Chena Hot Springs, Alaska

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Chena Hot Springs is a hot spring, resort, and unincorporated community in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska, United States, 56.5 miles northeast of Fairbanks near the Chena River State Recreation Area. The resort makes use of the first low-temperature binary geothermal power plant built in Alaska,[1] and is working on several alternative energy projects, including production and use of hydrogen[2] and vegetable oil for fuel.[3] The resort is conducting collaborative experiments in greenhouse production of vegetables with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.[4]

History[edit]

Chena Hot-springs

Chena Hot Springs was founded 100 years ago by two gold mining brothers, Robert and Thomas Swan. In 1905, Robert Swan was suffering from rheumatism and needed a place to calm his pain and be comfortable. The two brothers set out to find the hot springs. It took them a little over a month to reach the hot springs after searching for it in Interior Alaska’s harsh landscape. In 1911, twelve small cabins were built to accommodate visitors. The twelve cabins developed, and they became one of the most famous resorts in the interior of Alaska. Chena Hot Springs became so famous that the United States Department of Agriculture sent chemists to analyze the water. The characteristics of the water are very different from other American hot springs.[5]

Weather[edit]

The latitude for Chena Hot Springs Alaska is 65 03N and the longitude is 146 03W (“Chena Hot Springs Alaksa” 1). The average yearly temperature for the area is −4.9 °C (23.2 °F), with the highest temperature being in July at 20.4 °C (68.7 °F) and the lowest temperature being in January at −31.2 °C (−24.2 °F). Annually the average amount of precipitation is 357 millimetres (14.1 in). The average snowfall amount in Chena Hot Springs is 161.8 centimetres (63.7 in) annually.[6]

Aurora Ice Museum[edit]

The purpose of the Ice Museum is to boost the tourism of the resort and provide job opportunities for many ice artists in the area. The museum is made of ice blocks cut from a local pond during colder seasons. The museum is open throughout the entire year, including in the summer, when the temperature can reach up to 90ºF(32ºC). The inner structure of the museum consists of a great hall and a lounge, where it is home to countless sculptures and carved ice crystals. Some of these pieces include a gigantic chess set and life-size jousting knights. One of the rooms even has an ice toilet. Most of the sculptures are made by Steve Brice, a 13-time World Ice Art Champion, and his wife, Heather Brown (Lund 3-4). [7]

Geothermal Power Plant[edit]

Chena Hot Springs Resort uses a geothermal energy plant to generate energy. The resort replaced the diesel generators used in the past with this powerplant since July 2006, and it is successful in reducing the cost from 30 cents/kWh to 7 cents/kWh. The resort owners have future plans in increasing the work output of the powerplant from 200kW to 1MW.[8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 65°03′11″N 146°03′20″W / 65.05306°N 146.05556°W / 65.05306; -146.05556