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Ice House for free summer cooling.

 
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I haven't seen much online about ice houses.

In the old days an ice house was an insulated underground house where you went and cut ice from a pond and lined the walls with ice which would last all year.
My modern version only adds some permanent plastic water containers with sawdust added to the ice for more insulation and the process is just open the doors in winter for the freeze.

It seems like such a simple idea. What am I missing?
 
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Old world Ice Houses were insulated, usually with straw and sawdust was put on and around the ice blocks.
The ice was harvested from frozen lakes with large saws and then loaded onto wagons, this was pulled to the ice storage "cave" and there they were stacked and dusted.

I think what you are missing is that the very nature of the old world ice houses prevented water inside to freeze.
Wine cellars are mostly the same as the old ice storage spaces, they remain a constant temperature, summer and winter.
If you have properly constructed an ice cellar, the outside cold should not penetrate enough to freeze water in a container.
You would have better success if you did your freezing out side then moved the frozen containers inside.
 
pollinator
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Well, depending on where you are you may or may not get reliable ice. We didn't have enough ice this year for the amish neighbors to fill their ice houses. So they will have to buy commercial ice blocks later this spring.

Most of their ice houses are 12" of blue foam board with a tin roof and siding spaced with an air gap to get a stack effect cooling. Getting the door to seal properly is the biggest struggle for most of them.
 
scott romack
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Old world Ice Houses were insulated, usually with straw and sawdust was put on and around the ice blocks.
The ice was harvested from frozen lakes with large saws and then loaded onto wagons, this was pulled to the ice storage "cave" and there they were stacked and dusted.

I think what you are missing is that the very nature of the old world ice houses prevented water inside to freeze.
Wine cellars are mostly the same as the old ice storage spaces, they remain a constant temperature, summer and winter.
If you have properly constructed an ice cellar, the outside cold should not penetrate enough to freeze water in a container.
You would have better success if you did your freezing out side then moved the frozen containers inside.



But If you open the door it will freeze.
Also, yes some years it may not freeze but most years it would.
You could use a small freezer as back up and freeze one block a day or something.
A small solar powered chest freezer would be nice to have anyway for flash freezing stuff..
 
scott romack
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I found another thread here that talks about the same thing.
https://permies.com/t/11121/energy/Compressor-Fridge
 
pollinator
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scott romack wrote:My modern version only adds some permanent plastic water containers with sawdust added to the ice for more insulation and the process is just open the doors in winter for the freeze. It seems like such a simple idea. What am I missing?


When water freezes it releases a heck of a lot of heat, so even leaving the door open may not be sufficient if you have a lot of water/ice stored underground and your ice house is properly insulated. If you add a ventilation shaft and blower that turns on when the above ground temp is below freezing, that might solve the heat transfer problem. Of course, when not in use the ventilation shaft would need to be very well insulated with multiple louver type things.
 
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Here's a little blurb from the Rainbow Heritage Farm near Ottawa, ON.

"Our root cellar uses natural geothermal energy. Proper design allowed us to use the Earth’s constant temperature to keep our veggies from freezing in winter.
In addition, we make our own ice blocks using Rubbermaid bins each February. By placing these in our root cellar we keep our veggies nice and cool through the summer. We capture winter’s cold and store it to fight off summer’s heat. The only annual energy needed each year is solar water pumping and 25 hours of labor in February. On the other hand, we receive 600 square feet of ideal cold storage for our fruits and veggies for 365 days/year. Up front design and proper investment has made this possible"

Here is their site http://rainbowheritage.ca

I don't know all the nitty gritty about it, but they do have an email address. Of course this does rely on your outside temp being cold enough in winter to freeze all the water... Food for thought anyway.



 
scott romack
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Elijah Kim wrote:
Here's a little blurb from the Rainbow Heritage Farm near Ottawa, ON..



That's what I'm talking about. Thanks.
 
Elijah Kim
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So I was talking with my wife about this last night and she raised a good point... If you just open the doors in winter and let the water freeze in place, all the veggies you have in the cellar would freeze too! Unless your using it only for cooling thru the summer...
 
scott romack
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Elijah Kim wrote:So I was talking with my wife about this last night and she raised a good point... If you just open the doors in winter and let the water freeze in place, all the veggies you have in the cellar would freeze too! Unless your using it only for cooling thru the summer...



Good thought but not a deal breaker.
I would either have to move the veggies or the containers.

I am starting to lean towards moving the containers outside when the temps get below freezing. Something like 5gal plastic buckets some with clean water some with water/sawdust for internal insulation.
Moving buckets would be a chore but still better than cutting blocks of ice from a pond...

very cool..
 
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