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SCPPA Participants: Azusa, Burbank, and Glendale.

Year Built: Began Installations in 2010

Capacity: 53 MW

Future Plans: More SCPPA Members may join the Project.

How It Works

The Ice Bear energy storage system works with a standard commercial air conditioning system. Requiring no modification to existing ductwork, each Ice Bear unit can be applied to 85% of air conditioners, ranging from a three- to five-ton system to a 20-ton system, providing 30 ton-hours of cooling.

The Ice Bear energy storage unit operates in two basic modes, Ice Cooling and Ice Charging, to store cooling energy at night, and to deliver that energy the following day.

During Ice Charge mode, a self-contained charging system freezes 450 gallons of water in the Ice Bear’s insulated tank by pumping refrigerant through a configuration of copper coils within it. The water that surrounds these coils freezes and turns to ice. The condensing unit then turns off, and the ice is stored until its cooling energy is needed.

As daytime temperatures rise, the power consumption of air conditioning rises along with it, pushing the grid to peak demand levels. During this peak window, typically from noon to 6:00 p.m., the Ice Bear unit replaces the energy intensive compressor of the air conditioner.

The Ice Bear unit, fully charged from the night before, switches to Ice Cooling mode. The Ice Bear uses the ice, rather than the AC unit compressor, to cool the hot refrigerant, slowly melting the ice as it travels through the series of copper coils. A small, highly efficient pump pushes ice-cold refrigerant through modified Ice Energy LiquidDX® evaporator coil installed in the conventional air conditioning unit.

The Ice Cooling cycle lasts for at least six hours. Once the ice has fully melted, the Ice Bear transfers the job of cooling back to the building’s AC unit, to provide cooling, as needed, until the next day. During the cool of the night, the Ice Charge mode is activated and the entire cycle begins again.

Ice Bear Installation Diagram


Smart Grid Controller