Determining Net Ice Production

There are many factors to consider when selecting a continuous type ice maker for your business. Many are familiar with harvest rate, ice type and energy use. In your search for a suitable ice maker, however, you may come across a lesser known measurement called ice hardness factor. Knowing the ice hardness factor of an ice machine can help you determine the quality of its output and net harvest. It will help you make an informed decision about your next ice flake machine. 

Ice hardness factor is defined by ENERGY STAR® as the latent heat capacity of harvest ice expressed as a percentage. Put simply, it is the percentage of harvested ice that is actually frozen ice. Harvested ice is a combination of frozen ice and chilled water, measured by weight. When harvested ice is stored in an ice storage bin, the chilled water goes down the drain. What ultimately remains is 32°F frozen ice. You can estimate the net production of a commercial ice machine by looking at its ice hardness factor. 

Looking at the numbers alone, however, will not provide an accurate point of comparison. To determine the actual ice production of a machine, you can calculate it on your own. To do this, just multiply the harvest rate by the ice hardness factor. The result is the amount of frozen ice produced by the machine, in pounds. For example, a machine with a harvest rate of 1050 pounds and ice hardness factor of 60% will produce a net of 630 pounds of frozen ice per day. All continuous type ice machines report its ice hardness factor for qualification by ENERGY STAR. 

Ice hardness factor also has an effect on the energy efficiency of an ice maker. In addition to harvest rate and ice hardness factor, each machine has its own measured energy use in kilowatt hours per 100 pounds of ice. This is defined as the total energy input rate. Measured energy use can be a misleading benchmark, however, because it does not consider the quality of ice produced. A more accurate measurement, therefore, is adjusted energy use. Adjusted energy use is the actual energy consumed by a continuous ice maker, multiplied by the ice hardness adjustment factor. Adjusted energy use provides a more reliable picture of an ice machine’s energy consumption. 

Ice hardness factor and adjusted energy use prove that not all ice is the same. All Howe ice flakers are certified and tested to produce ice with a hardness factor of at least 100%. That translates to less waste, both in terms of ice harvest and energy consumption. Don’t get caught up in a shell game by selecting a machine based on price only. The costs of lower ice quality and quantity, higher energy and maintenance costs, as well as shorter life cycle, will result in significantly increased costs over what you had budgeted. Before you invest in an ice machine, take a moment to consider its net production rates, ice quality and true energy consumption. You’ll find that Howe ice flakers are a top contender in every category. 

For more details about Howe’s flake ice equipment, please visit our website or contact one of our experts today.