Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will the IceProbe provide enough cooling for my application?
The Nova Tec IceProbe is designed for small-scale liquid cooling applications such as residential drinking water systems and small aquarium chilling. Our research and consumer feedback tells us that the unit’s output of two gallons of cold drinking water per day in cold water drinking systems is ample for most homes and small offices, and that one IceProbe provides sufficient cooling for small (10 to 20 gallon) aquariums. However, if you require considerably more than the 50 watts of cooling provided by the IceProbe, you may want to consider using a larger commercial water chiller.
How does the IceProbe’s solid state cooling system work?
The IceProbe uses advanced thermoelectric technology to directly convert electricity into cooling power.
Can I plug the IceProbe directly into an AC wall outlet?
No. The IceProbe is a 12 volt DC device and requires a special power supply to convert the AC power at the wall outlet into DC power. Nova Tec offers standard external power supplies for 110/120 volt AC and 220/240 volt AC electrical environments. We can provide other power supply solutions for high volume OEM projects.
Can I control the IceProbe’s cooling power to achieve a specific temperature?
Yes. A proportional temperature controller can be used to regulate power to the IceProbe to maintain a desired temperature set point. Nova Tec offers a variety of temperature controllers for standard applications.
Does the IceProbe have many moving or mechanical parts?
Only one: the fan motor, which pulls cool air into the system and exhausts warm air. To assure years of dependable service, we use high quality fan motors and recommend the use of air filters when integrating the IceProbe into appliances or other equipment.
Why does the IceProbe’s fan run continuously even when regulated by Nova Tec’s Proportional Temperature Controller?
Nova Tec’s temperature controllers are designed to regulate the voltage only to the IceProbe’s thermoelectric cooling module, not to the fan. By providing a constant 12 volts to the fan motor, the overall system is more energy efficient since the fan keeps the heat sink cool, decreasing voltage to the cooling module. Also, the fan motor is not designed to operate below 9 volts while the cooling module can operate all the way down to 0 volts.
What happens if the IceProbe’s fan motor stops running?
If for some reason the fan motor stops running, the heat sink’s temperature will increase and the system will become much less efficient. A safety thermal fuse is attached to the IceProbe’s heat sink to prevent it from becoming dangerously hot and damaging the system. This fuse will detect when the heat sink becomes too hot and will cut the power to the IceProbe until the heat sink cools. The thermal fuse is designed to automatically cycle in this manner up to 100,000 times until the problem is corrected.
How many IceProbe’s can I use with Nova Tec’s standard power supply or temperature controller?
One. For large volume applications, Nova Tec can provide custom power supply and temperature control solutions for multiple IceProbes.
Can the IceProbe be used in pressurized reservoirs?
Our standard IceProbe comes with a silicon washer designed to provide a watertight seal in non-pressurized reservoirs. However, with proper “o-ring” implementation, a watertight seal can be achieved in pressurized reservoirs as well.
Will ice always form around the probe?
No. Ice formation will only occur in applications where the reservoir is small (e.g. four quarts or less) and very well insulated.
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