Storing Energy by Making Ice
How does the Ice Bear work and what does a typical installation look like? What are the benefits for the utilities vs. the building owners where Ice Bears will be installed?
The Ice Bear works by freezing regular tap water at night when temperatures, energy costs and demand for power are low and using the stored ice rather than an attached air conditioning unit to provide cooling, thus eliminating peak electricity demand from its main driver – a/c use. Ice Bears are deployed in smart-grid enabled, megawatt scale fleets in locations such as strip malls, big box retailers, schools, warehouses and municipal buildings. For the utilities, Ice Bears are a long-term (minimum 20-year lifespan) grid asset that they can integrate into the grid to drop load on demand, which directly reduces capital and operating expenses. Instead of having to add peaking generation, upgrade substations or upgrade feeders to support high use customers, the utility’s Ice Bears cost-effectively eliminate the excess demand. Building owners benefit from an energy storage device without paying for it, and ultimately consume less electricity and extend the life of their a/c units, plus they get an added comfort benefit as unlike conventional a/c, the Ice Bear has no issues getting cool air no matter the outside temperature.