Ice Energy, a provider of distributed-energy-storage and smart-grid solutions for optimizing energy-system efficiency, has teamed with Data Aire, a provider of computer-room air-conditioning systems, to offer an energy-storage solution specifically developed to address peak cooling loads in data and telecom centers.

The companies have completed compatibility testing of Ice Energy’s Ice Bear distributed energy storage system with Data Aire’s Data Temp cooling systems to deliver an integrated hybrid cooling solution that enables data and telecom centers to slash on-peak electricity demand, better manage energy costs, and reduce their building’s environmental footprint.

Unlike load-management cycling or curtailment programs that can negatively impact reliability and availability—and typically are not acceptable solutions for “always-on” data and telecom centers—Ice Energy’s solution shifts energy consumption for cooling from high-impact daytime hours to low-impact nighttime hours with no operational or behavioral changes.

The Ice Bear system stores cooling energy at night by freezing water in an insulated storage tank. It cools during the day by circulating chilled refrigerant from the tank to the Data Aire equipment, eliminating the need to run energy-intensive compressors and condensers during peak daytime hours. During off-peak hours, the Data Aire cooling system operates as usual. Together, the hybrid system can surpass the overall efficiency and performance of conventional equipment.

“Data centers consume nearly 3 percent of all the electricity used in this country today, and a significant percentage of that demand is directly attributable to keeping these critical components of the modern digital life cool and running reliably,” Randy Zwetzig, vice president of Ice Energy, said. “By providing data centers with a powerful, smart-grid ready, cost-effective solution that revolutionizes peak cooling management, Ice Energy and Data Aire have the potential to fundamentally transform data- and telecom-center efficiency and reliability at a time when it is critically important.”

“Managing energy usage and reducing electricity costs has made building cleaner, greener, and more sustainable data centers a critical initiative in our industry,” Jeff Trower, general sales manager for Data Aire, said. “Ice Energy offers the first commercially scaled, smart grid ready, distributed energy storage technology to break the link between the need for cooling and the spiraling growth in critical peak demand for electricity in data centers.”

To further reduce operating costs and spur adoption of the new technology, California utilities PG&E, Southern California Edison, and Anaheim Public Utilities offer programs to help underwrite the cost and installation of the Ice Bear energy-storage systems in data and telecom centers throughout their service areas, including new construction and existing facilities.