Ice Energy, a provider of distributed thermal energy storage solutions, has launched the Ice Cub, an integrated heating, cooling and energy storage system for the residential market. The company says Ice Cub’s energy storage capabilities also make it ideal for homes with solar PV.
Building upon Ice Energy’s patented thermal energy storage and load management technology, the Ice Cub is a compact, home-optimized HVAC system consisting of a compressor and ice tank with heat exchanger. According to Ice Energy, the compressor operates in multiple modes; it can cool the home like a conventional AC 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, the company says. Furthermore, when heating is required, the circuit reverses and the compressor operates as a heat pump to provide heating for a home.
With a charge time of four hours, the Ice Cub can utilize solar over-generation to fully charge without using any energy from the grid, says Ice Energy. 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, adds the company.
“The Ice Cub is a truly disruptive consumer HVAC solution,” says 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. The first production unit will be installed in early December, and the product will be available for purchase in early 2017.