As intense weather sweeps the plains, temperatures in Las Vegas can reach 100F, which is an especially challenging climate for keeping tourists comfortable in enclosed spaces. On a busy weekend in June, a cooling product was tested under the fire of high Las Vegas temperatures, to keep passengers cool while riding the 550-foot high "High Roller" Ferris wheel.

Described as the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, the High Roller has 28 glass-enclosed and air-conditioned pods that can each hold 40 people. Each pod weighs 44,000-pounds with 300 sq.ft. of surrounding glass. At full capacity, more than 1100 can ride at the same time. The wheel moves 0.89 feet per second, and a full revolution takes 30 minutes.

Considering the possible swing in the outdoor temperatures, solar gain, cabin occupancy and humidity, the air conditioning system responsible for keeping passengers cool was designed to increase or decrease the cooling capacity to match the load conditions.

Air Innovations, based in Syracuse, NY, was awarded the contract to design and build the complicated air conditioning system of the High Roller Ferris wheel. Air Innovations reached out to Luvata for assistance in designing the air conditioners' evaporator and condenser coils.

Considering the possible swing in the outdoor temperatures, solar gain, cabin occupancy and humidity, the air conditioning system responsible for keeping passengers cool was designed to increase or decrease the cooling capacity to match the load conditions. As a result, each system required two compressors, with each evaporator and condenser coil connected independently to circuits with a 50/50 split.

“The air conditioning system is designed to turn on and off circuits. It’s comparable to having multiple systems operating independently of each other,” explains Michael Wetzel, president of Air Innovations. “The amount of cooling required inside each cabin is two to three times that of a typical house,” Wetzel says.

This link takes you to a news feature on Air Innovations.

"The air-conditioning system designed by Air Innovations was very complex,” says Paul Guariglia, Field Sales Engineer with Luvata Heat Transfer Solutions. “And Air Innovations made it happen. Luvata appreciated the opportunity to work with Air Innovations, providing products and technical support, on this unique project.”

“When people are riding the High Roller Ferris wheel, our job is to ensure the climate-controlled environment doesn’t distract from their experience,” continues Wetzel. “As temperatures approach 100 degrees in Vegas and riders remain captivated with the amazing view of the strip, we’ve done our job.”