IceBank® Energy Storage: Cooling for a Greener, Smarter Future

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U.S. Green Building Council Energy Star ARI Thermal Energy Storage - ICEBANK®

Product Information Energy storage


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(Request the product catalog or for a free evaluation, take the thermal energy storage analysis. )

CALMAC can provide both full- and partial- load thermal energy storage systems. The essential element for either full- or partial- storage configurations are CALMAC’s ICEBANK® thermal energy storage tanks, either Model A or Model C. Each energy storage system is modular, and each tank is made of polyethylene and well insulated. Each tank contains a spiral-wound, polyethylene-tube heat exchanger surrounded with water. ICEBANK tanks are available in a variety of sizes ranging from 45 to over 500 ton-hours.

IceBank Thermal Energy Storage tank by CALMAC

IceBank Features

  • Engineered to provide efficient operation with minimal maintenance.
  • Seamless one piece tank provides structure and containment.
  • No moving parts to maintain.
  • Each module contains a welded counter-flow all polyethylene heat exchanger for superior ice making performance and long life.
  • Backed by limited 10-year warranty.
  • "C" style IceBank tank offers even lower installation costs by reducing field piping, connections, insulation, and storage footprint.
  • Increased layout flexability
  • Click here to see the layout possibilities with the C style tank

Charge and Discharge CyclesHow IceBank Works

With a partial-storage system, the chiller can be 40 to 50 percent smaller than other HVAC systems, because the chiller works in conjunction with the ICEBANK tanks during on-peak daytime hours to manage the building’s cooling load. During off-peak nighttime hours, the chiller charges the ICEBANK tanks for use during the next day’s cooling. Extending the chiller hours of operation results in the lowest possible average load. The following scenario is an example of a partial-storage system.

During the off-peak charging cycle, water, containing 25 percent ethylene or propylene glycol is cooled by a chiller and then circulated through the heat exchanger inside the ICEBANK tank. The water- glycol solution leaving the chiller and arriving at the tank is 25°F, which freezes the water surrounding the heat exchanger inside the tank. This process extracts the heat from the water surrounding the ICEBANK heat exchanger until approximately 95 percent of the water inside the tank has been frozen solid. Ice-making has the effect of de-rating the nominal chiller capacity by approximately 30 to 35 percent. Compressor efficiency, however, will vary only slightly because lower nighttime temperatures result in cooler condenser temperatures and help keep the unit operating efficiently.

The ice is built uniformly throughout the ICEBANK tank by the patented temperature-averaging effect of closely-spaced, counter-flow-heat exchanger tubes, (see Charge Cycle). The water does not become surrounded by ice during the freezing process, but instead moves freely as ice forms, which prevents damage to the tank. A full charging cycle of an ICEBANK tank requires approximately 6 to 12 hours, depending upon job criteria.

During the peak-load discharge cycle the following day (see Discharge Cycle), the glycol solution leaving the chiller is 52°F, where chiller operation is more efficient than a conventional chiller systems’ requirement of 44°F. Since the ice is downstream of the chiller, in this case, the ice will cool the glycol solution from 52°F to the coil requirement of 44°F. A temperature-modulating valve, set at 44°F in a bypass loop around the tank, permits a sufficient quantity of 52°F solution to bypass the tank, mix with 34°F solution, and achieve the desired 44°F temperature. The 44°F solution is distributed to the air-handler coil, where it cools the air from 75°F to 55°F. The solution leaving the air-handler coil is now 60°F as it re-enters the chiller and is cooled back to 52°F.

The temperature-modulating valve in the bypass loop has the added advantage of providing unlimited capacity control. During many mild-temperature days in the spring and fall, the chiller will be capable of providing all the necessary cooling for the building without assistance from stored cooling. When the building’s actual cooling load is equal to or lower than the chiller’s capacity, all of the system coolant flows through the bypass loop (see Bypass Cycle).

With a full-storage configuration, a building’s entire cooling load is shifted to off-peak hours. The chiller only runs during off-peak nighttime hours in order to store ice for use the following day. During on-peak daytime hours, the building’s cooling is provided exclusively by the ton-hours stored within the CALMAC ICEBANK tanks the night before. During daytime off-peak hours, a chiller can cool the facility directly or the system can operate as a partial-storage system, depending on operation and electric rates.

Bypass CycleThe ethylene-based or propylene-based glycol recommended for the solution is an industrial coolant that is specially formulated for low viscosity and superior heat-transfer properties. These contain a multi-component corrosion-inhibitor system, which permits the use of standard system pumps, seals, and air-handler coils. Because of the slight difference in heat-transfer coefficient between the water–ethylene glycol solution and plain water, the supply liquid temperature may have to be lowered by one or two degrees, which can be achieved easily by the ice. Maintenance of CALMAC ICEBANK tanks and the OPC system is not much different from conventional cooling. Perform chiller maintenance as required, check the health of the glycol fluid annually, check the water level in the tanks, and add biocide every other year to eliminate algae growth.

Maintenance of IceBank

Maintenance of the tank has minimal requirements:
  • Checking the water level annually.
  • Adding a biocide every two years.
  • Checking the health of the heat transfer fluid annually.

If you would like information about purchasing biocide, heat transfer fluid, or a heat transfer fluid health check, contact your Calmac Regional Sales Manager or click here.

Click here for ICEBANK applications.

Click here for details regarding all of the cost-saving benefits that CALMAC’s Thermal Energy Storage systems provide.

Click here for ICEBANK Thermal Energy Storage Model A specifications and drawings.

Click here for ICEBANK Thermal Energy Storage Model C specifications and drawings.

Please click here to contact any of CALMAC’s regional managers for additional information or questions.

We also encourage you to fill out our thermal storage analysis form, and a member of our team will contact you with an evaluation of your facility.

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