Vacuum Ice Maker (VIM)

The technology

IDE Technologies leverages its vast engineering know-how to provide solutions based on the proprietary Vacuum Ice Maker (VIM) technology in unique All Weather Snowmaking & Refrigeration applications. Backed by more than 45 years of experience with access of 400 installations world-wide, Vacuum Ice Maker offers our clients a diverse choice of energy efficient, highly reliable and low maintenance cost applications.

Having developed and built energy-efficient heat-pumps, IDE has been successful in cooling the world’s deepest Gold mine in South Africa. Above the ground, IDE’s VIM systems provide Thermal Energy Storage (TES) for the cooling needs of large industrial and commercial installations. On the other side of the temperature spectrum, IDE’s VIM utilizes any natural body of water to provide clean and inexpensive heat for the District Heating.

Despite reduced snowfalls and warmer weather, IDE’s All Weather Snowmaker ensures snow production in all weather conditions in the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly way.

IDE SnowThe VIM Process

Inside the VIM freezer, water is exposed to a deep vacuum. The vacuum forces a small part of the water to evaporate while the remaining water freezes forming water-ice mixture.

The mixture (ice slurry) is pumped out from the freezer to an ice concentrator that separates the water from the ice crystals.

In order to maintain the deep vacuum in the freezer, the water vapor is continuously evacuated from the freezer, compressed and fed into condenser by IDE’s unique centrifugal compressor. Condensing of the vapor requires cooling water at 5°C (41°F), which is supplied from a standard water chiller.


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