In the past few weeks as a task our Field Service & particularly the Acme Northeast Services Team New Jersey have been engage in for many NYC hospitals. We are referencing this as “vaporizer de-icing”.
Life-long Industrial Gas people, think of this as the same as talking about poison ivy; just bad stuff! The general cause of icing is overdrawing cryogenic liquid through the ambient vaporizer beyond its design capacity. Recently the medical oxygen demands at many of the NYC hospitals have required regular de-icing; specifically using a portable high-pressure steam generator (think of a pressure water washer on hot steroids!).
These photos show an ambient vaporizer with no ice; typical configuration installed or not. Typical design operation has slight cold spots or minimal ice on the vaporizer fins while in normal use.
The ice build-up piled on the overdrawn vaporizer is a huge problem: first, it limits the capacity of the vaporizer throughput; second, it blocks all the ambient airflow around the fins & finally, the liquid oxygen could flow into the hospital’s oxygen distribution before becoming a warm gas & create all kinds of problems.