How much water does the ICECUBE use?
The ICECUBE uses the evaporation of water for cooling. The evaporation of one cubic meter (m³) of water provides more than 500 kWh hours of cooling energy. A standard new-built home in the Netherlands needs about 500 kWh of cooling energy per year. There is some overflow in the unit, so that is 1 to 2 cubic meters of water per year. Compared to the approximately 180 cubic meters of water per year a household consumes, that is very little. The ICECUBE (with a 400 m³/h capacity) will consume between 1 – 4 m³ per year, depending on the number of full-load operating hours per year.
By the way, a power plant uses much more water to generate the electricity for a conventional air conditioner, than what the ICECUBE uses directly for cooling. For example, this study speaks of more than 12 gallons (or 45 liters) of water per 1 kWh of electricity generated.
Does the indoor air become more humid when I use the ICECUBE?
No, the indoor air does not become more humid. The air in which water is evaporated is discharged outside, it never enters the room. With direct evaporative cooling (direct adiabatic cooling), moisture does enter the room. We do not use this. Learn more about dewpoint cooling.
How deep can the ICECUBE cool?
The temperature to which the ICECUBE can cool depends on the properties of the air entering the ICECUBE. The lower the absolute humidity (g/kg) of the air, the deeper the ICECUBE cools. Note: this is not about the relative humidity of the air.
Our brochure about dew point cooling states which temperature is reached at different climate conditions. If it is necessary to guarantee a certain inlet temperature, for example 18 °C, it is perfectly possible to combine the ICECUBE with air drying. Then we use the Dry to Cool Multisplit system. The same happens when the ICECUBE is used as an upgrade for existing buildings.
Is there a risk of legionella?
No, there is no danger of legionella. There are five reasons for this:
- The water in the ICECUBE is flowed over the walls of the exchanger and not sprayed. As a result, no aerosols are formed.
- The water is flowed on the indirect side of the exchanger. The air that comes into contact with the water is discharged to the outside and therefore does not enter the room to be conditioned. The ICECUBE is 100% air- and watertight.
- There is no still standing water in the ICECUBE. Overflow of water from the process is discharged by a pump.
- Legionella grows at temperatures above 25 °C. The water in the ICECUBE rarely exceeds 25 °C.
- The water in the ICECUBE is first processed by means of oscillation before it is used. This reduces the possible growth of legionella. This also ensures that no limescale builds up.