Ice making plants in the Southern United States are especially busy places. Ice is a popular commodity, especially in warmer months, when production runs high. Facility managers typically wait for the wintertime to turn their attention to maintenance issues.
We recently did work for a major ice making company here is the Southeast that produces 10 to 20 lb bags of cubed ice. Their production line incorporates large freezer units with galvanized metal walls with very thick insulation. During the ice making process, cubes find their way into spaces where they collect, freeze together, and form one big mass of accumulated ice. Every several years this company would shut down production for a period of time in December and use a jackhammer to break up the oversized mass of ice before cleaning the room. The labor and equipment costs associated with this method were expensive, and the company was exploring alternative solutions.
We took the call from the client, who was interested in the feasibility and cost of using heaters to melt the ice. Our solution involved using 400,000 BTU propane heaters to blow hot air through a series of ducts directed at the ice mass. Even at these high BTUs, it took almost 10 days to melt the massive block of ice. However, it took much less time and was significantly less expensive than the jackhammer method. The client was so pleased with the outcome that they are considering using this method when maintenance comes due at their 25 other plants.
To learn more about this project or our portable heating and cooling solutions, contact us directly.