Heat for ice production
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CTA. 1987. Heat for ice production. Spore 9. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44639
Ice making is of great importance to remote villages and desert areas where refrigeration would improve the preservation of food, medicines and other perishable products. The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Bangkok has a programme that...
Ice making is of great importance to remote villages and desert areas where refrigeration would improve the preservation of food, medicines and other perishable products. The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Bangkok has a programme that focusses on the development and field evaluation of experimental ice-making units. The major problem is to develop low-cost technology that is easy to maintain and does not rely on conventional energy sources. AlT's Division of Energy Technology has been exploring both solar-powered and bio-fueled ice makers. A solar refrigeration unit, capable of producing about 100 kg of ice per day, operates on an intermittent cycle based on ammonia-water absorption with 12 flat-plate solar collectors. An economic evaluation of this village-sized commercial unit concluded that the pay-back time would be between two and six years depending on interest rates and ice marketing results. Perhaps the greatest promise lies in biomass-fuelling units. With financial support from the French National Agency for Energy Management, AIT is now sponsoring an experiment with a biomass-fuelled ice maker. The unit is in operation on the island of Khau Yoi Noi on the southern coast of Thailand which has a very hot climate. The machine can be fuelled with any biomass which can be burned in an ordinary stove. Being extremely simple to operate and requiring hardly any maintenance, this equipment can produce 25 kilogrammes of ice per cycle or 25 kg per day. Using coconut fibres as an energy source, it requires about 1.5 kg of fuel per kg of ice. It costs about 3,000 US dollars and given current costs of commercial ice at remote locations, the payback period is estimated to be three or four years. Although these technical and economic aspects appear very promising, the year-long field trial has shown that certain social considerations may inhibit the machine's acceptability.