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Ice Energy to cool data centers

By storing ice made at off-peak times, Ice Energy says its air conditioner connected to data center cooling gear from Data Aire will cut peak-time electricity load.

Ice Energy said on Monday it has partnered with data center cooling company Data Aire to make a hybrid air conditioner that uses ice for efficient cooling.

Ice Energy's rooftop ice-cooled air conditioner. Ice Energy

The idea behind Ice Energy's Ice Bear air conditioner is to make ice in a storage tank during off-peak times to take advantage of lower rates. The machine uses the stored ice to make cool air during times of higher energy demand--and higher rates.

Ice Energy and Data Aire said they have tested a way to link the Ice Bear to Data Aire's cooling systems. The companies said that the combination is more efficient than stand-alone systems and will cut peak electricity usage.

Ice Energy originally expected to make these refrigerator-size units for consumers, but has since focused on selling to commercial customers. California utilities PG&E, Southern California Edison, and Anaheim Public Utilities offer incentives for installation of the Ice Bear.