California to Use New Green System to Reduce A/C Peak Usage

Posted on AC News February 24, 2010 by John Brescia

According to the Wall Street Journal, Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA), which represents 11 utilities, will be installing energy-storage devices throughout Southern California to cut back on the amount of electricity needed by A/C units in the area during peak hours.  The systems (pictured below), which are made by a company called Ice Energy, connect to a building’s air conditioning units, and use energy during the off-peak hours overnight to freeze 450 gallons of water in a large insulated tank, which in turn helps to cool the building over several hours. As far as large-scale power goes, the smart grid will help adjust power accordingly, since this system will be in use for thousands of buildings.

Once this 53-megawatt project is fully operational, as much as 64 gigawatt hours of electricity will be shifted to off-peak hours, which will help ensure grid stability, lower rates, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and allow the integration of more renewable energy. The two-year process of installing these systems is scheduled to begin this year.

In case you were wondering, SCPPA is not the only power company to consider alternative methods of energy storage and “demand-response” systems (we previously covered Honolulu, HI’s innovative new citywide A/C system) . Several other utilities are considering other projects, and it seems as if South Florida (Broward/Palm Beach/Miami) could benefit greatly from a system such as Southern California’s. Only time will tell if FPL will move to invest in their own grid-assistive system for the good of South Florida and the Environment.

Ice Energy's Rooftop Unit

An illustration of Ice Energy’s rooftop unit (from Ice Energy’s website).

Although it may be years before a similar system makes it to Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach, or Miami, you can be assured that Cousins Air are your experts when it comes to the latest in Energy-Efficient Air Conditioning technology in South Florida. Cousins Air is one of Broward / Palm Beach County’s most recognizable air conditioning repair, sales, and installation companies, and has been serving clients since 1995. For more information, call 954-889-1143 in Broward, or 561-345-6511 in Palm Beach County.

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