CALMAC’s Energy Storage Tanks Allow Alachua County Library HQ to Close the Book on High-Priced Energy

Ice-based energy storage technology cuts costly daytime energy demand in half

Fair Lawn, N.J. – January 21, 2016 – CALMAC®, a leader in energy storage systems, today announced that the Alachua County Library Headquarters in Gainesville, Florida is using its IceBank® energy storage tanks to reduce operating costs and save taxpayer money. CALMAC’s technology enables the 80,000 square foot library, which was built in 1992, to shift cooling load so that it uses nighttime energy that is 68 percent cheaper than the energy that would be used for creating instantaneous cooling during daytime hours. Additionally, thermal storage allows monthly demand (kW), and the resulting demand charges, to be cut in half. This is significant since 40 percent of the headquarters’ total electric costs for the year can be directly attributed to cooling the structure and the facility’s power provider implements a demand charge that equates to roughly $9.25 in extra fees per kW during peak demand hours.

The decision to install CALMAC’s IceBank technology occurred in conjunction with the decision to replace the library’s antiquated chiller. By using 125 kW of CALMAC’s energy storage solution, and retrofitting the building with less heat intensive lighting, the facility was able to downsize its new chiller from the previous 195-ton unit to an 150-ton unit. The combined upgrades are on track to save the library district $40,000 annually in energy costs.

CALMAC’s tanks allow a building to decouple when cooling is made from when it is needed. Ice is created overnight during off-peak hours and stored in the thermal energy storage tanks. The next day, the ice is used to cool occupants when energy costs are at their highest.

“We have complete control and flexibility over how and when the ice is used,” said Dan Whitcraft, CFM, Alachua County Library District’s Facilities & Safety Services Administrator. “The tanks complete the charging processes at 5:50 a.m. and begin to come online at 6:30 a.m. During the hot summer months, the melting ice is able to handle 70 percent of the day’s cooling load with the chiller handling the remaining 30 percent. We expect to only use ice, meaning no chiller, to cool the building during the winter months when outdoor temperatures are lower.”

The life expectancy of CALMAC’s tanks is 40 years and they only require minimal maintenance. The efficiency of CALMAC’s solution will never degrade over time. This makes the technology a prudent investment that can provide continuous savings for the life of the system.

“It is encouraging to see the level of interest that the Alachua County Library District headquarters has received from other nearby businesses,” said Mark MacCracken, CEO of CALMAC. “Ice-based energy storage is the low-hanging fruit in energy cost reduction that can pay enormous dividends. Even if a building is using what is considered a ‘flat rate,’ the daytime energy is usually twice as expensive as the nighttime equivalent due to demand tariffs. Once you understand these price differences, the value in storing cooling during off-peak hours for later use becomes clear.”

Next week, January 25-27 2016, CALMAC will be featuring the Ice Completion Module for “Ice Made Easy” energy storage at the AHR Expo in Orlando, Florida (booth #4004). The company’s CEO, Mark MacCracken, will be presenting at the 2016 ASHRAE Winter Conference, which is held concurrently with AHR Expo. The session, titled Integrating Cutting-Edge Technology: Renewable Energy and Thermal Energy Storage, will be presented on Sunday, January 24 starting at 1:30 pm ET.

At CALMAC, we’re changing the world, transforming the way buildings use energy for cooling. As the world’s leading manufacturer of ice-based energy storage systems, CALMAC’s proven technology lowers cooling costs, supports sustainable energy and enables LEED certification. IceBank systems strengthen the smart grid storing critical energy sources – including renewables like wind power – for later use. Our IceBank tanks are installed at over 4,000 locations worldwide. Widely recognized for promoting peak energy conservation and energy cost savings CALMAC is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the New Buildings Institute.