Scientists to use energy from waterfall to make ice cubes

Dr Vo Chi Chinh from Da Nang University and his co-workers have created a special refrigeration system that makes ice cubes and preserves food. It uses the power of natural water, which is abundant in mountainous areas.

According to Chinh, small-capacity water energy sources in Vietnam can be found everywhere, especially in mountainous areas with steep terrain where there are many waterfalls.

Scientists to use energy from waterfall to make ice cubes

Big water sources have been used up for hydraulic power, while small ones still cannot be exploited. Small water sources have been mostly used for mini hydropower units.

The research team discovered that the capacity of small water sources can be exploited to run ice cube making machines.

The scientists concluded that energy sources with high physical ability and small traffic can be used to run refrigerators directly, with no need to go through electricity generators.

They decided to install a refrigeration system making ice cubes with the capacity of 1,000 kilograms per day at the Lai Thieu Ecotourism Site in Da Nang City.

The system includes s hydraulic system including HDPE water pipeline transmitting water from the top of the mountain, a 7.5KW cold compressing actuating turbine and a 3KW power generator; central refrigeration system for cooling ice cubes, ice and food storage chamber; 1,000 kilogram per day ice cube machine; 15 cubic meter ice storehouse at the temperature of minus 15oC; and a 20 cubic meter food storehouse at the temperature of 5oC.

The system includes s hydraulic system including HDPE water pipeline transmitting water from the top of the mountain, a 7.5KW cold compressing actuating turbine and a 3KW power generator; central refrigeration system for cooling ice cubes, ice and food storage chamber; 1,000 kilogram per day ice cube machine; 15 cubic meter ice storehouse at the temperature of minus 15oC; and a 20 cubic meter food storehouse at the temperature of 5oC.

 

Chinh said that the system can cut the investment rate because an electricity generator is not required. Since an electricity generator is not required, the energy loss won’t occur, and the operation of the system is very simple.

If the water capacity decreases, the system will operate normally and produce ice cubes, though it will take a longer time to create ice.

Also according to Chinh, the system is especially useful for ecotourism sites where renewable water sources are available. In Da Nang, there are nearly 10 ecotourism sites with favorable conditions to run the system, which can produce up to several tons of ice each day.

Chinh said the initial investment capital is VND1 billion which can be recovered after three years. If noting that the ice cube market price is VND2,400-3,000 per kilogram, the revenue would be VND810 million per annum. The system can bring higher value users do not have to pay for electricity to store ice and food.

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