IceBank® Energy Storage: Cooling for a Greener, Smarter Future

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U.S. Green Building Council Energy Star ARI Thermal Energy Storage Benefits

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Gundaker, St. Louis, MO

St. Louis, MO

Air conditioning during summer daytime hours is the largest single contributor to a building’s energy cost. A hybrd cooling system, which includes CALMAC ICEBANK® thermal-energy storage tanks and chillers, makes and stores ice at night during off-peak times when utility rates are far less expensive and when cleaner baseload plants are used, while still providing a cool and very comfortable environment for occupants.

Chillers are rightsized to handle energy demand efficiently and store energy kicks in when needed. 

CALMAC Thermal Energy Storage Systems let you shift the largest moveable portion of your building’s electrical load from High-Cost Peak Hours to Low-Cost Off-Peak Hours.

Graphs showing savings

The blue-tinted areas show the shifted kWh, and illustrate the savings created by the purchase of off-peak power. Hypothetically, on a 600 ton, 300,000 square-foot building, where the cost of a kW is $10, saving 600 kW per month translates to a savings of $6,000.

Energy Storage benefits for the owner or architect

  • Helps with LEED credits in Energy and Atmosphere and Demand Response.
  • Reduces cooling costs by up to 40 percent by shifting a building’s energy demand from on-peak to off-peak electric times.
  • Thermal energy storage is lowest cost form of energy storage.
  • With a partial energy storage system, engineers can specify chillers at 50 to 60 percent of the previous size, reducing capital outlays.
  • The size and cost of air handlers, motors, ducts, and pumps can be reduced by 20 to 40 percent.
  • Energy Storage lowers the relative humidity within a building and, as a result, occupants feel comfortable even if the thermostat is set at a higher, more cost-saving setting.
  • Increases a building’s load factor so less-expensive energy rates can be negotiated with energy providers.
  • Energy Storage can be added to an existing chiller system to increase cooling capacity and reduce cooling costs.
  • Energy storage provides a quantifiable return on investment.
  • Building owners can use thermal energy storage as a load shifting response tool and reduce peak demand in response to price signals with little if any impact on building occupants.

As an added benefit, all of CALMAC’s ICEBANK energy storage tanks are covered by a 10-year limited warranty.

Energy Storage benefits for the environment and society

  • Energy storage helps make renewable energy resources (wind, solar) more viable.
  • Distributes the energy to the buildings at night when line losses are low and generation efficiencies and wind resources are high.
  • Reduces emissions and use of dirtiest power plants.
  • Increases load factor of generation up to 25 percent.
  • Delays the need for additional power plants.
  • All forms of stored energy are going to be needed to address all the different issues on the Grid but thermal energy storage reduces peak electric demand and it stores what that demand is normally needed for, which is cooling.
  • Because the chiller used within a CALMAC energy storage system is 50 to 60 percent smaller, less refrigerant is needed. Since refrigerant escapes from a chiller system over time, minimizing the use of refrigerant benefits the environment.
  • Thermal energy storage reduces source-energy consumption by 8 to 34 percent, which means that energy providers will generate fewer polluting emissions.


Energy Storage benefits for the energy provider

  • CALMAC energy storage systems reduce peak electrical demand, allowing energy providers to produce more electricity at increased efficiencies and avoid costly expansion.
  • In numerous studies, it has been proven that electricity is produced and delivered much more efficiently during off-peak hours than during on-peak periods. For every kilowatt-hour of energy that is shifted from on-peak usage to off-peak, there is a reduction in the source fuel needed to generate it. While the exact amount of savings varies, studies show a range from 8 to 30 percent for two of the major utilities studied. The reduction in source fuel normally results in a reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions produced by the power plant. *
  • Use of thermal energy storage increases a utility’s load factor.
  • Use of thermal energy storage removes big electric motors from on-peak use, which are the main contributors to power factor issues.

*Source: Source Energy & Environmental Impacts of Thermal Energy Storage, California Energy Commission (CEC), P500-95-005, Feb. 1996

For detailed information regarding CALMAC’s ICEBANK tanks and the thermal energy storage process, please review our general (PDF, 440 Kb) and technical (PDF, 467 Kb) overview PDFs.

Click here for a partial listing of energy storage projects.

Please click here to contact any of CALMAC’s regional managers for additional information or questions.

We also encourage you to fill out our thermal energy storage analysis form, and a member of our team will contact you with an evaluation of your facility.

Click below to learn how our thermal-energy storage
and ice-rink products work to benefit your business and lower costs.

Commercial/Office Retrofit Education Medical Ice Rinks
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