Giant Ice Trays Cool Buildings Using Green Energy
Nostromo, Israeli company, uses ice as a cheaper, greener method to cool office blocks when energy is most in demand and expensive
Global temperatures are on the rise, and are likely to reach new records in the next five years, according to the World Meteorological Organization. This will only result in more and more people leaving their air conditioning units on for longer and longer periods of time.
In fact, the use of energy to cool buildings has doubled since 2000, and over the next three decades, the use of air conditioning units is set to become one of the top drivers of global electricity demand. Right now, it’s at 10 percent, according to the International Energy Agency.
Nostromo Energy is an Israeli company using ice as a cheaper, greener method to cool office blocks at those times of the day when energy is most in demand and most expensive. It packs hundreds of water capsules into power cells, which can be installed on the roofs, in basements, or on walls of commercial and industrial buildings.
Company co-founder and CTO Yaron Ben Nun says he “understood that if solar power was going to be the big winner for clean energy, then the next big thing in its technology would be storage because at sunset, the whole system would turn off.”
The IceBrick is a modular thermal cell that utilizes water’s potential for high energy storage as it freezes from liquid into ice. Picture your standard ice tray, but on a massive scale. The water circulating within the building cools down as it passes through the IceBrick, saving energy.
The company says that just one installed system can save 300 tons of carbon a year alone – and the company’s overall contribution only continues to grow.
Israel’s startup sector includes more than 100 companies specializing in energy tech and over 600 working on climate solutions.
The IceBrick systems are already in use in Israel and in the US, cooling office buildings, data centers and medical device manufacturers, the rooms of which must remain chilled to prevent the growth of bacteria.
Nostromo will also soon be installing its systems in 120 American buildings – mostly in California – under a scheme by the US Department of Energy to support clean energy use.