along the ocean's surface.
What kind of valve is used inside the wide metal pipe at Splash Island?
a diaphragm valve
an hydraulic valve
a butterfly valve
A butterfly valve, a wide disc attached to a revolving metal axis rod, is used. It enables the air from the fan to blast periodically: when the disc is horizontal, it blocks the air; when it revolves to a vertical position, it allows the air to pass through.
Why can't Splash Island's wave generating system be used to create enormous, surfable waves?
Its system works only for pools of water that contain less than 1, 000 gallons (3, 785 liters ); you need more water than that in a large wave pool.
It can, it is just not cost effective.
It would require too large a force.
To create enormous, surfable waves, you would need too large a force, like a giant fan or an extra strength plunger, to create a strong enough disturbance. A large wave pool relies on the surge created by dumping huge amounts of water into the deep end of a pool.
How many basic parts are there to a large wave pool?
There are five main parts to a large wave pool: a water pumping system, a water collection reservoir, a number of release valves at the bottom of the reservoir, a slanted swimming pool and a return canal.
The valve plate is attached to a metal strut, which is connected to an hydraulic piston and a steel beam. Pressurized oil is directed into the hydraulic piston, causing it to move with great force. This in turn moves the metal beam to which the valve plate is attached back and forth.
Why is Thunder Bay's hydraulic piston fuelled by vegetable oil instead of regular machine oil?
Machine oil is water soluble, while vegetable oil is not.
There is a risk that some oil may leak into the pool water.
An hydraulic pump sends a continual stream of vegetable oil into the hydraulic piston. Vegetable oil is used instead of regular machine oil, because there is a chance that some oil may leak into the pool water.
It is more cost effective when using such a large amount.
In a hydraulic piston, if the pressure is higher on the left side, in which direction will the piston move?
A hydraulic pump sends oil into the piston from hoses on both sides of the piston head. When it pumps oil from the left hose, the pressure from the oil will be higher, pushing the piston to the right. When oil is pumped from the right hose, the pressure will be higher on the right side, pushing the piston head to the left.