This paper describes the fundamentals of melting when a shell of phase-change material rides on a heated horizontal cylinder. In the first part of the paper, contact melting theory is used to predict the history of the melting process and, in particular, the time when the remaining ice falls off the cylinder. It is shown that the melting process consists of two distinct regimes, first, an early regime when the cylinder is surrounded by ice and, second, a late regime when the cylinder cuts through the top of the ice shell. The second part describes laboratory measurements that validate the theory. The third part of the paper shows that in the complete cycle that starts with freezing the shell and ends with the contact-melting removal of the shell, there exists an optimal frozen shell thickness such that the cycle-averaged production of ice is maximized.

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