Giant Ice Trays Designed to Replace Air Conditioning

Startup uses slabs of ice in ingenious new cooling technology.

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Huge slabs of ice have been used to keep things cool for centuries. Now an Israeli startup called Nostromo, is using this old technology in new ways to create energy-efficient and environmentally friendly air conditioning systems. 

Using ice to store solar energy
As the world grows hotter, keeping buildings cool in energy-efficient ways has become more and more vital. That is why Nostromo is using ice. But not in the ways you may think. As strange as it may sound, as Israel 21c reports, ice is actually a great medium for storing energy. 

As Yaron Ben Nun, the founder of Nostromo told Israel 21c, “The grid loses multiple megawatts at sunset every day, and that demands huge amounts of storage. Just by freezing water, we can take care of 45 percent of the load on the grid.”

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According to No Camels, this led to the creation of the IceBrick, a thermal cell, kind of like a huge ice tray. The water in the IceBrick is frozen using either solar electricity, or cheap or surplus electricity during off-peak hours. 

During peak hours, the ice-water thaws and circulates through the building, cooling it, and alleviating some of the stress  that huge air-conditioning chillers (machines that power commercial air conditioners) put on the electrical systems. Even more impressively, the energy created by the melting ice is used to power the air conditioning units themselves.

The company claims that one IceBrick system can save 300 tons of carbon a year. 

Partnerships all over the world
As Israel 21c reports, so far it seems that Nostromo will be a success. It already has research and development partnerships lined up with the Israel Electric Corporation as well as a number of American engineering companies, and Royal Dutch Shell.

In addition, in April 2023, the company announced a twenty-year agreement with the Hilton Beverly Hills to install a cooling system in their iconic hotels. The IceBrick system has also been installed at the offices of Medinol, a cardiac stent producer based in Jerusalem. It is imperative that the company’s clean rooms remain cool at all times, and Nostromo is helping them achieve that. 

Likewise, Nostromo was also recently accepted into Anheuser-Busch’s InBev 100+ Accelerator, giving it the opportunity to launch pilot programs in over twenty countries throughout the world. 

Nostromo and companies like it are a testament to the fact that combating climate change requires both looking backward and forward. The past can provide creative thinkers with inspiration for finding solutions for the future. 

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