Why are Ice Cream cabinets so differnet in price?

16 Mar 2022

People wonder why there is a price difference in cabinets. Like going ot the butcher, there are reasons why chuck steak is cheaper that t-bone. What is different about freezers to justify the price.

In the ice cream world, there are three types of freezers. Static, Fully Ventilated & Fan forced. What is the difference?

In terms of price scale, Static is the cheapest, followed by fan-forced and then fully ventilated.

A Static Freezer is much the same as what you have at home for a domestic freezer. They do not require too much maintenance. They use lower grade quality components and, the big one, you cann ot see the items inside the freezer. You have to open the door.

At the other end of the scale are the fully ventilated cabinets. The biggest and most noticeable difference is that you can see the product sitting high and proud in the glass. You get to eat with your eyes, so to speak.

The difference is the glass.

With a Static freezer like that in a service station, the product sits low in the cabinet and well below the horizontal sliding doors. The reason the doors are horizontal is because cold air sinks to the bottom of the cabinet. 

With a fully ventilated cabinet, like that in an ice cream shop or gelateria, the product sits high and proud in the glass area. The difference in the refrigeration system to accomplish this is vast. Fully ventilated cabinets need to achieve a cold air envelope to protect the product from heat coming through the glass. Because this envelope gets created, often the sliding doors are not required at all. The sliding doors sit outside the air envelope.

Further, because the humidity in the air is attracted to the cold like a magnet to metal, a fully ventilated system requires a glass heating system so that you can see the product and not the rainfall of water on the glass.

Low cut glass, fan forces systems, sit between these two types of technology.

The key differences between Static and Ventilated systems can be summarised as:

Ventilated

Static

The display of the gelato is raised above the evaporator – better viewing of the display

Display of the gelato must be below the load line and the load limit is always below at least a good portion of the evaporator.

Poor visibility of displayed product

You can mound the gelato over the tray for high customer appeal

It is almost impossible to mound gelato over the tray unless the tray is lowered so the top of the display is below the load limit

Ventilated displays are available in all sizes from 4 tray up to 24 tray

Most static displays can only hold a single row of 5 litre trays

Most double row displays have high speed high efficiency defrosting around 3 to 6 minutes duration

Static freezers either have no defrost at all or have a slow defrost cycle lasting around 15 to 30 minutes in duration that effects the quality of the product

Displays must have an overnight manual defrost 1 to 2 times per week

Static displays due to their design can remain without overnight manual defrosts for up to 4 weeks.

Refrigeration systems usually have a higher build cost

Refrigeration systems usually are a simple design and lower build costs 

I hope this has answered your question.