Ice Bear Hybrid Air Conditioning System
Ice Energy, a leading provider of distributed energy storage and smart grid solutions for optimizing energy system efficiency, has been awarded the Silver prize in the 22nd Excellence in Design Awards competition for its Ice Bear energy storage system. Sponsored by Appliance Design Magazine, the award honors creative and technically savvy product designs in the global appliance industry.
Ice Energy’s innovative Ice Bear system is the industry’s first energy storage solution specifically developed for small to mid-sized commercial buildings. It integrates seamlessly with conventional air conditioning units to create a unique hybrid cooling system that fundamentally changes how – and more importantly when – energy is consumed for air conditioning.
By efficiently storing clean, abundant and less expensive off-peak power at thousands of dispersed locations and delivering it during times of peak demand, Ice Energy’s distributed energy storage technology represents a new sustainable energy solution equivalent to hundreds of megawatts of clean peaking power for utilities. For building owners, this means reduced daytime energy consumption, lower energy costs and a smaller environmental footprint.
Pairing its revolutionary Ice Bear energy storage module with a standard commercial air conditioner, Ice Energy delivers the industry’s first hybrid cooling solution specifically developed to reduce air conditioning energy demand for small to mid-sized commercial businesses.
Using thermally efficient, off-peak power to produce and store energy for use the next day, Ice Energy’s Ice Bear delivers superior cooling using just a fraction of the peak energy of conventional systems.
Designed for easy deployment, and requiring no modification to existing ductwork or structure, the Ice Bear integrates seamlessly with the conventional rooftop and split-system air conditioners that cool nearly all light-commercial and residential buildings in this country. Each Ice Bear unit can be applied to a 3-5 ton system, or a single 5 ton stage of a 7.5-20 ton system, providing 30 ton hours of cooling at a load of up to 5 tons.
The Ice Bear hybrid air conditioning system stores cooling energy at night, when electricity generation is cleaner, less expensive and more abundant, by freezing water within an insulated storage tank to create and storing cooling capacity for the next day.
During nighttime energy storage mode, a condensing unit pumps refrigerant through a configuration of copper coils within the Ice Bear. The coils fall in temperature to below freezing.
The water that surrounds these coils also begins to freeze and turn to ice. Once it’s frozen, the condensing unit turns off, and the ice is stored until its cooling energy is needed.
As daytime temperatures rise and the building requires cooling, the energy-intensive compressor of the conventional air conditioning system remains off. Since the Ice Bear uses the cold temperature of the ice to condense the refrigerant, rather than a high-energy-consuming compressor, it needs only a small pump to circulate the refrigerant through the copper coils to a modified evaporator coil within the rooftop unit.
Ice is then refrozen each night and energy stored again when electricity generation is cleaner, more efficient and less expensive.
During off-peak hours, the conventional HVAC system operates as usual.
Together, this unique hybrid system surpasses the overall efficiency and performance of conventional equipment alone.
Daytime air conditioning energy demand – typically 40-50% of a building’s on peak electricity use – can be reduced by as much as 95% from the very first day the Ice Bear energy storage unit is deployed.
Via Ice Energy