Frequently asked questions

Ice Bear was launched in 2005 and has been operating in the field for over 34 million hours in more than 40 utility territories. It has won acclaims for improving the resiliency of the power grid, reducing carbon pollution and cutting cooling costs. Ice batteries are a commercially-proven technology; we know what questions our customers have. The list below provides the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Ice Bear. Please contact us if you need more information about our products and services.

Grid FAQs

In areas where air conditioning stresses the grid, utilities partner with Ice Energy to install fleets of Ice Bears on their customers’ buildings. Such programs cost-effectively and reliably remove the stress on the grid, and turn the AC load into a clean, flexible and responsive asset for the utility. Once a program is put in place, building owners have access to Ice Bears at no cost. Elsewhere, homeowners, businesses and governments can purchase Ice Bears directly from Ice Energy or through its partners, and benefit from clean energy incentives like the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) or the California Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). In either case, building owners start saving from day one and can reduce their cooling costs by up to 40%.

Ice Bear storage is uniquely capable of being deployed at the scale and speed desired. Ice Energy has put in place the capacity and processes to ensure rapid multi-megawatt deployments.

Manufacturing: Ice Energy can manufacture up to 10MW of Ice Bears per month. All Ice Bears are manufactured in Hammondsport, NY.

Customer enrollment: As soon as a utility partners with Ice Energy, we conduct site surveys to enroll building owners in the areas where Ice Bears need to be deployed. The enrollment process is quick as Ice Bear storage provides significant benefits to utility customers: free or low-cost cooling equipment and up to 40% savings off their cooling costs.

HVAC Contractor training: Ice Energy recruits and trains local certified HVAC contractors who install Ice Bears as building owners enroll in the program. HVAC contractors can quickly learn how to install Ice Bears and become Ice Energy-certified installers.

Installation: Ice Bears were designed to be as easy to install as traditional AC units for trained, certified HVAC contractors.

  • Ice Bears are the least-cost distributed energy storage solution for the grid. They cost half of lithium ion batteries on a life cycle basis
  • Ice Bears are the most reliable distributed energy storage solution, with a reliability record in excess of 98% over 34 million + operating hours.
  • Ice Bears use simple tap water. The tank filled only once and lasting the life of the Ice Bear. They are clean and safe.
  • Ice Bears do not degrade over time. They can be fully charged and fully discharged for an unlimited number of times without any capacity loss.
  • No special and costly precautions are required to recycle Ice Bears.
  • Unlike other batteries, Ice Bears last for at least 20 years.
  • Like rooftop solar systems, Ice Bears are unobtrusive and are easy to install on existing buildings. Pairing ice storage with solar generation is the lowest-cost solar+storage solution.
  • Ice Bears generate significant business opportunities for local installers as certified HVAC contractors are easily trained to install and maintain the systems Ice Energy sells.

Each ice battery comes equipped with a smart-grid controller connected to the utility using a secure, private wireless network with end-to-end encryption. It allows utilities to remotely control its operation and monitor its performance. Utilities have access to a Control Dashboard that provides cumulative and real-time system performance data from aggregated and individual Ice Bear units. Utilities can remotely dispatch individual units, custom groupings or entire fleets of Ice Bears and any additional demand-response assets that are connected to them.

Ice Bears are compatible with most 4-20 ton rooftop commercial AC units. Buildings that are three-or-less-stories high are best suited for Ice Bears but our ice batteries can also be installed on the ground.

Commercial & Industrial FAQs

Building owners have access to Ice Bears at no cost in areas where Ice Energy has developed ice storage programs with utilities. Elsewhere, they benefit from clean energy incentives like the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) or the California Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). These programs cover significant portions of the equipment and installation costs and make Ice Bear one of the lowest-cost cooling systems. Your utility might offer additional discounts and rebates. Contact us for a free consultation.

You can reduce your cooling costs by up to 40%. Your savings will vary depending on your utility rates, the specific configuration of your Ice Bear system and the age of your existing air conditioning units. Contact us for a free evaluation.

By turning off energy-intensive AC compressors and using ice to cool buildings during peak hours instead, Ice Bears eliminate the need for carbon-intensive peak electricity. Fleets of Ice Bears can replace polluting and expensive peaker plants. Ice Bears can reduce your overall carbon emissions by up to 40%. The final savings will depend on the generation portfolio of your utility and on the age of your existing HVAC units. Contact us for a free evaluation

Ice Bears integrate perfectly with solar systems. Like solar panels, they are built to last for at least 20 years. And unlike other batteries, they can use solar over-generation to fully charge and discharge for an unlimited amount of times without any capacity loss.

Ice Energy conducts site surveys and structural evaluations to make sure that your Ice Bear will safely fit on your roof. Ice Bears can also be installed on the ground.

Size ........................................ 100 7/16” W x 60 3/8”D x 48 1/8” H

Weight (dry) ......................... 1,400 lb. (approx.)

Weight (filled) ...................... 5,400 lb. (approx.)

Load Distribution (filled) .... 152 lbs. per sq.ft

It takes anywhere from one day to one week to install Ice Bears, depending on the number of units you require. The installation is unobtrusive and will not interfere with your business operations.

Installing an Ice Bear has no impact on your existing HVAC warranty and your Ice Bear is covered by Ice Energy’s comprehensive warranty.

Ice Bears were designed to be as easy to install as AC units. They are installed by trained, certified contractors. Ice Energy recruits, trains and certifies local HVAC installers to install Ice Bears, whether on individual buildings or as part of a utility sponsored megawatt-scale storage program. Contact us to learn more about our certification process.

Ice Bears are available at no cost in areas where Ice Energy partners with utilities. Elsewhere Ice Bears qualify for clean energy incentive programs like the federal Interest Tax Credit (ITC) or the California Self Generation Incentive Program. Ice Bears also qualify for PACE loans. Your utility might offer additional discounts and rebates. Contact us for a free consultation.

Residential FAQs

The home Ice Bear is a downsized version of the commercial Ice Bear, with all the same features but sized to provide the home up to 5 tons of cooling. Unlike the commercial version, it is not attached to another HVAC unit. Instead it completely replaces the outdoor condensing unit and integrates seamlessly with the home’s internal systems.

In certain parts of the country where we are partnering with utilities to solve grid problems, homeowners have access to Ice Bears for no more than the installation costs.

Elsewhere, homeowners have access to clean energy incentives - like the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) or the California Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) - that can reduce the cost of a home Ice Bear to the point that it is no more than, or even less than a conventional home AC unit.

By turning off AC compressors and using ice to cool homes during peak hours instead, Ice Bears eliminate the need for carbon-intensive peak electricity. Where whole neighborhoods use Ice Bears, utilities can replace polluting and expensive peaker plants. Ice Bears can reduce your overall carbon emissions by up to 40%. The final savings will depend on the generation portfolio of your utility and on the age of your existing HVAC units. Contact us for a free evaluation.

The home Ice Bear was unveiled in February 2016. Utilities and building developers have pre-purchased all of our 2016 production. We will be taking deposits for units to be delivered in time for the 2017 cooling season. Contact us to learn more.

Ice Bears were designed to be as easy to install as AC units. They are installed by trained, certified contractors. Ice Energy recruits, trains and certifies local HVAC installers to install Ice Bears.

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