How to Pack a Cooler or a Cooler Bag with Dry Ice & Ice packs
Dry Ice has been one of the most commonly used refrigerant for over 50 years simply because it’s easy to use and it can keep things frozen for very long time. Dry is best used when it’s packed in a cooler or cooler bag . Commercially , there are many companies who pack dry ice in a cooler along with an ice pack simply because dry ice acts as an active refrigerant and the ice pack adds to the thermal mass to help keep the produce chilled or frozen for extended times. It is important that dry ice like any ice pack be packed in an insulating medium to contain the cold energy within the ice box.
Dry ice Vs Cube Ice Vs ice pack
Cube ice which is bags of ice are made from frozen water and remember water freezes at -4 Degree C, hence the ice isn’t very cold when its made and when its packed in your cooler , they tend to melt quicker hence we recommend good quality ice like frozen ice packs which freeze at -18 degree C. The colder you freeze the longer they tend to stay cold , The ice packs are also reusable. The dry ice packs by cryolux are ideal because they are flexible even when they are frozen and hence easier to pack inside a cooler bag. The Dry ice is the coldest form of dry ice available however it’s a lot harder to find dry ice because very few stores sell them considering the handling safety precautions required to handle them . Dry ice is a lot more convenient when you have to pack a cooler for a long trip like 6 to 7 day trip because you would still like frozen meat and chilled drinks at the end of the tip .
Packing the Cooler or Cooler bag with Dry ice| Tip & Useful Hints
Dry ice is usually sold in blocks or slabs and they work the best when they are packed on the bottom of the cooler bag so they aren’t exposed to ambient temperature or air every time the cooler is opened. Some Coolers or cooler bags have a liner on the inside and they may crack when exposed to extreme cold temperatures , considering the fact that Dry ice is at -78 C so Its best to lay a piece of Styrofoam or a cardboard so the dry ice is not directly on the base of the cooler bag and also the dry ice block is elevated so the water from melting ice and condensation does not accelerate the sublimation speed of the dry ice block.
It is recommended that you have a layer of well frozen Ice packs layered above the dry ice block and then have all your meat and vegetables that are well frozen already , because you don’t want the dry ice to melt quicker by trying to freeze your meat and vegetables. Its best you put the Drinks right on top of the cooler bag so they don’t freeze. Remember that Dry ice can explode when packed in an airtight container however most coolers and bags in the market aren’t air tight. If you have some products like cheese and drinks that you don’t want the dry ice or the ice pack to freeze , its best you wrap them in an aluminium foil , because aluminium foil is an insulating medium hence it could keep your medicines , cheese etc from freezing . If you find excessive condensation on the outside of the cooler bag , It is an indication that your cooler is no good. There isn’t enough insulation hence it is best if you choose a good cooler bag that has about an inch thick walls .