Literature Survey of Ice Makers

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A Literature Survey of Ice Cube Maker History, Designs, and Components

Team Lead:Jacob Henson

Table of Contents

List of Figures2
Icemaker Components4

List of Figures

Figure Number and DescriptionPage #

Figure 1. Vapor Compression Refrigeration Cycle5
Figure 2. General Icemaker Components6
Figure 3. Rotating Ice Maker7
Figure 4. Alternative Rotating Ice Cube Maker8

OTW Engineering was tasked with designing an icemaker that is not only small enough to be packed in a car on a long drive or trip, but also design it so that it can be used in most hotel rooms utilizing the wall sockets, standard 110 volts electricity. The icemaker would need to be able to fill a 30cm x 30 cm x 30 cm ice cube reservoir from empty overnight. The icemaker should be designed utilizing inexpensive manufacturing methods and materials, yet provide the rigid structure and ice output required by the customer. In order to provide a detailed design, every component, for example the compressor, condenser, refrigerant, and the thermal material used as reservoir walls, must be designed/ specked to give us the most efficient ice maker possible.

The very earliest forms of refrigeration were simply the harvesting and storage of large blocks of ice from high altitudes and cold climates where it was prevalent. However this is a very labor intensive, arduous task. The trouble of what to do with excess of food supplies was finally solved in a practical means with the invention and wide spread adoption of vapor compression refrigeration systems. Since its inception, the main components have remained broadly unchanged in their basic design and function [1]. While many small improvements in efficiency and manufacturing have been made, the basic components of a refrigeration system are the following: A gas to be used as the refrigerant, a compressor or pump to compress the gas, a condenser to cool the heated and compressed gas, an expansion valve to control the rate of coolant flow, and an evaporator to allow the gas to expand and draw heat from the surroundings [2].

The refrigerant selected needs to possess several basic qualities, most importantly being a high heat of vaporization. This property refers to the amount of energy required to change the state of the refrigerant from a liquid to a gas. This change of phase occurs without a change in temperature, which is the key to refrigeration [3]. By having a large heat of vaporization, and changing states, the refrigerant can absorb more energy than it would by remaining in a single phase. This phase change allows the whole system to operate more efficiently [1]. According to “Restaurant Hospitality,” icemaker’s production is measured by how many pounds of ice produced per day [4]. Most icemakers derive their calculations with water at temperatures between fifty and seventy degrees Fahrenheit [4]. Since most water comes out of the tap at higher temperatures than the range used for the calculations, the production of ice will generally be less than manufacturer’s claim. Bins, or in our case, thermal reservoirs used to store ice, are also measured by how many pounds of ice they can store. Width of the icemaker is also sometimes taken into account if there is limited space.

Icemaker Components
The essential components of the refrigeration system consist of a compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and an evaporator [5]. Most literature and schematics for icemakers also consider refrigerant and water reservoirs as key components. In most common model icemakers, all actions of the icemaker are performed utilizing mechanical mechanisms. As these options are reliable and inexpensive to manufacture, they have been left virtually unchanged since their conception [6]. However, recent models utilize electrical probes to tell the icemaker...
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