Using Ice to Balance Energy Consumption

Yaron Ben Nun from Nostromo Energy joins the podcast to talk about ice banking, a way of using ice to balance energy consumption. Nostromo Energy is an Israel-based company that has recently started working in California.

Water has a very high latent heat of fusion, meaning it can absorb and store a lot of energy between its solid and liquid states of matter. By storing ice, Nostromo Energy can support commercial and industrial structures that utilize chiller-type applications by offering a clean and sustainable battery thanks to water and its physical properties. Load balancing or management will be critical as the electrification of heating sources continues. Lithium-ion batteries aren't sustainable solutions in many of these cases, and that's where ice banking can support the grid by providing a thermal battery.

Water offers many advantages as a medium for storing energy, especially since it is natural and doesn't have the numerous economic and labor concerns that come with the production of many other batteries. However, there have been some challenges with the widespread adoption of ice banking, especially when it comes to retrofitting and the ability to match the demand for new power stations. Water is also heavy, meaning that it can be difficult to manage in rooftop applications.

Nostromo Energy keeps working to solve those problems and increase the coefficient of performance (COP), especially by maintaining a relatively high freezing temperature.

Yaron and Bryan also discuss:

  • Yaron's career and Nostromo Energy
  • HVAC equipment and the electrical grid
  • Economic and labor factors of lithium-ion battery production
  • Discharge rates and glycol cycles
  • COP and compression ratio
  • Heat recovery chiller technology
  • Carbon counting, kilowatt-hours, and carbon emission
  • Thermal energy storage and tax rebate eligibility


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