SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Ice Energy, a provider of distributed thermal energy storage solutions, has launched the Ice Cub — a way to cool and heat the home, store energy, and optimize solar power. Building upon Ice Energy’s patented thermal energy storage and load management technology, the company said the Ice Cub is designed to provide homeowners with an affordable, reliable, and eco-friendly heating, cooling, and energy storage system.

The Ice Cub is a compact, home-optimized HVAC system comprised of an ultra-high efficiency compressor and ice tank with heat exchanger. The compressor operates in multiple modes; it can cool the home like a conventional a/c unit or, alternatively, it can store energy in the form of cooling by freezing water in the ice tank. When the latter process is complete, the compressor can be shut off and, without using any electricity to create cooling, the ice battery will provide up to four hours of cooling to an entire home. Further, when heating is required, the circuit reverses and the compressor operates as a heat pump to provide all the heating required for a home.

Ice Energy noted that the Ice Cub’s energy storage capabilities make it ideal for homes with a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. With a charge time of just four hours, the Ice Cub can utilize solar over-generation to fully charge without using any energy from the grid. The ice tank can also be charged overnight, when electricity is cheapest, to provide cooling in the morning before solar power is available. Thus, the Ice Cub’s storage can be fully charged and discharged twice a day, and there is no degradation over its operating life.

“The Ice Cub is a truly disruptive consumer HVAC solution,” said Mike Hopkins, CEO of Ice Energy. “It will change the way people think about cooling and heating, and how they consider energy storage for their home. It enables homeowners to take charge and save on their utility bill, get the most from their solar PV, and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 1,000 pounds per year.”

Ice Cub product testing was successfully completed in October, said the company. The first production unit will be installed in early December and the product will be available for purchase in early 2017. Additionally, as an advanced energy storage system, California residents are eligible for the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), which can reduce Ice Cub costs to less than those of a conventional high-efficiency a/c unit.

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Publication date: 12/1/2016

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