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What liquid has ideal thermal properties for this project?

  1. Sep 6, 2013 #1
    I want to circulate cold water through copper tubing curled in a spiral about a fan. I'll cool the water with a large block of ice that I can remove and replace like a battery. To avoid making a mess I can freeze the ice inside of a copper housing, and pump the water in copper tubes around that housing to make it removable.
    I'm wondering if there's a better choice of liquid than water for this? One that would melt slower, thus, need to be replaced less often? Also, what would that quality be called?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 6, 2013 #2


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    Latent heat of fusion together with heat capacity. For a temperature around 0°C, water should be ideal. It has very high values for both. In addition, it is cheap, not toxic and easy to store and replace.

    Why do you need such a system? Did you consider a heat pump?
  4. Sep 6, 2013 #3


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    Remember that ice occupies about 10% more volume than water. If you burst your "copper housing" you will certainly make a mess!

    The volume expansion doesn't matter much if you are freezing ice cubes in a flexible plastic tray, but freezing a large block of ice in a rigid metal container is a different situation.
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