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Old 08-07-2009, 21:08   #1
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Block Ice vs Ice Water

Trying to get some opinions on what seems to last the longest.

If I use block ice in the cooler box it seems to last longer then bags of broken ice.

Although, the broken ice seems to keep the cooler/food colder and it melts down faster creating a swimming pool, which seems to melt the ice faster. Is it better to keep the water out of the cooler? But it sure keeps the drinks cold

I've tried the jell packs but what's one to do with them after they loose their cold?

I'm tempted to buy a 12V refer/freezer but how long would 3.0 amps last on two 150 ah batteries before the batt's loose their function?

What's best for inland waters where ice is available every 2-3 days?
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Old 08-07-2009, 21:30   #2
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Block ice melts slower than crushed ice because it has less surface area per amount of volume. If you want it to last and don't care how fast it cools your margaritas, then go with the block ice. If you want to get serious about it you could always get some dry ice.
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Old 08-07-2009, 22:40   #3
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Dry ice is so expensive and you loose 5 # a day in a good cooler.

One thing I have tried is freezing large plastic juice bottles and putting them in the cooler and as the water melts we use it to drink or as another source of fresh water for food purposes. A 1 gallon bottle will still have ice in it after 5 days if a few others are present.

Wondering if others have a few tricks.
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:29   #4
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I'm not sure but it seemed part of your question was whether it better to leave the melted water in the box. If so the answer is yes, leave the water as it is still the same temperature as ice floating in it.
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:38   #5
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I'm tempted to buy a 12V refer/freezer but how long would 3.0 amps last on two 150 ah batteries before the batt's loose their function?
Buy the bloody fridge! if you have 300 amp hours then what the hell else are you doing with all that electricity? Do you have a heated, vibrating water bed?

By the way, block ice lasts very well, party ice cools faster but disappears by the end of the party.

In Aus you can't buy Block ice any more! Its too good, too expensive and lasts too long!

When I used to go camping I would shove water in the freezer at home for a few days, gradually increasing the amount of water till I had a huge frozen block. Wonderful!!!!!!


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Old 09-07-2009, 05:54   #6
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I'm not sure but it seemed part of your question was whether it better to leave the melted water in the box. If so the answer is yes, leave the water as it is still the same temperature as ice floating in it.
The preceding information is incorrect. A simple experiment will prove it. Place several ice cubes in a glass of water until the water temperature is as cold as it will get, and place several ice cubes in an empty glass. Then take the ice out of each glass and put one new ice cube back in each one. The ice in the glass of cold water will melt first.
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:59   #7
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If your Esky is on the deck, drape a wet towel over it. This will stretch out the life of your ice.

Mark, you can still buy block ice down in Vic. I use it when I go camping up on the Murray.

Craig
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:21   #8
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Mark, you can still buy block ice down in Vic.
Craig

You guys are so living in the past


... and not complaining about global warming. If the BS is true your Real Estate will sky rocket. We are in Darwin and its the dead of winter... but its hotter than hell!




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Old 09-07-2009, 06:31   #9
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Do a little homework. Dry Ice is available in many grocery stores in the US. In my area Safeway carries it. Its better because its colder. Much colder! I bought three 6 pound slabs of dry ice for a three day cruise. I still had ice after five days, by putting an eight pound sack of crushed ice in the bottom of one of Igloo's super cool chests, under a single slab of dry ice. Unfortunately, all our fresh eggs froze solid sitting on the dry ice for 6 hours. Otherwise, our frozen stuff stayed frozen, and two slabs of dry ice in the chiller of my defunct refrigerator kept everything in there cool for the whole trip.

Ice can be much colder that freezing; some ice houses can give you blocks that are 50 degrees colder than others.

Trapped air is an insulator, but water will circulate, thawing ice much faster. So if you want to chill a third object quicker, put it and the ice in water; if you want the ice to last longer (and not chill something that quickly) don't put it in water.

Heat will penetrate virtually any material; only a vacuum is a true barrier, because there's no material there! Some materials are more thermally conductive, others like rigid. closed cell plastic foams are less. Thicker objects insulate better only because the heat has further to go.

So the best way to fight the heat (you can't "add" cold) is to insulate your storage area well using thick, closed cell foams made with thermally opaque material, and mimimize the size and duration of any opening. Circulating air is the enemy.
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:40   #10
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I'm not sure but it seemed part of your question was whether it better to leave the melted water in the box. If so the answer is yes, leave the water as it is still the same temperature as ice floating in it.
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The preceding information is incorrect. A simple experiment will prove it. Place several ice cubes in a glass of water until the water temperature is as cold as it will get, and place several ice cubes in an empty glass. Then take the ice out of each glass and put one new ice cube back in each one. The ice in the glass of cold water will melt first.
I donít believe that Johnís experiment accurately tests theoretical basis behind Donís (accurate, IMHO) thesis (I believe, Enthalpy or Latent Heat of Fusion), nor does it represent the practical alternatives.
In practice, warmer ambient air would replace the drained cold water, increasing the heat content of the ice box.
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:04   #11
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Wondering if others have a few tricks.
You could experiment with various eutectic solution, sea water (-16C?) more salt (-24C?) switch to glycol (-35C?) I use tall flat plastic bottles (handy handy"cleaning detergent") that I freeze in my home freezer(-35C) to kick start my boat freezer. When I run the boat freezer I freeze in it the warmer eutectic solution that I use in my cool boxe. In the tropic large frozen bottle last longer but does not absorb heat fast enough it is why I use greater surface low volume bottles.


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You guys are so living in the past
We are in Darwin and its the dead of winter... but its hotter than hell!

Mark
Come on Mark, Darwin in winter, it is so cold that people use blanket during the night, it is freezing for the local.
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Old 09-07-2009, 15:39   #12
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I've done all that and today ordered the new fridge. Freezing 2 liter soda bottles solid works pretty good. A mix of block and cubes goes the distance. Our old fridge died a while back and after the the past 10 day trip with ice I found most of the fridge was ice not food. You can set it up nice when you leave but after three days it settles into what ever you can do. I figured 20+ pounds per day. And 3 days is about as long as I can go and keep food with adding ice.

If you do 5 day trips you can freeze everything possible and mix blocks with ice to go the distance. Sometimes Ice costs a lot and I figure it was running $5 / day in ice.

Since the box used to run a fridge it also works for ice. I'll plug the drain and be able to carry more stuff and keep some things frozen. The last trip the battery bank was always 90% or better full. The fridge will take about 60 - 70 amp hours per day. The ability to stay away from the dock longer and keep food longer and carry the stuff you really want to eat instead of what keeps is an advantage.
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Old 09-07-2009, 15:43   #13
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wait ! there are people who have Fridges on their boats ? and they keep things cold ?

Wow!!!!


Its obviously been a long day
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Old 09-07-2009, 17:42   #14
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I'm reasonably sure Water in contact with ice will cause it to melt faster due to the better conductivity of marginally warmer water than marginally warmer air. At least it always has in my coolers/ ice boxes. That is also why drains and drip pans in the very old ice boxes allowed the water to collect away from the ice...

It is far simpler or more civilized to install a fridge with freezer and a battery bank supported by a few solar panels or some other available source of power.

I also initially stock my freezer and Frig with frozen water bottles and block ice to get it cold faster. Usually the frozen water bottles stay frozen after the freezer gets going. However if you have a crew member who appears to fall into a trance when looking into the freezer some block ice will melt and if you don't drain it off, it will take longer to re-freeze the other bottles.

Block Ice is far better than cubes... except when time comes to chip some off for drinks,
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Old 09-07-2009, 18:12   #15
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60-70 amps per day. Is that about average for say, a Alder-Barbour air cooled system.
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