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Thermal Energy Storage for Light Commercial Refrigerant-Based Air Conditioning Units
The Ice Bear® storage technology was initially developed by Powell Energy Products, with assistance from DOE's Inventions and Innovation Program and commercialized by Ice Energy®, Inc. The Ice Bear storage module was engineered to complement new or existing air conditioning (AC) equipment to shift energy use from peak to off-peak periods. The Ice Bear unit is designed for use with rooftop or split system AC equipment. The Ice Bear unit with an air-cooled condensing or rooftop unit operates during off-peak hours to store energy as ice. During peak daytime cooling, the Ice Bear unit functions as the condenser, circulating ice-condensed refrigerant with a low-power refrigerant pump. Total energy use is only 300 watts to provide 7.5 tons of cooling for 6 hours.
The Ice Bear unit consists of a heat exchanger made of helical copper coils placed inside an insulated polyethylene storage tank filled with normal tap water, a patented refrigerant management system, a low-power refrigerant pump, and the CoolData® controller. To provide AC, the Ice Bear uses a lowpower pump to circulate refrigerant to the evaporator coil in the air handler. By using the condensing or rooftop unit to produce ice during the night and the refrigerant pump to supply condensed liquid refrigerant to the evaporator coil during the day, the Ice Bear effectively transfers the majority of load requirements to nighttime hours or levels energy loads. In both of these applications, the Ice Bear reduces humidity levels, which helps meet indoor air quality standards.
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- Base technology developed by Powell Energy Products, Inc., and patents acquired by Ice Energy, Inc. in 2003.
- Commercialized by Ice Energy, Inc. in 2005.
Can be used in conjunction with 3.5-to-20 ton AC units in markets such as small to big-box retail, industrial, data centers, office buildings, restaurants, banks, fire stations, libraries, schools, and community centers.
- Shifts 95% of AC load from peak to offpeak periods.
- Offers energy storage capacity of 45-ton/hr, up to 7.5 tons of cooling for 6 hours.
Substantially reduces electrical bills in load-shifting applications where peak and off-peak price differentials exist by reducing demand by 95%.