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Illinois Town Tests Ice Bear Air Conditioning Technology

Linda Hardesty

Verde Energy Solutions and the City of St. Charles, Ill., are installing an energy storage system at the municipal water treatment laboratory building, located at the City’s Public Works complex.

Ice Energy’s Ice Bear technology will replace an aging air conditioning unit.

The partners will collect data about the Ice Bear technology throughout 2013 and share results about energy efficiencies and grid reliability related to air conditioning.

Ice Bear shifts air conditioning electrical power demand to off-peak hours by using plain water to make ice at night, when the electric grid is generally unstressed. Then, during the hot summer day, when demand goes up and electric prices may be higher, the melting ice bathes the air conditioner’s compressor with cool air so the air conditioning unit uses less energy at a peak demand time to cool the building. The melted water is then recycled through the system when the process begins again the following night.

As part of the partnership, Verde will invest the funds necessary to purchase and install the Ice Bear technology. Through a partnership agreement with Ice Energy, Verde holds the right to distribute Ice Bear technology.

The Illinois Municipal Electric Agency will monitor the progress of the demonstration project. The agency is comprised of 32 electric municipal electric utility departments and one electric co-op, which provides wholesale electric power to its members, including St. Charles.



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