Let’s look back in history to discover the science – and simplicity – behind our CUBE© and WEDGE© Systems. We’re clearly inspired by basic ancient techniques. All our great-grandparents got cold milk in August, in Detroit, Memphis and even in New Orleans and Florida, using ice floated downriver from the Great Lakes into ice-houses where the prior winter’s coldness was impounded for a full year using mere sawdust as insulation.
Nothing we discuss on our website differs from such basics, all used for hundreds of years: ice-houses, south-facing windows – with overhangs to let in winter sun and block summer sun, black tubing that gets hot in sunlight and heats the water inside… primordial solar thermal panel systems that are still Best of Bread today far out classing the conversion efficiency of PV.
Time passed. Fossil fuels invaded and dominated these last 100-years or so. Yet some never forgot. Thousands of ‘annual cycle’ ice systems in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania exist to this day owned and run by the Amish. And thousands more in this same geography have enjoyed StarPak renewable systems for 20, 25, 30 even 35 years. Modern higher-tech folks like you and me.
Today, StarPak engages in solar engineering on a scale far greater than Amish homesteads. Our geo-engineering can store freezing winter temperatures into giant blocks of ice to cool entire cities as it slowly melts during the summer. Yet it’s easy to see the Amish and the advanced StarPak principles are the one and the same.
Good Old-Fashioned High Tech
So after all… if The Amish… and forefathers can do it, well yeah, we think we might be able to do this too?
For centuries prior to the development of modern refrigeration techniques, ice was used as refrigerant. Just as all automobiles are measured in HORSEpower, and all lighting is measured in candle power so all cooling, even today, is measured in TONS…. of ice-power. Ancient South Asians and Egyptians pioneered an ice-making technique by placing wide, shallow bowls filled with water outside during the cool nights. As some water quickly evaporated, the remaining water cooled, forming ice. With this method, it was possible to create sizable chunks of ice that could then be used to cool food.
Ancient Chinese, as well as Greeks and Romans, transported big chunks of ice down rivers and canals from the mountains to cool their food; all stored and viable for months at a time in pits or caves insulated with straw and wood. In India before the invention of artificial refrigeration technology, ice-making by nocturnal cooling was common.
The apparatus consisted of a shallow ceramic tray with a thin layer of water, placed outdoors with a clear exposure to the night sky. The bottom and sides were insulated with a thick layer of hay. On clear nights, the water would lose heat rapidly by radiation to deep space, exactly similar to why ground frost appears on desert landscapes in early morning areas just outside Phoenix.
Provided the air is calm and not too far above freezing, such radiative transfers are aggressive enough to allow even substantial amounts of water to freeze by dawn.
Same exact technologies… advanced delivery systems!
Ice-house line-drawing courtesy of www.chestofbooks.com