Project - Ice bank system with pulsating and flexible heat exchanger (IPFLEX)

Lars  Olsen

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Project - Ice bank system with pulsating and flexible heat exchanger (IPFLEX)

Ice bank system with pulsating and flexible heat exchanger (IPFLEX)

Projectstart January 2016. Ended February 2017.

Purpose of project
The project will develop a new ice bank system, where ice formation is created by means of pulsating flexible tubes. The system will both improve the efficiency of the formation of ice, reduce costs and increase the flexibility of the ice storage formed in the ice bank.

Instead of an often-used system generating an ice layer around pipes, the system developed in this project creates the ice formation on the outside og flexible hoses. The brine that flows in these hoses is subjected to a pulsating pressure, which results in an expansion of the hoses and the ice is released from the surface and rises up into the ice bank. The system will be developed for milk cooling.

The cooling efficiency will be increased due to an on average higher evaporating temperature and because a thick layer of ice is not formed on the hoses. The cost will be lower, as cheaper materials with less joints can be applied. The ice storage will be independent of the actual ice production, which enables a possible larger storage. Morover, the ice can be produced for a longer period of time, enabling the storage to be part of a smart grid.

It is expected that the performance of the heat pump will be improved by 5-10% due to the higher evaporation temperatures. Production costs are halved due to cheaper materials and less labor-intensive joints.


The project is divided into five phases:

  1. A mathematical model will be developed in order to identify key parameters for the koncept. Also, materials and geometry is analysed and selected.
  2. A test scale is designed and developed included control- and measurement systems. Small scale tests are conducted in order to find the appropriate geometries, materials, pressure, pulsation, brine temperature etc. After the tests are conducted the best parameters are chosen to continue to further testing.
  3. A small testscale is designed on the basis of the experiences in phase 2. It is then built and tested in order to identify optimal brine temperature and ice release. Furthermore, the testscale is tested by applying variable forced flow passing the hoses.
  4. A large scale test is designed and developed based on the experiences from phase 2 and 3. The hosesystems are testet, so is temperature, maksimum filling, efficiency of stock, and ice release in combination with heat exchanger.
  5. Lastly the outcomes of the project are evaluated, gathered in a written report and shared via articles and conventions.  


  • Teknologisk Institut - Lars Olsen (Projektleder)
  • Teknologisk Institut - Claus Madsen
  • Alfa Laval - Rolf Christensen
  • Primo Danmark - Jesper Helveg Thomsen
  • RØ-KA Industri A/S - Kim Levandowski

Funded by Dansk Energi under the ELFORSK project.