Bringing back the Ice Edge
With rising populations and escalating energy demands, new power plants are being built every week, in most developing nations. Most of these stations use coal or other carbon means to generate electricity, while a huge effort is being invested in decarbonizing the grid. At Nostromo Energy, the team is looking to educate decision makers with the idea that water is the future of thermal energy storage and consumption systems. The company deals mostly with large enterprises in the commercial arena. “In the past three years, we have been working on the design of an ice thermal energy storage system that is challenging the current energy storage landscape. We have a proven technology, and our system will be perfectly safe with almost zero degradation over ten years of operation,” says Eng. Eyal Ziv, Co-founder, Nostromo Energy.
The commercial division—that includes airports, shopping malls, manufacturing units—covers 60 percent of all air-conditioning energy consumption through peak demand hours, and major players in the industry have found the perfect solution in Nostromo’s IceBrick™. The ice battery provides them with the power they need during peak consumption hours by using ice as a conductor to both store and release energy.
We have a proven technology, and our system will be perfectly safe with almost zero degradation over ten years of operation
“Though the idea to use water was invented seventy years ago, until now, there wasn’t a viable solution that made water an energy storage source,” says David Ben-Gal, chief business officer, Nostromo Energy. “As of today, only 0.04 percent of the available energy storage systems consist of water, this was our main drive in founding this venture.” The usage of water allows cheap, cost-effective, clean and safe solutions for energy providers to stabilize the electricity supply chain by enabling demand-side management. It also offers longer lifecycles when compared to traditional electro-chemical batteries which has high degradation.
Recently, an initiative to improve the control management systems of Nostromo Energy’s IceBrick™ was set into motion, and the company was granted $1M by the BIRD foundation and the US DOE. Geographically, the company is looking to move to California and South-East Asian regions where they see the need for innovation in energy storage and cooling requirements. Funding from Royal Dutch Shell, a supporter of Nostromo Energy’s cause to provide efficient energy storage solutions, has propelled the creation of an innovative device that has taken the thermal energy storage spectrum by storm. “Ice will always be the coolest way to store energy,” says Yaron Ben Nun, the CEO of the company. “We put our trust in this fact, and hope that it will be noticed every time a new heat wave is striking. Keep calm and stay cool,” he adds with a smile.
- Aaron Pierce
April 10, 2019