The city of Azusa, California may be small, but it’s on the front lines of efforts to cut rates and carbon emissions. Using
How It Works
Water (just one tank lasts for years!) is frozen into ice to replace the cooling power of AC units during peaks times--with 100 percent efficiency. The ice freezes at night when demand is low. During the day, the units uses the ice, rather than the AC unit’s compressor, to cool the hot refrigerant, cutting cooling costs substantially and saving 10 tons of harmful C02 emissions per year. The technology is being used in almost 1,000 units nationwide--by utilities, businesses such as Kohl’s department stores, wineries that use the units during the production process, and even zoos.
Last week, Azusa announced a successful milestone in a research project aimed at proving the potential for successful deployment of Ice Cub, Ice Energy’s thermal energy storage system for residential applications. As part of the project, supported by a DEED technology research grant from the American Public Power Association (APPA), Azusa recently completed deployment of two smaller design variants of Ice Energy’s original Ice Bear thermal energy storage system at two Azusa residences.
Azusa's general manager George Morrow said, “We are excited to explore the tremendous potential of residential thermal energy storage cooling applications on behalf of our citizens and the more than 2,000 members of the APPA who helped fund this technology research project. The future savings for individual residential customers could be significant and even more importantly, when deployed at scale, residential thermal energy storage systems in cooling applications could cut untold millions from the peak power expenses of municipalities across the country.”
The goal of the project is to prove the capability of the modified Ice Bear systems in residential deployments. Ice Energy is using the results of the project to support its ongoing research and development (R&D) efforts to create its residential Ice Cub. The company expects to commercialize the Ice Cub and bring it to market in 2016.
Azusa has a proven track record with Ice Bears, using them since 2005 to help reduce summer peak capacity requirements set by refrigerant-based air conditioning in commercial facilities. Azusa uses these thermal energy storage units at major city facilities, including the city’s public library, event center and gymnasium, police station headquarters, the city’s critical data centers, Azusa Light & Water main offices, and Azusa Pacific University--the utility's largest customer.
Ice Energy president Mike Hopkins remarked, “We are grateful for the support of Azusa and the grant from APPA. This effort has helped accelerate our R&D efforts aimed at the residential marketplace. Cooling applications consume nearly 10 percent of all power in the residential sector in the US, and we believe this is a massive new market for distributed energy storage and peak load management that forward thinking utilities like Azusa are getting ready to tackle.”