IceEnergy Cooling With Ice Trial Begins in California
Most people do not associate ice with Southern California. However, a new trial of ice-generating units that would provide inexpensive cooling during peak electricity demand times may put ice on California’s energy map.
Ice Energy manufactures energy storage cooling units that will be used to make ice during late evening hours, during off-peak energy demand times. Their units use high-efficiency compressors to freeze water and then store the ice for use the next day. When energy demand is highest during the afternoon, the units turn off the air-conditioning system. Cool air from the melting blocks of ice is piped to an evaporator coil in the HVAC and then blown through of the building’s air ducts.
The two-year test program will include 6,000 ice-making and storage units distributed among 11 small utility companies. In total, the Ice Energy units will be able to store 53 megawatts of energy. This is a significant reduction on power grid demand. Even more important, Ice Energy’s smaller units have been successfully used in other areas. At only $5,000 per unit, they are affordable and can help property owners to reduce fuel use by 90% per building.