« Back to Facilities Management News Home

« Energy Efficiency

CALMAC: Energy Storage Tanks Allow Library to Reduce Use of High-Priced Energy

Fair Lawn, N.J. — Jan. 21, 2016 — CALMAC, a leader in energy storage systems, recently announced that the Alachua County Library headquarters in Gainesville, Fla., 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, built in 1992, to shift cooling load so 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, the library district's facilities and 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.  

CALMAC is a leading manufacturer of ice-based energy storage systems; its IceBank tanks are installed at over 4,000 locations worldwide. 

Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »   posted on: 3/24/2016

More From 3/24/2016 on FacilitiesNet