Ice Energy(R), the premier provider of hybrid cooling technologies, today introduced its next-generation Ice Bear(R) 30 Hybrid Air Conditioner and companion Ice-Ready(TM) Rooftop Units (RTUs). Together, these new products represent a fully integrated HVAC solution that expands the market for distributed energy storage, lowers electricity bills, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Ice Energy collaborates with utilities, HVAC providers and local businesses to deliver an innovative cooling technology for small- to mid-scale commercial buildings that benefits energy suppliers as well as consumers. The Ice Bear Hybrid Air Conditioner is the industry's first cost-effective energy storage solution and delivers efficient cooling comfort using only a fraction of the energy required by conventional systems. By permanently shifting the cooling load from peak to off-peak hours, the Ice Bear improves grid reliability and utilization, relieves transmission congestion, and reduces the production of carbon and NOx emissions.
"To make an impact in mature industries, new innovations must work with standard appliances and products," said Frank Ramirez, CEO of Ice Energy. "The energy consumption of air conditioning is enormous and problematic, but indoor comfort is non-negotiable. Our engineering team has developed a storage solution that easily integrates with existing HVAC systems to deliver a powerful change in how -- and, more importantly, when -- we use energy, without sacrificing comfort."
Daytime air conditioning energy demand -- typically 40-50 percent of a building's electricity use during expensive peak hours -- can be reduced by as much as 95 percent, and electricity bills lowered by 30 percent or more annually when combined with time-of-use rates. The Ice Bear Hybrid Air Conditioner stores cooling energy at night -- when energy generation is cleaner, more efficient and less expensive -- by freezing water within an insulated storage tank. It cools efficiently during the day by circulating chilled refrigerant from the tank to the conventional air conditioning system, eliminating the need to run the energy-intensive compressor during peak daytime hours. During off-peak hours, the conventional HVAC system can operate as usual.
Designed and tested for optimal performance with the Ice Bear Hybrid Air Conditioner, Ice-Ready RTUs expand the applications for hybrid cooling within new construction, renovation and replacement markets. Available as a factory-installed option on rooftop units from leading HVAC manufacturers, Ice-Ready RTUs feature a dedicated evaporator Ice-Coil(TM) and built-in connection for seamless performance and fast and reliable connection to the Ice Bear system, requiring no modification to existing ductwork or structure.
"By enabling commercial buildings to store power and level the daytime load, the Ice Bear and its integrated CoolData(R) Controller bring a powerful new resource into the utility market," added Ramirez.
Utilities and cities across the country have helped to speed the adoption of Ice Energy's hybrid cooling solutions with innovative rebate and incentive programs that decrease electricity consumption during peak day-time hours and lower utility bills among participating commercial customers. Most recently, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Edison launched demand reduction incentive programs that subsidize and underwrite the purchase and installation of Ice Bear hybrid cooling units for qualifying commercial customers within their territories.