DER-Grid Edge, Energy Storage, Executive Insight, Generation, Natural Gas

Energy Cast Podcast: Frozen fuels and the future ice energy storage

Ice Bear System
The Ice Bear works as an add-on, providing cooling by adding an ice evaporator coil in the existing HVAC system.

Energy Cast is a podcast featuring some of the top experts across all links in the energy industry chain, including electric vehicles, renewables, generation and more! Jay Dauenhauer created the show and has been hosting Energy Cast for several years.

Click below to listen to the full episode:

Our guests are proving that large-scale energy storage is possible, and doesn’t always have to come in the form lithium-ion batteries in a shipping container.

Like Nuvve in our last episode, Santa Barbara-based Ice Energy is storing energy in the form of ice for use in air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

Their patented process is novel for both 2018 and 1918.  By freezing ice at night, and using that ice to cool air conditioning units, Ice Energy’s Ice Bear units can offset about 95% of the energy required to power air conditioners during the daytime.  The Ice Bears can use less energy than standard air conditioning, but more importantly, they help smooth out the demand for energy, which can swing wildly throughout the day.

Reducing peak demand means power plants can operate more steadily throughout the day.  An Ice Energy effort in Redding, CA eliminated the need for a 45 MW natural gas-fueled power plant, and the company says they believe additional Ice Bears could offset that need indefinitely.

I spoke to the company’s CEO, Mike Hopkins, about the need to offset power used for air conditioning, and why electric utilities are buying Ice Bears for commercial customers.

We also explored the residential market, and how Ice Energy’s next innovation could look a lot like grandma’s Ice Box. (This podcast originally aired in Feb 2018.)

Dauenhauer is a member of the DISTRIBUTECH International advisory committees. Clarion Energy is the parent company of DISTRIBUTECH.


Energy Cast Podcast is hosted biweekly by Jay Dauenhauer.

Learn more about the podcast here.

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