Webinar 28 – Power Requirements for Shaved Ice Business

shaved ice equipment, shaved ice power requirements

This week we are talking about the power requirements for your Snowie Shaved Ice Business.

This, of course, includes all of the equipment for your Shaved Ice business, whether it is your actual stand, like a Snowie Building, Kiosk, Cart, Bus, or your Ice Shaver, whether you own the Snowie Block Ice Shaver, the Snowie 3000 Ice Shaver, or the Snowie 1000 Ice Shaver.

Gordon and Bronco join us for this discussion.
We start off talking about the Snowie Bus which, if you do not know, is our Shaved Ice Truck, or our Shaved Ice Bus as we call it. It is our food truck type vehicle from which you can serve shaved ice, ice cream, and many other products as well. You will always want to make sure that your Snowie Bus is plugged in at night for the next day. It takes a good amount of time for that bus to get back to a full charge. If you are using it everyday, it will take a good night to get those fully charged again. If you drain those batteries completely, it may take you 48 hours to complete that full charge. The vehicle battery and the batteries powering the Shaved Ice portion of the Truck / Bus are separate. This is important because if you drain the batteries for the shaved ice side, your vehicle battery remains untouched. Therefore, no matter how busy your event was, you will always be able to start your vehicle and get home.

To plug it in, we discuss how you will have a cord that comes with your bus. It has a 30 amp plug on one end (that plugs into your home / warehouse, and then the other end plugs into your Bus. We also have an adapter that comes with that so you can plug it into a regular outlet in your home, which is sufficient to charge the batteries, run the air conditioner, and heat your hot water supply. If you are able to plug your bus into a 30 amp breaker, that is always better and thus allows you to pull a greater amount of power when necessary.

We talk about the air conditioner a fair amount. You are able to use the air conditioner that comes stock with the van that the bus is built on while you are traveling, but you cannot use the RV style air conditioner that is mounted on the roof. The reason for that is that it will drain your batteries in about an hour if you were to do so. So while you are roaming or trolling like an Ice Cream Truck, you will be using the A/C provided with the vehicle. When you are at an event, you will want to plug into “Sure Power” when it is available. This way, your bus remains charged or is charging, and you can use the roof mounted A/C to stay cold.

Shaved Ice Truck, Shaved Ice Bussiness
Snowie Bus with a Generator

Because the Ice Shaver and most of the equipment inside the bus is running off of 12 volts, you have the ability to connect a 2000 watt generator to your bus and keep everything charged while running your A/C also. This is important to mention, because as you will see later in the video, when you try to run a 3000 Ice Shaver off of a 2000 watt generator, it will not even spin.

While continuing that thought, we carry our discussion into the Power required by our Ice Shavers. It is important to take note that you will want to run as short of an extension cord as possible. You will lose available power, the longer that cord is.

If you have to run a long cord, you will need to bump the gauge of your cord up (which means a smaller number on the rating). For instance, if I have a short cord, I am fine to run a 14 gauge extension cord. But if I am required to run a 100 foot extension cord in order to get power to my stand, then I will want to go with a 10 gauge cord. Notice that moving from a 14 to a 10 was an increase in the thickness of the extension cord.

We show you examples in the video of how a thinner cord will deliver less volts over a long distance. This will make your shaver run poorly and also has the potential to hurt your shaver over time.

I have personally received a few phone calls where people will ask me why their ice shaver is not shaving. There are only two things that could be happening. Either your blade has dulled, which you should notice over time, or your shaver does not have enough power. It is usually very easy to see if your shaver is struggling. Your shaver should shave very quickly and not hesitate when it is shaving ice. If it is hesitating or struggling to spin, that is a perfect indicator that it is not receiving the power that it needs.

We then move our discussion into the stands. We show in this video the Snowie Building. We call it a building because it is enclosed, air conditioned, you can leave it onsite (ie. in a supermarket parking lot), lock it up and keep it secure. We commonly refer to this type of location as a stationary location. When you are in a stationary location, you will want to do everything you can to get 220 power run to your stand. If you cannot do that or they cannot supply that kind of power, then you will want to run two 110 power sources from two different breakers. This way you are able to run your shaver from one of those sources, and the rest of your building will run on the other.

Please note that if you are running a 220 power source to your building, you are still running 110 within the building. The breaker box is setup to split that 220 into two 110 breakers. So all of your equipment like water pumps, water heaters, lights, air conditioning, and your ice shaver are all 110. I want to clarify this because we will have people think they need to purchase a 220 Watt Ice Shaver to accommodate that power supply. The only reason we offer the shaver in 220 option is for those who live in other countries where their power supply is always 220.

We refer to a forum entry on our website that talks about power requirements for a building. You can find that here: https://snowie.com/forums/topic/power-requirement-for-snowie-shaved-ice-buildings/

You can also find one on our Ice Shaver’s here: https://snowie.com/forums/topic/shaver-amp-and-watt-usage/

and another entry concerning inverters, here: https://snowie.com/forums/topic/can-i-use-my-snowie-3000-ice-shaver-with-an-inverter/

Gordon shared a great Power saving technique as well. There are timers that you can purchase to plug your equipment into. These are commonly used for Christmas lights so every night they turn themselves off whether you remember them or not. This is a great device to use on your ice merchandizer (ice box you get from the ice company). You can run power to it all night and have it shut off at your opening hour. Because that box is cold and all of your ice is frozen, it will keep itself cold during your working hours without requiring power. You then have it automatically turn on again at night and it freezes hard for the next day.

This works best when you have a lot of ice in the box. If you have very little ice, then there is not much to keep the box cold and it will loose its cold more quickly.

We also discuss a hybrid option, which is to run a 12 volt ice shaver from batteries and the rest of your stand off of a 20 amp breaker provided by the location or event. This can be a great option because the batteries for the ice shaver can be charging all night, but when it is business time, none of the powerful surge required by your shaved ice machine will affect your power at all. The downfall with this option as Gordon addresses, is that it is more costly to setup like this initially. You are better off to put your money into a generator unless you know you are doing events where they prevent the use of generators. And those are actually quite common.

This is a brief synopsis of the video discussing your Shaved Ice business and I encourage you to check it out.

Thank you for reading and watching