Ever since the first mechanical ice making concept was conceptualized way back in the 1840's by John Gorrie, man has utilized this mechanical form of making things frozen for many, many uses. Back then, Gorrie envisaged using such a device to cheaply make ice which he could use to cool his patients down who were suffering from Malaria and Yellow Fever.
Over a hundred and fifty years later man is still using mechanical devices based on the same principals Gorrie set out all those years ago. Although there have been many improvements, the concept is still pretty much the same.
Ice makers are used all over the world these days to create ice quickly and cheaply. Whether it be for domestic use in drinks for example, or whether in the hospitality industry to cool drinks and food. They are even used widely in other sectors such as manufacturing and such. You've seen those large Ice Sculptures that are carved out of huge blocks by men with chainsaws right? Sure thing. Those blocks of ice came out of very large ice makers.
What I want to concentrate on today though are those for domestic use - for the home, the car, your boat.
After more than a century and a half of innovation and improvements, small domestic ice cube makers are cheaper than ever to buy and are very, very popular - especially throughout the Summer months. Electricity is cheap, water is cheap, and once you've invested in a small ice machine, ice also becomes cheap. A lot cheaper than buying it by the kilo from supermarkets.
Nearly all small domestic ice makers plug into an electrical outlet.120 volts if you're in the United States, or 240 volts if you're in the United Kingdom. These appliances generally don't use that much electricity and therefore are cheap to run.
On top of this there are two types of ice maker - one that you have to plumb in to a mains water source, and the other where you have to manually fill the ice maker with water. The ones you have to plumb in are more heavy duty, larger versions of their smaller counterparts and can pump out much more ice. The downside to these larger appliances though is they are not so portable. You can't just unplug it and move it to another position or to another house altogether. The other type is the very compact, very efficient, very portable domestic ice makers. These ones are literally 'plug and play'. You plug it in, fill it up with water, and within a short amount of time you've got yourself some ice, freshly made, and ready to use.