Ice Maker Cycle Time – FAQ
Discover how long it will take your ice machine to produce ice once it’s installed and how the process works inside your commercial ice maker.
Fun Fact: Did you know hot water actually freezes faster than cold water?
The process of freezing is indeed mysterious. But we’re here to take the mystery out of it by explaining how a commercial ice machine produces ice and how long it takes.
So grab a cold one and chill as we give you all the information you’ll need on the commercial ice machine.
How Does The Ice Machine Make Ice?
If you’re in the market for a commercial ice machine then you’re going to need to understand the basics. The first thing you’ll need to know is that time it takes for an ice machine to actually make ice.
The perfect commercial ice machine has the ability to make a large quantity of ice in a short space of time. But how does it do this?
Water is typically pumped into the machine from a hose or pipe at the back. From here it enters the ice mold (referred to as the evaporator). The evaporator is connected to a system of coiled copper pipes that act as a heat exchange.
During this process, a compressor in the heart of the machine feeds pressurized refrigerant gasses through the copper piping. This is designed to change the temperature of both the water and ice. The temperature of the refrigerant is changed by a compressor, which increases the pressure, thus changing the temperature.
The refrigerant travels through a series of pipes and valves. First, it travels through a narrowing pipe which causes it to condense and lose heat. Next, it travels through an expansion valve and begins to evaporate into a gas.
This process both creates and draws in heat from the surrounding pipes and evaporator. The process is so effective that the water flowing over the evaporator begins to freeze from the inside out. This is what gives ice machine ice the crystal clear look.
How Long Does It Take to Make Ice?
The process might seem complicated, but the typical commercial ice machine, like the sort you’d see in a hotel, can get the job done extremely quickly. This is important as commercial ice machines can often be in high demand. This means the process needs to be as quick and efficient as possible to keep up.
The process we’ve described above takes between 30 and 90 minutes. This is dependent on a number of factors including the temperature where the ice machine is stored and how often it is being used. An ice machine that is stored in a warmer area and seeing frequent access will take longer than one stored in a cool area with infrequent visitors.
How Much Ice Can An Ice Machine Produce?
The process of making ice in a commercial ice maker is complicated. That much should be clear from the description above. The time between the water being pumped into the evaporator and the ice dropping into the dispenser tray or bin is called a cycle.
Obviously, the ice machine will not continue to produce ice if the dispenser bin is full. With that said, a commercial-grade ice machine can produce upwards of 250-300lbs of ice per day. Larger machines can produce upwards of 500lbs.
Keep in mind that this process takes energy. Before you invest, consider calculating the amount of energy your prospective ice maker will use. This will give you an idea of how much it will cost to run your ice machine.
Time To Cool Off
So, there you have it. All the information you could ever want on your commercial ice machine. You now know how they work, how long they take, and how much ice they can make in a given period.
All that remains is for us to thank you for stopping by and for you to have an ice day.