Slurry Technology: Air Conditioning

ambience: slurry ice machine, ice shaving machine

You know those ice slush confections kids love to slurp on a hot day. Well, it turns out
that they’ve inspired a new form of air conditioning. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. We’re at Argonne National Laboratory, the developers of this slush air conditioning technology, listening to the sounds of a shaver which transforms cakes of ice into a slushy mixture. Ken Kasza is a mechanical engineer.

“The ice slushy drink in which you have ice particles with some sort of syrupy liquid on them – that is a very high-capacity coolant just like our ice slurry that we’ve developed. But, it has some very negative characteristics also. If you put a straw into it, you will, ah, suck up sweet liquid. All the ice particles are basically stuck in the cup. They tend to freeze together and they tend not to be extractable. The slurry that we need is a slurry that can be stored in large tanks in which the ice particles do not freeze together, so that when we want to use the slurry, we can pump it out of the tank into pipes and send it out into various buildings in a downtown city area. So the slurry has to be very fluid, not frozen together, in contrast to a slushy drink, which is a coolant, but it doesn’t have the correct characteristics.”

The slurry mixture can cool 5 to 6 times more capacity than plain chilled water at the same temperature. The key to this technology are very smooth, spherical ice particles — smaller than the head of a pin. Argonne has developed a technique to melt the roughness off individual ice particles by adding certain chemicals called freezing suppressants. The ice slush technology may be available for municipal use in the not too distant future.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation.

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Slurry Technology: Air Conditioning

A type of slurry, similar to the rainbow colored variety we enjoy in slush drinks, is a futuristic element for large scale structural cooling.
Air Date:06/04/2003
Scientist:
Transcript:


ambience: slurry ice machine, ice shaving machine

You know those ice slush confections kids love to slurp on a hot day. Well, it turns out
that they’ve inspired a new form of air conditioning. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. We’re at Argonne National Laboratory, the developers of this slush air conditioning technology, listening to the sounds of a shaver which transforms cakes of ice into a slushy mixture. Ken Kasza is a mechanical engineer.

"The ice slushy drink in which you have ice particles with some sort of syrupy liquid on them - that is a very high-capacity coolant just like our ice slurry that we’ve developed. But, it has some very negative characteristics also. If you put a straw into it, you will, ah, suck up sweet liquid. All the ice particles are basically stuck in the cup. They tend to freeze together and they tend not to be extractable. The slurry that we need is a slurry that can be stored in large tanks in which the ice particles do not freeze together, so that when we want to use the slurry, we can pump it out of the tank into pipes and send it out into various buildings in a downtown city area. So the slurry has to be very fluid, not frozen together, in contrast to a slushy drink, which is a coolant, but it doesn’t have the correct characteristics."

The slurry mixture can cool 5 to 6 times more capacity than plain chilled water at the same temperature. The key to this technology are very smooth, spherical ice particles -- smaller than the head of a pin. Argonne has developed a technique to melt the roughness off individual ice particles by adding certain chemicals called freezing suppressants. The ice slush technology may be available for municipal use in the not too distant future.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation.

music