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Ice Bear ® Ice Storage Air Conditioner Approved As Optional Compliance Measure for Title 24 Building Code
April 26, 2006

SACRAMENTO—The California Energy Commission today approved the Ice Bear® 50 module – an innovative energy-storage air conditioner -- as an optional compliance measure for the latest revision of California’s Title 24 building energy efficiency standards.

The Ice Bear® module, which slashes electricity needed for peak-period air conditioning by 95 percent, is the most powerful compliance option available to California building energy consultants.

Independent studies by Architectural Energy Corp., Enercomp and Bruce Wilcox, contributors to the California Energy Commission’s 2005 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, show the Ice Bear module reduces peak weighted electric energy up to 54 percent when compared to conventional air conditioners.

In California, building energy consultants use modeling software to determine if a building design will comply with Title 24’s building energy efficiency codes, described by the California Building Industry Association as “the toughest in the nation.” Ice Energy’s products are now available for use in all currently approved CEC energy-modeling software programs.

“I was surprised at how simple it was to model the Ice Bear energy system,” said William Bisset, professional engineer and California building energy consultant. “Once the building model is created, it’s easy to add the Ice Bear system. All you do is click a button in one of the program’s pull-down menus. The resulting energy savings allowed many buildings being modeled to go from non-compliance to compliance.”

California’s 2005 revision to the Title 24 building energy efficiency code considers the economic cost and societal impact of delivering electricity to California’s 16 diverse climate zones every hour throughout the year. Historically, the standards viewed energy costs as flat over time and did not factor in the cost variances of providing energy to different areas of the state. The 2005 standards incorporate a new methodology referred to as the Time Dependent Valuation of energy – or TDV. “We thoroughly evaluated the Ice Bear’s potential as a compliance option and found it to be extremely effective in reducing on-peak air conditioning energy demand,” said Charles Eley of Architectural Engineering Corp. (AEC). It is very effective in reducing TDV energy, the CEC’s new metric for measuring energy efficiency.” According to AEC’s analysis, no other option, including 16 SEER air conditioners, generates as many TDV compliance credits as the Ice Bear module in the majority of California’s climate zones, which include the fastest growing areas of the state.

TDV methodology recognizes that energy used during a peak hour, for example on a scorching mid-August day, is valued up to 10 times more than energy consumed during low-cost, off-peak hours, such as 4 a.m. on a Spring morning. Energy-consuming products are given TDV credits that rate their time-based energy efficiency and products that use less power during peak summer hours are rewarded with more TDV credits.

Conventional air-conditioning units, even high-SEER models, don’t fare well under TDV because they still consume large amounts of energy during peak periods of the day. In contrast, Ice Energy®products earn the highest levels of compliance credit, since they use only 300 watts of peak energy while delivering a constant 7.5 tons of cooling capacity for about six hours.

The Ice Bear module attaches to conventional rooftop and split-system air conditioners that cool the majority of all light-commercial and residential buildings. Operation is simple: The Ice Bear module operates a standard condensing unit at night, when TDV energy is at its lowest, to freeze water in the Ice Bear module’s insulated tank. Overall efficiency is maintained and operating costs lowered since nighttime temperatures are cooler and electricity less expensive.

The next day, when the thermostat calls for cooling, standard refrigerant – cooled by the ice – is pumped from the Ice Bear module to the existing cooling coil used in the building’s air-conditioning system, effectively replacing the conventional system’s energy consuming condensing unit during peak cost and TDV periods. Ken Nittler, president of Enercomp and developer of the CEC-approved MICROPAS suite of compliance software stated, “As in all previous revisions to the energy efficiency standards, the 2005 changes increased energy efficiency to ever higher levels.”

“By adopting the TDV valuation to energy compliance calculations, the new standards recognize the value of products that reduce peak-period electrical energy use. Ice Energy's® Ice Bear is uniquely designed to reduce peak-period energy use, giving the building industry a way to get substantial TDV compliance credit.” Ice Energy®products have caught the eye of officials in several California communities. Victorville authorities recently gave the go-ahead to install Ice Bear modules on city buildings. Ice Energy®has completed similar projects throughout California.

Ice Energy®has received numerous awards and industry recognition. The Ice BearTM product was named the Most Innovative Energy Management Product by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) in 2004. Last November, editors of GreenSpec® Directory and Environmental Building News named the Ice Bear module one of the Top-10 Green Building Products for 2005.

For more information visit or call 877-5-ICEBEAR.

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