New methods of saving energy are showing that not only are these methods environmentally beneficial but cut down on costs as well. In New York City, companies are saving on their energy bills by using an ice storage system to cool their buildings instead of air conditioning. This cuts down on pollution and reduces the strain on the city’s electrical grid which goes into overload on hot days.

The Credit Suisse offices at the Metropolitan Life tower in Manhattan uses one of 3,000 of these ice-cooling systems worldwide. This system consists of freezing water in silver tanks at night when power demands are low. The cool air that comes from the ice blocks is pumped through the building. Then at night the water is refrozen and works in a continuous cycle. These systems can be used on their own or combined with regular cooling systems to help cool the building during peak hours. The Credit Suisse offices use the ice-storage system to cool 1.9 million square feet of office space. In the basement, three cooling systems contain chilling machines and 64 tanks that each hold 800 gallons of water. The result lowers peak energy use by 900 kilowatts and reduces overall electrical use by 2.15 million kilowatt-hours per year, enough to power 200 homes. It is equal to taking 223 cars off the streets or planting 1.9 million acres of trees.

The construction of one of these systems is long, costly, and difficult. Morgan Stanley’s Westchester County offices just installed a new cooling system on Fifth Avenue as well as Goldman Sachs. The cost was about $3 million. There must also be space to hold the tanks. However, it is large companies that consume so much energy, and in the end, the system will pay for itself.


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