Ireland's only dedicated building services engineering journal
Ireland's only dedicated building services engineering journal

Clean rooms and comms are easy – not so a mobile ice cream parlour mounted on a tractor chassis!

Clean rooms and comms are easy – not so a mobile ice cream parlour mounted on a tractor chassis!

Over the years John Kelly and the team at Kelly Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, based in Tramore, Co Waterford, have carried out some unusual and challenging projects that called for fresh thinking and innovative solutions. However, when asked to convert a standard single-head ice cream machine to operate off the engine of a vintage tractor you could forgive them for thinking it was a practical joke. But it was not.

The story began when locally-based John Kent of John Kent Engineering approached John Kelly to design and build a fully-functional mobile ice cream “parlour” – mounted on the chassis of the tractor – so it could be safely used to provide ice cream across the wide expanse of the beach in Tramore.

As the photo clearly illustrates, John Kent Engineering did a fantastic job on the bodywork … the question was, could Kelly Refrigeration & Air Conditioning provide the means to deliver the ice cream?

A critical factor was to pre-cool the ice cream mix carried on board the tractor, without it rising in temperate during the day. After a great deal of deliberation, a single-head Coldelite ice cream machine was selected, and the standard compressor removed from within and then mounted on the back of the tractor.

The next stage was to size the correct pulleys to match to the drive shaft so it would supply the correct RPM’s at the pump and beater while the tractor’s engine was in idle mode. A clutch-driven pulley was fitted to the compressor which was then mounted onto the tractor’s engine to provide the correct speed to produce the required cooling. To maintain head pressure a high-powered 12-volt condenser fan motor was fitted to the condenser. The entire system operates on 404A refrigerant.

A small insulated cabinet was then installed to hold the day’s supply of ice cream mix with the required cooling provided by a remote condensing unit mounted over the cab of the tractor.

A cooling coil within the cabinet provides a build up of ice within the cabinet and this maintains the required temperature throughout the day. Finally, a heat exchanger was fitted to the tractor engine and its own water tank to provide hot water for the day-to-day operations.

Hey presto … simple really with a bit of knowledge, experience and imagination.

Make mine a 99 please!

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