Viking launches solar-and-cold-storage combo

By Jason Deign

Viking Cold Solutions, a US thermal energy storage start-up, is launching what is likely the world’s first solar-plus-cold-storage combination at Hannover Messe, Germany, this week.

Pic: Viking Cold is aiming to tie its phase-change material cold storage with solar.

Viking Cold is aiming to tie its phase-change material cold storage with solar. Photo: Viking Cold.

Energy Storage Report understands the offering is not so much an integrated product as a concept aimed at raising awareness of the efficiency of cold storage over batteries.

Using cold storage with grid power can improve the efficiency of energy use by up to 34%, Viking Cold claimed.

Combined with solar, it could cut ongoing energy costs much further while providing a quicker return on investment (ROI) than batteries, the company said.

“We aim for a three-year payback,” said James Bell, president and CEO. “Our return on investment is based on energy savings. The bigger the facility, the bigger the savings. It can be tens of thousands of dollars a year.”
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Buildings energy storage’s biggest market

Thank Hurricane Sandy if you want, but whatever the primary reason, the un-interruptible power supply (UPS) market is helping to ensure that commercial buildings will generate USD$3.7 billion in global sales of energy storage technology this year, says Pike Research. That represents the single biggest market for the stationary energy storage industry.

In addition, there is a relatively healthy market for thermal energy systems, which use thermal mass (either ice or ceramic bricks) to store energy for later use in climate control in a building. That market is estimated by Pike Research to be worth $89.6 million in 2013