Thermal Energy Storage System Based on Pumpable Ice Technology

Opportunity Snapshot

Investment Opportunity

The Thermal Energy Storage System (TESS) based on PIT allows the lowest energy expenditure of ice production in order to shift electrical demand for AC from daily peak hours to the night. Such cold storage systems are expected to grow rapidly over the next decades. A patentable construction of crystallizer will be used. An investment of $2,000,000 is required for high-level marketing and business development.

The electricity demand in the modern society is extremely unbalanced: during peak hours electricity usage is two times more than the required energy expenditure during the night.

Thermal energy storage systems (TESS) are able to shift consumption from peak hours. Thus they decrease the demand for electricity during the day, the need for new plants and transmission lines, and the emmisions of greenhouse gas and they bring huge economic benefits to users.

Thanks to the efforts of governments, new legislation and the huge investment of the world’s leading countries to reduce the dependence on nonrenewable sources, the TESS concept is now a practical method for generating enery rationally and using it efficiently. TESS is a proven technology applicable to any AC that has a central system supplying the chilled water. There are more than 11,500 ice TES systems in the USA and 28,000 units in Japan.

TESS technologies are based on storing cold in the form of water and different kinds of ice or phase-change materials (PCM). Most TESS use accumulated cold water.

At the same time, the cold-water-based TESS requires a huge footprint and space for its installation (since the energy concentration in the volume of a storage tank is very low – about 2.7 TRh/m³). TES with PCM have raised potential health and safety issues. The ice-storage-based TES is attractive due to its applicability to a wider range of uses. Unfortunately, up to now the existing ice-based TESSs are only 15-20% of the installed TESS in the world because of the existence of several barriers: increased initial price, higher energy expenditure to produce "cold" potential, relatively long ROI, larger required installation space.

piTES solution, technology and Plan:

piTES company is going to develop the tube-in-tube crystallizer producing a mixture of fine ice crystals and liquid. Its design is based on the usage of Pumpable Ice Technology (PIT). This technology ( is well known in the fish industry (where sea water is used as the liquid), juice concentration and ice wine, frozen beverages production and in some cases also in the TESS industry. In addition, the company will develop a special storage tank in order to increase the achievable maximum of ice concentration and to allow for a complete recovery of stored cold potential.

By producing special construction accumulation tanks and original Pumpable Ice Makers (PIM) with a significant higher Coefficient of Performance (COP), and using a patentable technology, now under preparation, the company will be able to reduce the ROI-time for TES, known to be 10÷18 years, down to 2÷4 years or less for new buildings of over 5,000 m². Potential clients are those who are willing to consider energy saving investments.

The team members have serious experience in the refrigeration equipment market, mostly from their previous activities, where they have been using PI for storage in fish farms, factories, fleets and food industry. piTES plans to invest in the development of PIT-based TESS and to offer it as add-value equipment to the AC systems of public buildings, mostly for new installations and industry processes. Additional markets such as supermarkets, food industry, buildings, and AC retrofits will be explored.

Interested investors can establish contact with us on Merar. Presentation is available for download.

Competitive Advantage

There are several companies producing “Ice Thermal Energy Storage Systems”: Baltimore Aircoil Company (BAC), Calmac, Cryogel, Dunham-Bush, Ice Energy, Sunwell, Paul Mueller.

Other listed companies appear occasionally:
Airclima Research, Paris, France; Applied Thermal Technologies, San Marcos, CA, USA; Chester-Jensen, Chester, PA, USA; Cristopia Energy Systems, Vence, France; Evapco, Taneytown, MD, USA; Fafco, Chico, CA, USA; Girton, Millville, PA, USA; Vogt Ice, Louisville, KY, USA; Trinity Thermal Systems, Dallas, TX, USA.

The most important advantages of a PIT/PIM are the following:
- Lower initial investment for the PIT in comparison with other ice TESS technologies;
- 30%-40% smaller ice-maker;
- Flexible system installation;
- Smaller, lighter and less expensive storage tanks and heat exchangers;
- Better transportation of ice between generating and storing elements;
- Faster and more efficient freezing in the evaporator and melting process in the storage tanks;
- More efficient use of energy, natural resources and existing infrastructure.
- Reduced NOx and CO2 emissions.
- Reduced energy usage during peak demand periods decreasing the load on the electricity grid.

The major benefits are:
- Payback period of the higher initial investment cost of a PIM/TES system is 2-4 years, or earlier in case of grants, subsidies and tax incentives.
- 10-30% savings in operational costs (primarily electricity) over a HVAC system’s life span (it is 15 years according to US HVAC industry average, 2006).

Reverse engineering is difficult and the analog equipment hads not been realized yet during the last decade.

Rationale for the deal

• The pushing forward and marketing of PIT/PIM requires careful planning and sufficient funding in order to reach its goals. PIT-based TESS cannot be sold to the actual end-users. It needs to be marketed in cooperation with building designers and engineers, such as mechanical, architectural and/or building services/engineering companies and consultants.
• Another possible strategic approach is to work with manufacturers of HVAC systems, some of which are already participating in production of ice TES systems, such as Carrier, Lennox, McQuay, Trane and York. The largest manufacturers of commercial HVAC systems that do not offer their own TESS in the USA are Trane, Carrier and Lennox. Trane is estimated to have 50% market share, followed by Carrier (30%), and Lennox (15%). Other manufacturers, mainly York, are estimated to have 5% market share. McQuay produces relatively large HVAC systems and has a 55% market share in this segment.
• The additional kind of cooperation is to partnership with companies retrofitting the old HVAC systems. In this case, these manufacturers need to be convinced to increase of sales by using PIT/PIM due to the corresponding cooling improvements and energy savings.
• Because of the existing economic downturn, clients are looking for financial savings by using modern improved technologies. There have increased the focus on and show real interests in protecting the environment and decreasing pollution . That is wh, it is the right moment to promote penetration of PIT/PIM in the AC segment.

Final remarks:
• The company has chosen to focus on middle-size buildings, hospitals and so on, requiring more 300 TR and working 24/7/365.
• The numerous calculations carried out with a specially developed computer program show that the break-even point of the larger systems (in terms of TRh) will occur faster than of smaller units.
• An exact formulated marketing and business development strategies need to be realized, stating which type of product will be marketed on which target markets.

Use of financing

Business strategy:

- Finalize Market analysis and competitive survey
- Conduct pilot of PIT-based TESS using patentable PIM and Tank
- Develop outsource manufacturing of patentable PIM and Tank
- Market the patentable PIM and Tank products by promoting the advantages of the PIT-based TESS technology among designers
- Develop an improved model to overcome barriers
- Develop marketing, business and sales channels to reach the design companies and HVAC manufacturers
- Develop next generation PIM to improve revenues and gross margin.

piTES can start sales within a year in parallel to the development of next generation of PIT makers.


- Reconstruct crystallizer, 6 months from start;
- Design special storage tank, 6 months from start;
- Pilot test, 9 months from start;

Required investment - $450,000

- Create and register new patents, 1st year from start;
- Sales in Fish industry, 1st year from start;
- piTES Beta-site, 1.5 years from start;

Additional required investment - $800,000

- Manufacture and sell Generator and Tank as Mark-1, 2nd year from start;
- Develop next generation of PI crystallizer piTES sales in Israel (Mark 2) – 1 year from end of Mark 1 engineering (Higher efficiency, Lower cost)
- Engineering 1,000 TR piTES; Supermarket adapted models
- Strategic partnerships with world leaders; New applications of nuclear reactors and beverage cooling.

Additional required investment - $750,000

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