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Ice Storage Tanks for Refrigeration Systems

Ice storage tanks enable flexible and dynamic coverage of peak loads in industrial process cooling

Efficient and energy-saving cold generation for industrial process cooling

The demand for industrial process cooling continues to grow. As cooling is a comparatively energy-intensive process, companies with temperature-critical production processes must pay particular attention to the efficiency of their cooling systems in the face of rising energy costs. There is also a need to reduce CO2 emissions and the environmental footprint. By temporarily storing cold and releasing it at peak times, the sp.ICE ice storage system can help to make refrigeration systems more responsive and energy efficient. 

Food production, chemical and pharmaceutical industry, process engineering, etc. benefit from ice storage systems

Industrial process cooling is required wherever the quality of products depends on constant cooling. This includes food production and processing, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, process engineering, etc. In pharmaceutical production in particular, even small temperature fluctuations can have a negative impact on the efficacy of medicines. The German Engineering Federation (VDMA) Research Council on Refrigeration estimates that 14% of Germany's total energy consumption is accounted for by the generation of cold. Depending on the sector classification, around 20% of this demand is used for industrial refrigeration. Demand in this sector will increase by 25% between 2009 and 2017.1

High energy consumption of cooling systems - opportunity for energy savings

High energy consumption also presents an opportunity for significant savings through the use of innovative and efficient refrigeration solutions. Depending on the type and size of the system, up to 30% of energy costs can be saved.2 In energy-intensive production, savings of this scale are a significant factor in international competition. Against the background of a volatile energy supply situation, exploiting efficiency potential reduces energy dependency and supports energy transition measures.

Ice storage systems have proven to be a promising solution for increasing the efficiency of refrigeration systems. Ice storage solutions not only enable the optimal, demand-driven sizing of refrigeration systems when planning new systems, but also achieve efficiency gains when integrated into existing cooling technology.

Integration into industrial process cooling

How ice storage systems unlock savings potential in industrial process cooling

Improved energy efficiency and intelligent load management of cold generation technology

Thermal ice storage systems open up the possibility of storing cooling energy when, for example, energy prices are low due to night-time electricity tariffs, or when excess energy is available from solar or wind power plants. The cold stored in the ice can then be used at peak load times or when electricity costs are high. The integration of a cold storage system enables intelligent load sharing of refrigeration systems and helps to avoid expensive peak loads in industrial process cooling.

Reduced operating costs thanks to optimised dimensioning of the chillers

The capacity of industrial process cooling systems is often designed for peak demand, to provide reliable cooling of temperature-sensitive processes even at peak times. In reality, this capacity is only used a few days a year.

Storing cooling energy in ice storage tanks at more favourable times and making it available when cooling demand is high reduces the need for additional energy-intensive chillers to cover peak loads. Intermediate storage of cold results in the appropriate sizing of the refrigeration equipment, leading to a significant reduction in operating costs and an increase in the profitability of the refrigeration systems. The investment in the necessary ice storage capacity is often lower than the investment in additional chillers.

Efficient use of renewable energies

Ice storage systems increase flexibility in the choice of energy sources. Renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power, which have limited suitability for reliable operation of refrigeration systems due to fluctuations in availability, can be used more efficiently by integrating thermal storage systems. Surplus energy generated during sunny or windy periods is used to store cold, ensuring that sufficient cold is available for industrial process cooling even on days with little sun or wind. It also reduces the overall energy consumption of the system.


Sustainability and eco-friendliness

By increasing the use of renewable energy for cooling, the use of ice storage in refrigeration systems helps to reduce CO2 emissions. This effect supports the efforts of many companies to use environmentally friendly technologies and fulfil their environmental responsibilities. 


Durability and low maintenance

Compared to conventional refrigeration systems, ice storage systems generally require fewer mechanical components and moving parts. This results in longer system life and reduces the need for expensive and frequent maintenance.


Adaptability and integration

Ice storage tanks are suitable for integration into existing refrigeration systems as well as for the design of new, efficient refrigeration systems. They offer a flexible solution for companies that want to improve their cooling technology without having to make drastic changes to existing systems.


Ice storage as an emergency cooler for industrial systems

The properties of ice storage systems described above give rise to another interesting application for industrial plants. As cold storage, they not only improve the efficiency of refrigeration systems, but can also act as an emergency cooler for industrial processes in the event of a power failure, as the temperature-critical production of pharmaceutical products in particular requires constant and fail-safe cooling. 


sp.ICE - Modular ice storage for the best possible integration into refrigeration systems

Two features make the sp.ICE ice storage tank particularly interesting for use in industrial process cooling. The heat exchanger with capillary tube technology ensures highly dynamic charging and discharging. The storage tank can be fully charged in just 6 hours and then release the stored cold on demand, making it ideal for covering peak loads or for use as an emergency cooler.

The sp.ICE also has a modular design and can be customised to meet industrial cooling requirements. Our standard 1.1MWh, 2.4MWh and 5MWh modules can be combined as needed to achieve the required cooling capacity.

The sp.ICE is offered either as a container solution, which can be easily integrated into the structural conditions above or below ground, or embedded into existing basins or tanks.

Our engineers are experienced in developing integration concepts for existing refrigeration systems and provide support in the search for the optimum refrigeration solution. 

Manufacture and on-site installation of two ice storage tanks with a capacity of 6,500 kWh for Trotec's new logistics and production centre in Heinsberg. Use of the ice storage as a source of cold for heat pumps and to provide cooling for industrial production processes.


Read more about the project