- First thermal energy storage project in New York City
- 41 story office building
- ENERGY STAR rated
- IceBank energy storage tanks located in building basement
- Reduction of electrical energy costs
- Decreased peak demand
- Cleaner environment
- Download the case study
The Durst Organization, a major Manhattan commercial property owner known for its environmental concern, has chosen thermal energy storage to reduce the overall cost of energy in its 20-year old building on the Avenue of Americas. Thermal storage uses inexpensive nighttime electricity to produce ice in 8ft. storage tanks. The ice is used the following day to cool the building. Shifting the electric load from expensive “on-peak” hours to “off-peak” hours dramatically reduces energy costs since “on-peak” prices are at least double and can be up to ten times the nighttime rate.
Air conditioning systems traditionally work by blowing air past coils containing chilled heat transfer fluids. The fluids are cooled by a chiller, which must operate whenever the air conditioning system is on. Building owners using traditional air conditioning systems thereby not only use a substantial amount of “on-peak” electricity, they incur expensive “peak-demand” rates for that electricity.
In contrast, during the “peak-demand” periods, buildings that rely on thermal energy storage technology are cooled simply by using small pumps to move the ice-cooled fluid past fans that blow cool air into the building.
“Beyond the cost saving aspect of thermal energy storage, we selected this technology because it reduces peak electrical load on the grid. This, in turn, lowers the need for building new power plants with all the siting issues that accompany them and reduces the need for utilities to bring a dirty, peak-shaving plant on line,” said Jody Durst, co-president of the Durst Organization.
Thermal energy storage is a proven technology, which is widely used in schools, hospitals, office buildings, supermarkets and warehouse outlets in the US and throughout the world. However, the Durst Organization’s usage of thermal energy storage marks the first time that this technology will cool a Manhattan building. While the ice storage tanks are ordinarily installed outdoors, they can also be buried in the ground, installed on roofs as well as within the building itself. In this case, 28 tanks were installed in the basement of the 41-story building.
“Beyond the cost saving aspect of thermal energy storage, we selected this technology because it reduces peak electrical load on the grid. This, in turn, lowers the need for building new power plants with all the siting issues that accompany them and reduces the need for utilities to bring a dirty, peak-shaving plant on line,” said Jody Durst, co-president of the Durst Organization. “For every four buildings that use thermal energy storage, a fifth could be cooled without increasing daytime electrical demand.”
The Durst Organization received funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for an ice storage plant feasibility study and was subsequently awarded over $280,000 under the NYSERDA Peak Load Reduction Program for its implementation.