Ice keeps New York office towers cool: New cooling units in some skyscrapers are using big blocks of ice to supplement or replace their air conditioning. Essentially they’re generating cold air at night, “saving it up,” then using it during the heat of the day when it’s needed.
Because electricity is needed to make the ice, water is frozen in large silver tanks at night when power demands are low. The cool air emanating from the ice blocks is then piped through the building. At night the water is frozen again and the cycle repeated.
[…] Ice storage at Credit Suisse lowers the facility’s peak energy use by 900 kilowatts, and reduces overall electric usage by 2.15 million kilowatt-hours annually — enough to power about 200 homes, officials said.
Great quote here on the reliability of the system.
“When you make something mechanical, it can break, but a big block of ice … isn’t going to do anything but melt,” […]
Everything old is new again.