Ice Bear Energy Storage System
Think of the Ice Bear as a battery for the air conditioning system. Only this one is cooler, because it’s made out of Ice.
At its most basic, the Ice Bear consists of a large thermal storage tank that attaches directly to a building’s existing roof top air-conditioning system.
The unit makes ice at night, and uses that ice during the day to efficiently deliver cooling directly to the building’s existing air conditioning system.
The Ice Bear energy storage unit operates in two basic modes, Ice Cooling and Ice Charging, to store cooling energy at night, and to deliver that energy the following day.
During Ice Charge mode, a self-contained charging system freezes 450 gallons of water in the Ice Bear’s insulated tank by pumping refrigerant through a configuration of copper coils within it. The water that surrounds these coils freezes and turns to ice. The condensing unit then turns off, and the ice is stored until its cooling energy is needed.
As daytime temperatures rise, the power consumption of air conditioning rises along with it, pushing the grid to peak demand levels. During this peak window, typically from noon to 6 pm, the Ice Bear unit replaces the energy intensive compressor of the building’s air conditioning unit.
The Ice Bear, fully charged from the night before, switches to Ice Cooling mode. The Ice Bear uses the ice, rather than the AC unit’s compressor, to cool the hot refrigerant, slowing melting the ice as it travels through a series of copper coils. A small, highly efficient pump pushes ice-cold refrigerant through a modified Ice Energy LiquidDX® evaporator coil installed in the conventional air conditioning unit. The Ice Cooling cycle lasts for at least 6 hours.
Once the ice has fully melted, the Ice Bear transfers the job of cooling back to the building’s AC unit, to provide cooling, as needed, until the next day. During the cool of the night, the Ice Charge mode is activated and the entire cycle begins again.
The Ice Bear system is designed to store energy off-peak and deliver cooling on-peak, while consuming less overall energy on the building.
Because it naturally compensates for inefficiencies in the storage/discharge cycle, thermal storage for air conditioning is unique among storage technologies. In fact, it is the industry’s first effectively “loss-less” energy storage solution.
Here’s how: When an Ice Bear unit is storing energy, it is operating an integrated high-efficiency AC condensing unit at night, when temperatures are low and thermal efficiency is high.
During the day, the opposite happens. When the Ice Bear unit is discharging its stored energy, it offsets the operation of the energy-intensive commercial AC condensing unit at times when temperatures are high and efficiency of the AC unit is at its worst.
This means the difference in operating efficiencies between the Ice Bear condensing unit and the commercial unit more than compensates for any inherent inefficiencies in the storage/discharge cycle common to other types of energy storage. In fact, when you factor in age, size, and high operating duty cycles, the Ice Bear condensing unit is clearly more efficient than the commercial condensing unit it is displacing.
Bottom line: The Ice Bear system reduces total net energy consumption for most buildings under virtually all operating conditions and installations.