A comprehensive thermal analysis of icemaking process inside a domestic freezer: Theoretical, numerical and experimental analyses

Ali Akbar Ahmadi*, Kamel Hooman, Alireza Rahbari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Automatic icemakers are integrated into refrigerators to ensure a consistent ice supply and improve energy efficiency. Despite these advantages, a thorough investigation of the automatic icemaking process in domestic refrigerator-freezers is lacking in the literature. This study aims at assessing the performance of automatic icemaking process in a domestic freezer through detailed theoretical, numerical and experimental analyses. A simplistic zero-dimensional transient energy balance model is developed to investigate the heat transfer during different stages of the water solidification process. The convective heat transfer coefficient calculated from the theoretical analysis is used to inform the numerical model. A three-dimensional transient model is proposed to predict the temperature and density variation inside the ice cube modelled as a pyramid. The free surface flow is modelled using volume of fluid method, while enthalpy-porosity method is employed for the water freezing process. The results show a non-uniform temperature distribution throughout the solidification process and that the temperature of the outer frozen layers keeps decreasing with the solidification time. Experiments are conducted to measure the temperature variation of the ice cube. It is shown that the icemaking process is accelerated by around 18 % when the ice-removal temperature is set at −8°C instead of −12 °C, which is a conventional set temperature for ice remover in current domestic freezers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122397
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
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  • Domestic freezer
  • Enthalpy-porosity method
  • Icemaking
  • Solidification
  • Volume of fluid method


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