11 Sep Where does the air go?
At REALiceCanada we are often asked where does the air go? That can be a bit complicated. But, we thought we’d take a stab at explaining this in terms everyone will understand.
How it’s always been done:
Ice has traditionally been made with hot water. Old school ice-makers still use 160 degree Fahrenheit water to fill their ice resurfacers. Using hot water to resurface ice is the way it’s always been done, but it’s also costly and bad for the environment.
With hot water resurfacing it’s easy to understand where the air bubbles go.
Imagine putting a pan of water on the stove to boil.
When water boils little air bubbles are visible along the side of the pan, they evaporate, and then disappear.
The amount of air trapped in the water varies greatly depending upon the temperature of the water. When water is at 50 degrees Fahrenheit there is a significant amount of trapped air. But, when the water is heated to 160 degrees Fahrenheit or more there are only trace amounts of trapped air.
Now let’s talk about How REALice works
Imagine being able to lower operational costs and make fantastic ice. That’s where REALice comes in.
REALice allows ice makers to remove trapped micro air bubbles without heating the water.
The REALice System is powered by water pressure only and spins the water like a tornado to remove the air bubbles.
But wait! Where do the air bubbles go?
The Micro air bubbles (un-dissolved air) in the water are pulled into the extreme low-pressure zone in the vortex chamber that is created by the forces inside the REALice system.
The low pressure causes the bubbles to expand and gather into large bubbles. Also see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWcBEPlj2-I
The separation of water and air occurs in the tank of the ice resurfacing machine, and because air is lighter than water, the air leaves via the fill opening of the resurfacing machine.
The independent research and knowledge institute Polymer Technology Group at the University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands, tested REAlice technology.
The researchers showed that when the air bubbles are removed with REALice, viscosity is lowered by 5% – 17% and the heat transfer capacity increases by + 5% for ice.
Viscosity is a measure that shows how much resistance occurs for a liquid. For example honey has a much higher viscosity than water.
So, the lower the viscosity, the easier the water can flow or circulate and that is better for making artificial ice.
Increasing the heat transfer capacity means less energy is required to keep ice made with REALice frozen and therefore operators will be able to reset their brine temperature 3 to 5 Fahrenheit warmer.
REALice is a really smart piece of equipment, which is easily added to a rink’s piping system. It’s a brilliant example of precision fluid dynamics, which requires no chemicals, filters or maintenance. REALice has no moving parts — and is powered by water pressure alone.
It’s just like boiling the water, but without the heat.