The Toronto Zoo is demonstrating leadership in energy conservation management through a joint venture announced recently at the Toronto Zoo with Toronto Hydro, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and Ice Energy Inc. for a pilot project using Ice Bear energy-storage technology, according to an OPA news release. The OPA’s assistance is provided through the Conservation Fund.
By Craig Pearson
The Ice Bear system uses special air conditioning units that produce and use ice to conserve energy throughout the day. The units freeze water overnight when energy demand on the grid is low and the pricing is relatively less expensive. This produces a big block of ice at around 8 to 10 in the morning, which is then used to help cool the building during the day.
The electricity required for air conditioning—typically as much as 40-50% of peak daytime demand – can be reduced by 95%, according to the OPA. The OPA says the heat waves experienced this past summer suggest Toronto is an ideal location for this type of thermal energy storage solution.
Ice Energy Inc., which is based in Windsor, Colorado, focuses on improving both energy system efficiency and electrical grid reliability. The OPA awarded funding to pilot the Ice Bear energy-storage project. Toronto Hydro received $352,750 in mid-2010 through the Conservation Fund to test the implementation of a packaged ice-storage technology to provide buildings’ traditional rooftop air conditioning with thermal storage cooling.
“Ontario is leading the way to a cleaner, reliable and sustainable electricity system,” said Ben Chin, OPA Vice-President of communications.”The reason we are leading is because of our commitment to innovation—from the Feed-in Tariff Program to our conservation and technology development funds. The Ontario Power Authority’s Conservation Fund provides a crucial forum for those harnessing the potential of innovative approaches to conservation, offsetting the future need to build expensive generation and giving Ontario a cleaner, greener tomorrow. We are proud to contribute to this successful project.”
For more information about the Ice Bear project, check out the following link: http://www.torontozoo.com/pdfs/Ice%20Bear%20Press%20Release.pdf.