Victorville, CA, Nov. 7, 2005 — Victorville, CA, is the first city in the United States to install new energy-storage products that use ice, created by standard-sized air conditioners, to reduce peak electricity demand on city government buildings.
In October, the Victorville City Council unanimously approved installation of 54 Ice Bear 50 energy-storage units on 16 city government buildings beginning in November.
Their decision came after a test installation of an Ice Bear 50, used to cool the city’s council chambers during the hottest months of 2005, slashed daytime electricity demand and consumption 95 percent when compared to a conventional refrigerant-based air conditioner.
Victorville, located in the high desert where summertime temperatures can reach 110 degrees, is a fast growing community whose population soared 10.7 percent between 2004 and 2005 to more than 86,000.
“The Victorville project is Ice Energy’s largest order to date and our first citywide installation,” said Frank Ramirez, CEO of Ice Energy, manufacturer of the Ice Bear 50.
Several other California cities, including Los Angeles, Anaheim, Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, Riverside, Sacramento, Azusa and Redding are evaluating Ice Bear 50 units and may also elect to install the energy storage products on a broader scale.
Air conditioners are the root cause of California’s peak-energy problem.
During peak times on hot summer days, up to 70 percent of California’s peak electricity demand often comes from air conditioners, according to the California Energy Commission.
As mid-afternoon temperatures rise, so does customer demand for air conditioning. This peak demand calls into service more expensive power generators and congests the electric supply grid similar to how cars congest rush-hour freeways.
Ice Energy has pioneered an economical, off-the-shelf energy-storage solution that shifts an air conditioner’s demand for electricity from sweltering days to cool nights. The Ice Bear uses lower priced off peak electricity at night to store “cooling” energy in the form of ice. In essence, Ice Energy’s products are cold thermal batteries that are charged at night and discharge cooling during peak hours of the day.
When air conditioning is needed during the day, a small low wattage pump replaces the traditional energy-consuming condensing unit and provides air-conditioning to building occupants.
Residential and commercial customers continue to use air conditioners as they always have with the new air-conditioning technology. The difference is how air-conditioning is provided and when energy is consumed.