Residential ice storage technology coming in early 2017

Ice Energy has offered the Ice Bear thermal storage solution for commercial and industrial cooling applications since 2005. The approach is relatively straightforward: in the night leading up to an anticipated hot, high-demand day, the Ice Bear pre-freezes a large mass of water in a highly-insulated tank. Then, when the day heats up, the units switch to the ice to provide cooling, rather than running an energy-intensive rooftop unit. This allows businesses to avoid demand charges and facilitates participation in utility demand response programs. Now, the company is planning to release a smaller 2.5-ton unit, called the Ice Cub, for single-family residential applications. The company’s CEO says the Ice Cub will come with a 20-year warranty and have a price tag similar to a conventional residential whole-home AC when credits for the California Self-Generation Incentive Program are factored in. If the product operates as claimed, it could potentially save homeowners hundreds of dollars each year in demand charges while supporting greater grid flexibility during times of greatest strain.

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