Ice Energy’s The Ice Bear, which is used in conjunction with air conditioners, freezes tap water at night when energy demand and, often, power prices are low. During the day, it circulates standard coolant through coils embedded in the ice for cooling, using, according to the company,Ã‚Â less electricity than an unassisted air-conditioning unit would.
The device is being used and tested for both commercial and residential buildings in California.
During the day, the device uses only 300 watts per hour, compared to 10,000 to 14,000 watts for commercial units providing equivalent cooling, Biz Journals reports. The Ice Bear lowers emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides by storing cooling power at night, when a higher percentage of the electrical power is generated by less-polluting sources, such as wind.
Several utilities have been testing the Ice Bear. Reviews are mixed but promising.