Water Cooled Ice Machines
There are two types of cooling for ice machines: air cooling and water cooling. As a general rule, the air cooled ice machines will work well under most circumstances, but they are not as energy efficient as water-cooled ice machines and will fail to work if the environment is too hot. The water-cooled machines are inefficient with water, using about 100 more gallons to make 100 pounds of ice, but they’re slightly more energy efficient and can work in more locations. When would you use a water-cooled ice machine?
There are two types of water-cooled ice machines:
Once Through Cooling System
A once through cooling system will take water through the pipes, cool the machine once, and then send the heated water down the drain. It is a highly inefficient method, which is why ENERGY STAR was reluctant to give any water-cooled machines its label until recently
Closed Loop Cooling System
A closed loop water c
Nowadays, water conservation is more important than ever. With a little research, you can find that around 780 million people lack access to improved drinking water supplies and 2.5 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation.¹ Those of us with access to clean water would be mindful not to waste such a precious resource. In the past, we’ve noted that water cooled ice machines are not only an expensive idea, but a wasteful one as well. Water cooled ice machines keep their condensers cool by using water and running it over the condenser and then purging it from the ice machine. In a single day, the largest water cooled ice machine may run through over 5,000 gallons of water or more when operating at maximum effort. That number adds up very quickly, especially if the ice machine is in use every day.
While our last article examined some of the benefits and drawbacks of water-cooled ice machines, this one will look a bit deeper into the performance of specific ice machines. Hoshizaki, Manitowoc, Scotsman, and Ice-O-Matic all provide ice machines that feature either air-cooled, remote-air cooled, or water-cooled condensers, and in most cases, you will have an ice machine that performs markedly different because of the way its condenser is cooled. This article will serve to illustrate how much of a difference the condenser makes when it is water-cooled, and also show exactly how much water a water-cooled ice machine consumes.
The ICE0520FW from Ice-O-Matic, C0522MW from Scotsman, KM-515MWH from Hoshizaki, and the ID-503W from Manitowoc are all w
We have written many articles and spoken at great lengths about the benefits of air cooled and remote air cooled condensers for your ice machine. Less is talked about or written about water cooled models, and for some good reasons, but this article will examine the benefits (and also note the drawbacks) of the ice machine that makes use of a water cooled condenser. In the second part, we will be comparing ice machines from the four major brands in the United States, and it will become clear that water cooled ice machines do provide some great benefits, but it is up to you to find out if they are right for your establishment.
*Note: Water cooled ice machines can be identified by the suffix “W” at the end of the ice machine’s name. Air cooled ice machines are generally followed by an “A”, and remote air cooled ice machines generally end with an “R”, although Manitowoc uses an “N” to denote a remote air cool