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FP6

ICEMAKER Report Summary

Project ID: 508726
Funded under: FP6-INNOVATION
Country: Spain

Final Report Summary - ICEMAKER (Development of a low cost, low power consumption system for manufacturing ozonised fluid ice for fishing via absorption system)

Ice is an indispensable commodity for the fishing industry since it is necessary for the preservation and distribution of fresh fish. Nevertheless, many small and medium vessels are not equipped with onboard ice generators and have to remain in close proximity to fishing terminals and ports to ensure access to ice making machinery. Various commercial onboard ice generators are available; however they require a mechanical or electrical power source and are mostly used in large fishing vessels.

The ICEMAKER project aimed at developing a similar system, suited to the needs of smaller boats. This system ought to have reduced energy consumption, size and weight and operate at a cost that the market could tolerate.

Firstly, a market survey was carried out based on the distribution of a questionnaire to end users from different countries. The objective was to ensure that the developed technology would correspond to the sector needs and price sensitivity and would be accepted by the end users. As a result, the general input requirements were identified.

The specifications of the fluid ice generator and the absorption process were subsequently finalised and the developed prototype was installed into a fishing vessel in order to perform evaluation tests and determine the necessary thermal energy and cooling load. Following the definition of the energy consumption, the design and optimisation of the prototype components was initiated, including parts of the heat pipe, the absorption process, the refrigerator and seawater cycles and, finally, the ozone seawater pretreatment cycle. During the last stage of ICEMAKER these components were integrated and installed on the prototype.

In addition, different studies concerning fish quality improvement were carried out, given that the finalised proposal exploited liquid, rather than conventional, ice. The first study examined the influence of the ozone seawater pretreatment on the fish quality and the second focussed on a comparison of the fish quality resulting from the use of liquid or flake ice.

Among the principal project achievements was that the proposed system did not require disinfected water since it included onboard ozonation equipment. The use of ozone resulted in the proposal of a compact system that was suitable for vessels of various sizes. Actually, this innovation was suitable to any case where no treated water was available and was not limited in the fishing industry.

Moreover, the project developed an innovative refrigeration system which exploited the heat generated by the vessel's engine and resulted in significant energy savings that could be implemented beyond the fishing industry. Finally, an ice concentration loop that was automatically controlled and did not require the use of sensors or actuators was designed and applied.

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