Author Topic: Preventing water bottles freezing in winter  (Read 1522 times)

Hugh Westacott

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Preventing water bottles freezing in winter
« on: August 05, 2014, 04:29:12 PM »
It is well-known that water in a water bottle buried in snow does not freeze. Why should this be?

I'm aware that the temperature of water cannot be raised above 100°C in normal atmospheric conditions. Is it the case that the temperature of snow cannot be lowered below 0°C in normal atmospheric conditions, irrespective of the air temperature? And because snow is a good insulator, is that the reason why the water in the bottle will not freeze?

Just idle curiosity...

Hugh

Lyle Brotherton

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Re: Preventing water bottles freezing in winter
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2014, 05:42:43 PM »
"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths" - Walt Disney.

I like curiosity Hugh :)

Contrary to your experience Hugh, whilst working with the Spetsnaz, East of Murmansk and living in a snow hole, with outside temperatures frequently less the -30°C our vodka, a particularly good bottle of Stoli,  froze. More field tests are needed I think ;)

« Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 08:17:36 AM by Lyle Brotherton »
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captain paranoia

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Re: Preventing water bottles freezing in winter
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2014, 07:09:59 PM »
I suspect that a bottle of water buried in snow is less likely to freeze than one left exposed to the elements on the surface, and yes, it's probably because dry snow is a pretty good insulator, and the temperature within it stays more constant, whereas the surface temperature can fall dramatically at night, and cooling can be assisted by winds.  The same reason why plants buried by snow are protected from deep frost, and why some small mammals take advantage of snow cover in winter and live beneath the snow pack (that and the protection from predators, although some are perfectly capable of finding and catching animals beneath the pack...)

Lost Soul

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Re: Preventing water bottles freezing in winter
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2014, 08:13:55 PM »
that and the protection from predators, although some are perfectly capable of finding and catching animals beneath the pack...)

Just to prove the point.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2SoGHFM18I#t=11
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 08:22:37 PM by Lost Soul »

Pete McK

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Re: Preventing water bottles freezing in winter
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2014, 12:27:51 PM »
Emma, who read Chemistry, is always telling me that water does everything a liquid is not supposed to do according to the laws of physics. Such as, hot water can freeze faster than cold water, the so called Mpemba effect, and expands when frozen to warm water, plus it vibrates longer than cold water!