Energy Efficiency with Ice Bear

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Purpose of the project:

Weingarten partnered with Ice Energy Holdings, Inc. (Ice Energy) to install nine Ice Bear thermal energy storage units. These units are affixed to several tenants’ heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units and deliver cost-effective solutions to reduce peak demand; improve energy system efficiency and reliability, and transform the way the utility system operates.

Approach:

Stoneridge Towne Center was determined to be a great property for Ice Bear installations because many tenants have the size and type of HVAC that is easily adaptable to the Ice Bear system; it also proved to be a perfect fit for demonstrating the market scalability. Ice Bear units were conceived on the idea that a block of ice the size of a refrigerator could cool a tenant’s space for up to six hours. The Ice Bear’s compressors operate at night to make ice and maintain a chilled water tank. When temperatures rise during the day, the compressor in the HVAC unit actually shuts down completely, and the HVAC unit and building gets all the cooling needed from refrigerant cooled in the chilled water tank of the Ice Bear. Landlord reached out to individual tenants to obtain their approvals to move forward with the installation of the Ice Bear units. Once approvals were received, Landlord specified to Ice Energy exactly which suites they had the authority to connect to. Ice Energy then conducted proper due diligence of the property prior to installation. This due diligence process included the load testing of the roofs, architectural drawings, and electrical load testing. If the roof was unable to hold the Ice Bear, the Ice Bear was then placed on the ground floor behind the building and conduit was ran up the side of the building. Within a span of three months, all Ice Bear units were completely installed.

Results:

Due to the reduced consumption of electricity during peak hours, the HVAC unit’s energy consumption is reduced anywhere from 5-20% during that time. The percentage of energy saved is based on several variables: the amount of energy and cooling needed, the outside temperature, the business hours of the retailer, and many additional factors. The hotter it gets outside, the more efficient the Ice Bear is, which is exactly the opposite of an HVAC unit. Also, the Ice Bear units lessen the usage of the HVAC’s compressors during the day, resulting in extending the life of a typical HVAC unit. Although the cost savings may not be realized until the warmer months ahead, Weingarten Realty is excited to be able to provide these energy cost savings to our tenants, as well as benefit from the supplemented longevity of a longer useful life of the HVAC units. In addition to providing a means for more cost efficiencies to tenants, reducing overall energy consumption at the shopping center is congruent to the company’s green initiatives. Weingarten Realty’s Stoneridge Towne Center is the first shopping center in Moreno Valley with such a high count of Ice Bear units.

“Weingarten Realty is excited to announce the installation of a new sustainable resource within Stoneridge Towne Centre, located in Moreno Valley, CA. Weingarten has teamed up with Ice Energy Holdings Inc. and the Moreno Valley Utility Division to install nine Ice Bear thermal energy storage units.”  - Weingarten Realty