Ice Experiment

Submitted: Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:22
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G'day all,

Just thought I'd post the outcome of a small experiment I carried out.

Two polystyrene cups at ambient,

into each added 4 identical ice cubes,

into one added water which was just above freezing,

covered both in gladwrap, both side by side at ambient temp.

After 2 hrs only water in one that had the ice n water, the other with just ice, had only slightly defrosted and still had basically 4 ice cubes in it.

So it would appear to uphold the theory of draining water from esky for best results.

Ron
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Reply By: signman - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:32

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:32
As Pof. Sumner Miller would say.."Why is it so..."
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Reply By: porl - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:32

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:32
Do it again with the salt thing. I would do it right now cept i don't have polystyerene cups and no ice and i dunno how much salt to put in.
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Follow Up By: Ron173 - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:38

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:38
cant freeze salted cubes here at moment
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Reply By: Member - Jay Gee (WA) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:33

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:33
And you came to this conculsion because.........?
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Follow Up By: Ron173 - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:37

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:37
because elsewhere on here there has been numerous discussions about wether you should drain your water out of an esky or leave it in with the melting ice.

From this it would appear that draining is better.

Ron
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Follow Up By: Member - Jay Gee (WA) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:54

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:54
You still haven't explaind why the result of the experiment allows you to draw the conclusion. You need to completely explain the results and how they work. For instance:
Observation - The ice melted
Probable reason - Therefore the temperature in container "x" increased compared with container "y"
Conculsion - Therefore, leaving water in will raise temperature in container "x" faster than container "y"

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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:02

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:02
wayer conducts heat better than air...thats why the ice melts faster
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Follow Up By: Ron173 - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:03

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:03
"You still haven't explaind why the result of the experiment allows you to draw the conclusion."

I said it would appear to.......

I just posted the results to allow viewers to draw their own conclusions

anyway youve just done the explanation, so no need to now.

It was just a casual observation, I didnt realise it would be on trial with the forum Police.

Ron

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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:16

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:16
Jay Gee you're just rubbing salt into the wounds.................
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:20

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:20
that wont work/help either bonz
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Reply By: Browser - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:39

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:39
Hi Ron173,

You have shown that ice lasts longer if you drain away the water but what about the temperature? I always find that a beer in an ice slurry is colder than when it is simply sat on ice. So what is important to you? Longer lasting ice or colder beer!!!!!

regards,

Browser
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Follow Up By: Ron173 - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:50

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:50
Admittedly it wasnt a very scientific set up, more just an observation, as you correctly state I didnt monitor temperature.

As for whats important, I guess thats a personal preference, my beer isnt usually sat on ice, its in ice as in buried, and as ice is colder than water, the ice would be important to me as by removing water, which is a byproduct of melting ice, you extend your ice life.

For those of us who like slurry, obviously dont drain.

Even simpler, use containers then only water is a bit of condensation.

Ron

(its still interesting to play with things and experiment at home before trips)
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Follow Up By: Boc1971 - Sunday, Feb 05, 2006 at 00:56

Sunday, Feb 05, 2006 at 00:56
aah the beer gets colder faster because there is more surface area in direct contact with the beer ;)

Bugger keeping ice for to long ..... Bring me a coldie for an esky full of half melted ice and water anyday ;)

Frank
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Reply By: Moose - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:45

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:45
G'day Ron
Dr Karl would say that doing the experiment only once proves nothing. Ambient temp obviously has an effect. Try again at higher and lower ambient. Do it in an esky since you are saying that what happens in the poly cups can be assumed to also occur in an esky. Eskies not usually 100% polystyrene. Also eskies have lids which should be better insulated than a piece of glad wrap!
However I would have thought that the fact that the water you added was above freezing would obviously hasten the melting of the ice.
Good on you for coming up with the idea. Back in the old days of actually using an esky I always emptied the water without really wondering about it scientifically - just did it because the food floating in the water was detrimental to its edibility.
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Follow Up By: revhead307 - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:50

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:50
Im with moose,

If its just beer...leave the water in..

but when ur margarine, bread and tomatoes are floating...its time to tip the water out.

Rev
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Follow Up By: Wombat - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:51

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:51
". . . the fact that the water you added was above freezing. . ."

Ummm! That's why it's water - if it was at or below freezing it would be ice!
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Reply By: Bega Photographer - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:49

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:49
OK, it does seem to uphold the theory.

How about trying the following to confirm it:

Put out two styrene cups with just ice. When the ice is about half melted, tip the water out of one and then see how they perform. I'd be pleased to hear the outcome. I suppose, of course, that I could do this for myself, but it's easier and more reliable to put it on to such an expert as you, Ron.

I recall, as a boy before we had a fridge and the iceman came once a week. The block of ice sat in the top of the icechest on a platform about half an inch high. The melted ice drained into a bucket. Now I know why.

I'd also appreciate some insight about keeping ice and frozen meat.

I'm going on another wilderness landscape photography trip to outback South Australia in August. Traveling on an ATV (four wheel motorbike) I don't have much spare space or carrying capacity.

I'd like to take some frozen lamb chops this time to go with the beans, damper, and black tea.

I have a 5liter drink esky with a large, square lid which is polyurithane insulated and seems to be not too bad for it's insulative properties. I wondered about putting the frozen meat and an ice pack in one of those flexable picnic packs, inside the esky. Are the picnic packs any good for this or do they just keep your sandwiches cool for an hour or two?

Regards,
Laurie.
Wilderness Landscape Photography
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Follow Up By: Ron173 - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:53

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:53
I might try your version.

Where did I claim to be an expert?
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:05

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:05
lawrie....you maybe better off getting cryovac meat
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Follow Up By: robak (QLD) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:37

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:37
Ron

Better still. Put a tine hole on the bottom of one cup so the water keeps draining.

it would also be good to measure the air temperature in the cups to see if there is a difference.

Good on ya' for trying somehting out rather then just throwing around opinions.

Cheers.

R.
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Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 21:01

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 21:01
Please pardon my ignorance, Member No 1, but what is cryovac meat. Sounds like vacum packed meat.

Regards,
Laurie.
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Saturday, Feb 04, 2006 at 09:39

Saturday, Feb 04, 2006 at 09:39
yep...that stuff laurie
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Reply By: Member - John L G - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:52

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 14:52
Hi Ron

Too much time methinks but that may be another matter.

Question: The water you added to the ice blocks - was that room temperature water or chilled water just above freezing temperature as melted ice would be?

That may provide a slightly different story as the total thermal mass may take longer to thaw ---- or not perhaps!!!!!!!!!!!

If all else fails turn on the Engel with the beer barrel inside.

John G
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:18

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:18
he said above

"into each added 4 identical ice cubes,

into one added water which was just above freezing"

QED
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Follow Up By: Member - John L G - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 18:49

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 18:49
Silly me - and that was before I went out for lunch so am definitely not going to offer any more inane comment this pm.

John G
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Reply By: Lone Wolf - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:57

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 15:57
As quoted by Member Number 1..."water conducts heat better than air...thats why the ice melts faster" Now, he is also one of the proponents of emptying the water from an esky, he is also a refrigeration dude, so I am not going to argue his points.

I will however, say this...

Water conducts heat better than air. So, if you've got just ice in the esky, and drinks, and air, how is the air going to conduct the temperature differential to the drinks?

If you've got an Ice / water slurry, it is quite evident to see how the differential can be carried out.

I am also led to believe, that if you keep ANYTHING, in an esky or fridge, other than air, it is going to be more efficient, ergo keeping the cold water within the confines of the esky.

I really think, that a controlled experiment, needs to be carried out, to see, once and for all, what method KEEPS GOODS IN AN ESKY THE COLDEST, not, what keeps the ice the longest, we want COLD GOODS, which is by way of thawing ice.

So, two identical eskies, two lots of produce, two identical thermometer probes, and some weighed ice.

I am not going to do this experiment, I'll leave it to someone else, who can then bask in the EO Mythbuster Limelight.

May the better esky win....

The gauntlet has been thrown down...

Wolfie

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Follow Up By: Ron173 - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:19

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:19
Sounds like a good idea. I aint about to buy another identical esky though!

I did actually repeat it, as someone stated with ice in both, and drained water from other as it melts via a small hole, its still going, and the one without the water in it which is draining is way ahead of the other in the amount of ice left. (i wonder how many others are now trying it)

Someone pointed out glad wrap was no good, I know, it was just to keep a bit of ambient out, as I got no lids, but it was done equally.

I was only havin a bit of fun, guys on here take things WAY too seriously.

Rgds

Ron

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Follow Up By: Member - Bware - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2006 at 17:59

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2006 at 17:59
All this talk of water conducting better; I guess that's why our home fridges are full of water ;)
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Reply By: Member - Jack - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:06

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:06
I may be wrong but it was pointed out to me that salt does lower the freezing temp of water ..... so you get colder tinnies . Gotta be a good thing.

But ............................. (and there's always one of these) .......................

It therefore has a lower melting point, so turns to water sooner.

Oh, how I do miss Prof Julius Sumner Milner ......

Jack
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Follow Up By: robak (QLD) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:22

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:22
Jack

"It therefore has a lower melting point, so turns to water sooner.
thats what I first thought which prompted my question in the OTHER thread.

But Captain has pointed out very clearly (in the OTHER thread) that is not the case. It'll turn to water at about the same time.

R.
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Follow Up By: Pyalong - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:40

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:40
...and to follow up Jack...

...as the the salt melts the ice, the salt particles are diluted...thereby raising the freezing temp of the water again.....so as the circle goes around...does this mean salts actually melts ice???....well not necessarily...... the reaction with the salt ceases to exist at around -17.5 Deg C......just some more wierd info on a wierd....BUT good subject!!!.

Cheers
Mick.
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Follow Up By: robak (QLD) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:46

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:46
Just like this liquid gets into chalk....
:)

R
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Reply By: The Explorer - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:14

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:14
Another couple of questions

Does ice frozen in and Engel last longer than that frozen in a Waeco?

Are wide ice cubes better than skinny ones?

Just curious
Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: Ron173 - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:23

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:23
That'll stir em up!

I'm with the Engel.

Ron
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Follow Up By: age - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:41

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:41
Will it melt faster if we let some air out of one of the cups....oh sorry still caught up in yesterdays tyre debate
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Reply By: tojo - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:17

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:17
I've heard Dr karl on the radio talking about how hot water will freeze quicker than water at ambient temperature apparently there is many theorys on it but now one really knows . Dr karl had his own but l cant seem to recall it , l have never actually tried it my self but Dr karl is one smart cookie .
Any test pilots ? .
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Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Saturday, Feb 04, 2006 at 23:38

Saturday, Feb 04, 2006 at 23:38
I tried this one many years ago. Hot water froze slower for me. Perhaps I held my tongue wrong while doing it??
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Reply By: andoland - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:26

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:26
Ron,

Good experiment but I don't think you can draw the conclusion from this experiment that you should drain water from the esky for best results. What you have demonstrated is that the water in the cup contained more energy than the air in the other cup.

Here is some maths.
Lets assume cold water put into the cup was about 50mL and was say 2 degrees (i.e. just above freezing). The specific heat of water is 4.18 J/g/C. We know the water did no freeze so it did not reach zero degrees. Lets say the final water temperature after 2 hours was 1 degree so the water temp reduced by 1 degree.

To calculate the amount of energy the water gave up, and hence the amount of enegry the ice absorbed:

Energy, q = mass X specific heat x change in temperature

So for the water, mass = 50 g (water has a density close enough to 1000 kg/m3)
specific heat = 4.180
change in temp = 1 degree

therefore q = 50 x 4.18 x 1 = 209 J, i.e. the ice absorbed 209 Joules of energy

Now for the other cup. This cup contains air only so the ice has to absorb energy from the warmer air. If we assume the same volume of air (50mL) as for the water, then there is 0.06g of air being cooled. The specific heat of air is 1.009 j/g/C. We will assume the air was at 25 degrees and cooled down to 1 degree. The amount of heat absorbed by the ice from the air is:

q = 0.06 x 1.009 x 25 = 1.6 J, i.e. the ice only absorbed 1.6 joules of energy from the air.

This maths does not take into account heat loss through the cup walls.

So the ice with water in it absorbed 139 times as much energy, but this energy was absorbed COOLING THE WATER DOWN. If you have ice in your esky that melts to water, then the water is at 0 degrees and will stay at that temperature until the ice has completely melted. Therefore, the ice will not be absorbing energy to cool this water down so this is a different scenario to the experiment that you did.

There is some more thermodynamics could be done to show whether you are better off draining water out or not, based on the specific heat of water versus the latent heat of fusion in the ice, and the differences in temperature between an ice slurry which will be at 0 degrees and ice without water around it which will be less than zero degrees. You also have to take into account then convection and conduction because water is a much better heat transfer medium than air, i.e. cold water will cool an object down much quicker than air that is the same temperature. But, it is Friday afternoon and I left Uni too long ago to remember how to do the calculations anyway.

Have I confused everybody sufficiently?
Ando
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Follow Up By: Lone Wolf - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:30

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:30
So like..... was I right?

Do we NEED the water to transfer the differential to the drinks?

Wolfie
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Follow Up By: glenno(qld) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:41

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:41
Wouldnt it be easier to post a link.
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Follow Up By: andoland - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:44

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:44
Wolfie,

The statements you made are correct but probably the only way to know the answer for sure is to do an experiment as you have suggested. The reason the answer is not apparent is that, while water will conduct the heat better, it will also be warmer (zero degrees) that ice with no water around it (sub-zero degrees) so there will be a larger temperature differential between the 'dry' ice and your drinks that the slurry and your drinks. After some period of time the air will eventually cool down to the ice temperature as well.

Ando
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Follow Up By: andoland - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:46

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:46
glenno, if you can find a link please post it 'cause I don't have one anywhere.

Ando
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Follow Up By: glenno(qld) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:47

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 16:47
Only havin a gig .Your too brainy for me , im only a troopy owner . Cheers
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Follow Up By: Ron173 - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 20:52

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 20:52
I didnt draw the conclusion, like I said earlier, I said

quote "it would appear that"

Allowing others to just look at what I found.

Anyway this is getting way way way toooooo complex for me, I'll just do my own thing, let others do theirs.

Rgds

Ron
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Reply By: Vivid Adventures - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 17:05

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 17:05
complex subject.

The water transfers heat (from the outside of the esky through the esky walls to the water body) and from the goods in the ice box to the water body (keeping them cool) better than air transfers the same heat.

So if the items need cooling first, the water - if it is colder than the items - will do it better - the air, on the other hand is likely to be warmer than the water, so even though it is not as effective, it may actually be transfering some heat (warming them up) into the items (and the ice) to start with, until the air gets cold enough.

So, in the end you need to decide what you care about - if you care about cold ice, cold water, cold air, cold esky, cold car or cold goods!

The best way is to get everything (esky included) pre-chilled (put it all in a freezer, and start with the goods as cold as you can have them) - then it just gets down to the air-tightness and insulation of your esky.

The salt disolving has a heat of solution in water, so it extracts heat from solution (I think this is called exothermic). KNO3 is better - 4x better at cooling I think. On the other hand, LiCl is endothermic and heats the solution something like 20x as much as NaCl (salt) decreases it's temperature! Exactly how much depends on how much salt, and the temperature of the water and the salt!

The usual questions though, should be how much heat your two polystyene cups could absorb

I'd hazard to guess that in most situations, the "only water" one is still more capable of cooling stuff than your "4 ice cubes" (and a lota air) one.

Ciao for now
Andrew.
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Follow Up By: glenno(qld) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 18:58

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 18:58
The night before i go away i put one of those silver frozen bags in the fibreglass esky to precool the esky . Then the next morning i take the bag out . Then i buy the ice and put it in along with the food .
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Saturday, Feb 04, 2006 at 02:38

Saturday, Feb 04, 2006 at 02:38
Hi Andrew,

Good reply, and about the only one that asks what are you trying to achieve! I hazard a guess that most of you want to keep your non-frozen items (beer, milk, more beer etc...) as cold as possible (but not frozen).

Now in the real world, whatever esky you have has a fixed heat loss, some better than others due to insulation, lid sealing etc... but fixed non the less for each individual esky. Now the question is "do i drain my water?".

As the water is at 0C, it takes energy to heat up any further and since we have already said the heat loss from the esky is fixed, any water you drain will mean there is less of a heat sink to absorb the energy thus your food items will now heat up faster. So, if you want to keep your beer cold, then keep the water in!!!

But if you want to keep frozen stuff frozen (peas, icecream, whatever...) then use salt ice and drain your water, this will keep the esky around -16C (salt content depending) until you run out of ice.

Different answer depending on what you want to do - simple really wasn't it ;)

Cheers

Captain
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Follow Up By: Member - Bware - Saturday, Feb 04, 2006 at 09:58

Saturday, Feb 04, 2006 at 09:58
Yep. But maybe what you want is your ice to last longer to avoid daily trips for more ice. For me the answer is ice in the bottom of esky, add plenty of salt. This reduces rate of melting, turns ice cubes into a solid block which lasts much longer than standard party ice. Put everything in cold and she'll be right mate. No need for complex scientific formulae when you know something works. ie 2+2=4; but why? How? Prove it to me!
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Saturday, Feb 04, 2006 at 10:44

Saturday, Feb 04, 2006 at 10:44
Hi Bware,

Adding salt to ice will actually melt it!!! BUT, if the ice is cold enough (>-17C) it will form one large block of ice. Block ice melts much slower than ice cubes because there is less surface area for heat transfer.

But unless your ice was cold enough in the first, you will simply melt your ice by adding salt. Why do you think they throw salt over snow on roads - its to melt the snow.

I am very suprised that your adding salt to ice cubes creates one large ice block. This is not typical and will only happen with very cold ice - not what you normally get from commercially purchased party ice blocks. So why I do not dispute your experience, I doubt it will occur in most applications.

Cheers

Captain
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Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Saturday, Feb 04, 2006 at 23:32

Saturday, Feb 04, 2006 at 23:32
"As the water is at 0C, it takes energy to heat up any further and since we have already said the heat loss from the esky is fixed, any water you drain will mean there is less of a heat sink to absorb the energy thus your food items will now heat up faster. So, if you want to keep your beer cold, then keep the water in!!! "

- but if your aim is to keep your food/beer below 2 Deg, then each litre of ice melting will have the same cooling effect as FORTY litres of water.

I think you will be better off removing the water so there is mainly AIR in contact with the esky walls rather than water. The better insulation of no water will make the ice last longer than the piddling cooling effect of cold water.

Mike
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Sunday, Feb 05, 2006 at 01:24

Sunday, Feb 05, 2006 at 01:24
Hi Mike,

As I said earlier, it all depends on what you are trying to achieve. The problem is, if you remove the thawed water, air is such a poor conductor of heat that you will struggle to cool down warm items placed in an esky. But if they are already cold, then you have to way up the insulation properties of the esky (water conducts the heat to the esky) vs the heat capacity of the water itself.

All conjecture on what is the most effective way without knowing excatly the esky insulating properties, but at the end of the day the initial volume of ice will be by far the main determining factor, all the rest is really minor differences in practice.

Cheers

Captain
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Follow Up By: Member - Bware - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2006 at 14:37

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2006 at 14:37
My salted ice works in the practical world at odds with all this theory.
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Reply By: gramps - Sunday, Feb 05, 2006 at 01:29

Sunday, Feb 05, 2006 at 01:29
Ohhhh my head hurts :(((( Knew I should'nt have started reading this thread.

Ron, You're gunna burn for this :))))))))
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Follow Up By: Ron173 - Sunday, Feb 05, 2006 at 07:11

Sunday, Feb 05, 2006 at 07:11
Burn,

now that would involve heat, maybe should be applying heat to speed things up........LOL

Ron
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Sunday, Feb 05, 2006 at 10:24

Sunday, Feb 05, 2006 at 10:24
Your head hurts ?? now I cant decide which fridge to get my beer from ,either the 80lt Waeco set at -18 in the freezer section or the 15lt Engle set at 2 deg or the 40lt chescold running at 4deg on gas or get a coldie from the 70lt Evacool 4x esky filled with ice slowly turning to slurry ,oh and you recon your head hurts, ????? sorry to hear that !!!! lol.
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Reply By: Member - Camper (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2006 at 12:53

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2006 at 12:53
Whacko! real science on the Forum!
I'm with Arnoland. There are more variables here than one can poke a stick at.
Including heat required to increase temp of ice, latent heat required to melt ice and heat required to raise temp of water.
Try repeating experiment and seeing how long it takes for the contents of each cup to reach ambient temp. My money is on the cup with water and ice because ultimately after the ice melts there is more water to raise to ambient.
Ain't this excitin'?
Camper
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Reply By: Member - Bware - Tuesday, Feb 07, 2006 at 14:32

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2006 at 14:32
Those in favour of the 'slurry method' must realise that the water is not below 0 c, that's a fact, and I like my beer a bit colder than that. Also, the more slurry the less ice the higher the slurry temperature.
AnswerID: 153622

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