Permanent testers in tuxedos
GEA Ice Maker
The ruggedness and the reliability of ice makers manufactured by GEA would be simple to prove on the basis of many reference projects alone. But only a few of our users thoroughly test the ice quality daily, in tuxedos. For twelve years now, a group of experts from Antarctica test GEA ice for fineness of grain, feel (haptics), and temperature. By experts here we mean a group of penguins at Océanopolis, the nature-adventure park near the French city of Brest. Océanopolis lies directly adjacent to the harbor of Brest and pro-vides its visitors with fascinating educational experience in maritime fauna and flora from various climate zones – in an entertaining and yet edifying manner. In the exhibits, the entire world of maritime ad-ventures is broken down into climate regions: one for tropical, one for moderate, and one for polar oceans. The testers of the ice ma-chine have their home in the polar section: king, gentoo, and rock-hopper penguins. To make sure that they truly feel at home, despite the ambient heat in Brittany, they have plenty of ice to stand, play, and slide around on. An F90 V flake-ice generator produces this cooling ice for the penguins. The plant can produce up to 3.5 metric tons of ice daily.
The rockhopper penguins are among the smallest of all penguins. They love the cool ground provided to them for twelve years now by an ice machine from GEA.
This ice machine was installed twelve years ago, and has been in service almost exactly 100,000 hours. Although it is not continuously in operation, it can produce the cooling mass required whenever necessary. A four-ton ice storage tank serves as a buffer between ice production and consumption. The plant consists of two units installed in a machine room, 40 m from the penguin area – so that the operational noise will not disturb the penguins. A pneumatic conveyor system assures that the ice is efficiently delivered. The ice moves to the penguins through a pipe with a length of 40 m and an inside diameter of 50 mm. The transport enhances the ice quality by impacting the ice flakes onto each other, which breaks them down into smaller pieces. When the ice reaches the penguins, it is fine enough for them to enjoy walking on it.
More than a decade in service for tuxedo-clad bird waddlers
Although our “permanent testers in tuxedos” were not able to record the results of their findings in print, their well-being is documentation enough: their energetic movement around the ice is surely a sign of their satisfaction. And that these penguins in Brittany produce young every year is also sure evidence that the animals feel at home there, despite the mild climate outside.