Ice Energy: As Cool as Energy Storage Gets

by Alexander Flores

Ice Energy, a privately held company based in Santa Barbara, CA, has developed a cost-effective air conditioning utility known as the Ice Bear. Essentially, the Ice Bear’s primary function is to convert a power-guzzling air conditioner into a more efficient hybrid that consumes 95% less energy during the peak of the day. This supplementary energy storage unit is compatible with 85% of all commercial air conditioning units and simply stores energy at night when electricity generation is cleaner, more efficient, and less expensive, then delivers it during the day. The Ice Bear works in conjunction with refrigerant-based, 4-20 ton package rooftop systems common to most small or mid-sized commercial buildings. One could simply think of an Ice Bear unit as a battery for an air conditioning system. But just how does it work? An Ice Bear unit consists of a large thermal tank, which operates in an Ice Cooling mode and Ice Charging mode to make ice at night to use for cooling the following day. Continue reading