Ice Energy said on Monday it has partnered with data center cooling company Data Aire to make a hybrid air conditioner that uses ice for efficient cooling.
The idea behind Ice Energy's Ice Bear air conditioner is to make ice in a storage tank during off-peak times to take advantage of lower rates. The machine uses the stored ice to make cool air during times of higher energy demand--and higher rates.
Ice Energy and Data Aire said they have tested a way to link the Ice Bear to Data Aire's cooling systems. The companies said that the combination is more efficient than stand-alone systems and will cut peak electricity usage.
Ice Energy originally expected to make these refrigerator-size units for consumers, but has since focused on selling to commercial customers. California utilities PG&E, Southern California Edison, and Anaheim Public Utilities offer incentives for installation of the Ice Bear.