According to your elementary school science teacher and your elementary school books, the process of making ice from water is simple. Shaping the ice-cubes is not a difficult process because all you need is a simple ice maker. So how does an ice maker work? This article will elaborate more on how this beautiful machine works.
Previously, people used an ice-cube tray to make ice-cubes. All you just had to do is to pour water into the plastic mold and keep it in the freezer. Extract when the cubes are solid. With ice makers, you eliminate all the manual work of pouring water and freezing it. The ice maker is more or less an ice-cube factory at home. Ice makers utilize electric motor, an electric heating unit and a water valve. All you have to do is plug-in it to the circuit powering your fridge and to the plumbing lines. These two lines run through a hole at the back of the freezer.
When making ice with an ice maker, there are some processes that vary depending on what the ice is used for. In order for you to make ice at home, for example, you just put water in a mold and leave it in the freezer. Ice made for commercial purposes isn’t made this way. The water is frozen from the inside out, and this process eliminates those microscopic cracks that emerge when freezing from outside. Also, you will find that ice made commercially is clearer than that made from home because of this difference in the manufacturing process.
One thing you must understand is that all ice makers work very differently. The portable ice maker works differently from the home ice maker, commercial ice maker and a freezer.
First of all, there is no need for a mold in a portable freezer unit. This ice maker freezes water directly cutting the time used to make ice.
Below is a step-by-step explanation of how they work.
1) The water is added to the water reservoir of the unit, right up the fill line. These units are portable and they have no provision for direct connection to a water source. You have to fill the water in it manually.
2) The water is pumped to the freezer tray right at the top of the unit through a hole at the bottom of the water reservoir. If there is any overflow, it is spilled back in the reservoir.
3) As soon as refrigeration cycle starts, the prongs on the heat exchanger are immersed into the water in the freeze tray. These prongs get cold very fast and a layer of ice starts forming in a matter of few minutes.
4) You can adjust the size of cubes by varying the amount of time the prongs are left immersed in the water. If you want the ice thickness, then leave the prongs longer. It usually takes 6 minutes for this thick ice to form, and large pieces of ice take about twelve minutes to form. Please note the time taken to freeze, can be affected by the room temperature and the time that the unit has been running.
5) When the ice attains its proper size, the freeze tray starts to empty any unused water into the reservoir. Simultaneously, the heat exchanger begins to reverse itself and as a result the prongs start heating up to a certain degree, so that ice pieces start falling off the prongs and fall down into the storage basket above the water reservoir.
6) The amount of ice stored in the storage basket is monitored by the second sensor. The system shuts off before the basket gets full.
Below are some important things you have to pay attention to when you are contemplating about buying portable ice makers.
1) The portable ice maker will not keep your ice cool all the time. The ice will melt in a short span of time. So, you will have to keep it in a fridge as soon as the ice is made.
2) The melted ice is put back in the reservoir so that it can be reused later.
3) The freezing element is put directly in the water and hence makes the water cold quicker than a freezer which lowers the surrounding temperature so that ice can form.