Can an ice-powered air conditioner take the edge off scorching summer electrical bills?
A young company called Ice Energy has developed an energy-storage system that uses a tank of water to cut down on the power required for air conditioning by 30 percent.
The company’s Ice Bear units, roughly the size and shape of a squat refrigerator, are an adjunct to standard centralized air-conditioning units.
Rather than run AC compressors during the hottest time of the day, the Ice Bear cools water during the night, turning it to ice. During the day, the ice cools the refrigerant as it passes through the tank, lowering the temperature inside.
This process of shifting the time that the AC unit works knocks electricity usage and costs down significantly, said Ice Energy CEO Frank Ramirez.