A Second Life for Ice Storage – Repurposed for Electrification
During the 1990s, especially in the Northeast of the United States, utility electricity rate tariffs strongly weighted costs toward on-peak periods, creating a surge in popularity of ice storage systems for cooling load shifting to off-peak periods. In recent years, many rate tariffs have balanced out costs between on- and off-peak periods, making ice storage systems less favorable for new installations and even in some cases, not economical to continue to run existing systems; however, the 2020s have brought a major focus on electrification of heating loads in pursuit of decarbonization, which presents a new opportunity. Existing under-utilized ice storage systems can play a unique role in this effort by being repurposed for electrification rather than load-shifting for rate tariff optimization.
By way of example, B2Q will present its design and energy/carbon analysis of the on-going renovation to the Town of Natick, MA’s Morse Institute Library’s HVAC system. The design includes installation of a new air-to-water heat pump that will make ice at night and during the day, the ice can be melted from the tanks to meet building cooling loads, while the heat pump switches to hot water heating mode to serve simultaneous heating loads during applicable periods of the year. The Town’s Facilities Director, William Spratt, has kindly offered to join B2Q’s Joseph Bliss, PE, in presenting the case study to offer both the Owner and Engineer’s perspectives on the strengths of this innovative approach.
Mr. Bliss is a senior project manager, as well as energy and mechanical design engineer and has been with B2Q Associates for 12 years. His specialties have been in energy efficient HVAC design, building automation system design, and recommissioning. More recently, Joe has taken a leadership role in B2Q's Decarbonization Center of Excellence, establishing a process for guiding customers through the electrification process from auditing, feasibility analysis, budgeting, and infrastructure planning, through to final design, construction, and commissioning.