Ice Energy? Here’s a Novel Idea

Since most power plants cannot be “turned down” at night to compensate for lower energy demand the energy they generate is wasted in off-peak hours and extra strain is put on the system during peak daylight hours, especially when it’s hot outside and people clamor for air conditioning.
There are a lot of ideas to deal with this problem, my personal favorite being to use plug-in hybrid cars to absorb low-rate electricity at night, then give back their energy during the day. Other schemes have involved using nighttime energy to pump water in reverse into reservoirs so that it can be used again the next day as hydro power.
One new idea, championed by a California company, Ice Energy, is to offer a device that makes ice overnight, then uses it to augment air conditioning during the day. Here’s how it works:

Their product is called the “Ice Bear” and basically it runs all night long making ice when it’s cool outside and electricity is cheap and more plentiful. Then, during the day, the ice is used as a chiller in conjunction with the existing AC to cool the building off. Apparently it ends up being vastly more efficient. Seems pretty smart to me!

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

One response

  1. I’ve read about a similar it in a book (The Seven Day Weekend). Semco, a company in Brazil, used this concept for cooling buildings for their clients.

Comments are closed.