ICE Cube: Kimberly Cota, Eric Yang, Jessa Marie Zabala, Johnson Zhong
The figure above is a photograph of our design team's prototype for our improved cooler. This year for design showcase we were posed with the problem of keeping meat refrigerated between 0-4 degrees celsius for 12 hours without grid electricity. We decided to take an existing solution to this problem, which is a cooler filled with ice and improve upon it.
We focused on insulation and regulating heat transfer. The main idea was that a huge block of ice melts slower than several ice cubes, and if we could manage to keep that block of ice frozen for a longer period of time, this would keep the temperature within the cooler between 0 and 4 degrees longer. The current solution to keeping food cold or hot for a long period of time is a thermos, which consists of a vacuum flask for insulation. These two observations led us to designing a cooler with a double layered wall. There would be a vacuum wall that insulated the entire box, and an inner ice wall that would keep the meat refrigerated. The vacuum would keep the ice from melting as fast, and the ice would be kept from being in contact with the meat by a metal wall that could still keep the temperature gradient.
The cooler works by filling the inner wall with water, and freezing it in a freezer overnight to create the ice wall.
After freezing the cooler we monitored the temperature within the box for several hours, and it remained at 1.9 degrees celsius throughout. We even placed meat in it to see if the meat would keep its temperature within the box.
The following is a graph of our testing results.