New twist on an old concept

Ice was first proposed for cooling back in 1864 - and things apparently haven't changed much since then.

Consider this project in Southern California, where 24 municipal buildings in Glendale are using ice. If it works, it could lead to substantial savings in energy costs, according to this item written by Susan Kraemer.

Here's how it works, according to her piece in
"The units make cheap ice overnight, when demand for electricity is low, using a high-efficiency compressor to freeze 450 gallons of water. In the middle of the day, the device shuts off the regular air conditioner for the peak afternoon hours and instead pipes a stream of coolant from the slowly melting block of ice to an evaporator coil installed within the building’s heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning blower system until the entire ice block has melted – which should be sized to take about 6 hours – to cover for the peak afternoon load on the grid. "

A Colorado company, Ice Energy, is making the units.

The San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization is a nonprofit dedicated to improving our region's quality of life by increasing its production and use of clean and alternative energy. The SJVCEO works with cities and counties and public and private organizations to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley.