Palm Springs nonprofit selects solar, ice storage - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Demand Management, Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Storage, Distributed Generation, Solar  -  March 28, 2017

Nonprofit replaces HVAC with solar, ice storage

Following the failure of its air conditioning systems in 2015, the Palm Springs Cultural Center has replaced its dated HVAC system with a brand new type of energy solution that utilizes solar and ice battery storage. 

The nonprofit organization was able to utilize funds from California's Self-Generation Incentive Program and PACE financing to install the system, which comprises 73.6 kW of solar panels and five batteries, with "minimal" up-front investment, according to a news release about the project from Ice Energy, which supplied the batteries. The system was installed in collaboration with Horizon Solar Power. 

During the day, the solar panels generate the center's energy needs and also charge the energy storage units, dubbed "Ice Bears." Then, during the evening, the batteries are able to provide up to four hours of cooling using a fraction of the electricity normally needed. A statement from Ice Energy said the ice cooling method uses 95% less energy than a standard AC system would have otherwise required. 

Additionally, the system allows the Palm Springs Cultural Center to permanently shift its evening peak electrical demand. In completing the project, California cultural center joins a number of other large energy users in the state that have incorporated ice battery systems in recent months.

In late 2016, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced it was conducting a field demonstration of an ice-based energy storage system in San Diego in an effort to reduce operating costs related to refrigeration and improve resilience across its portfolio of stores. 

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