Cryogel Ice Ball Thermal Energy Storage (TES)

•    Reduce Energy Costs by Shifting Peak Electrical Loads
•    Improve Air Conditioning & Process Cooling System Reliability
•    Reduce Environmental Impacts of Electrical Power Generation

Ice Balls* are 4 inch diameter plastic spheres filled with water.  The balls are placed in storage tanks and frozen at night during “off peak” hours.  During the following day or during “peak” hours,  Ice Balls are melted to provide cooling and reduce peak demand for electricity.    The positive environmental impacts of thermal storage have been verified in a report by the California Energy Commission.  Since 1990, Cryogel has shipped over 20 Million Ice Balls.


Ice Balls arrive on site filled, sealed and ready to pour into tanks.
Dimples in the surface of the Ice Balls flex out to allow for the expansion as water inside freezes to form ice.
Applications include schools, hospitals, airports, office buildings, hotels, industrial processes, etc.

Cryogel Ice Balls


Cryogel - International Installations


Ice Balls can be installed in nearly any size, shape or type of storage tank as necessary to fit into available space.

Steel, concrete, or fiberglass tanks.
Atmospheric tanks or pressure vessels.
Above grade or buried tanks.

Extended Heat Transfer Surface Area

Efficient ice making and melting.

Ice Balls have more than 24 square feet of heat transfer surface per ton hour.
As much as 1.5 to 3 times more surface area as compared to other ice technology.
Surface area counts – results in better thermal performance.

Storage Tank Ends Sm

Indoor or Outdoor Tanks

College Vert Steel

Single Tanks where possible – NOT tank farms:

Smaller foot print – reduced balancing and piping costs – positive air purge from glycol  loop.

Low pressure drop:

Typically less than 5 psi.   Low pressure drop design allows the use of ethylene glycol AND more viscous, non-toxic propylene glycol while minimizing pumping costs.

Retrofit applications in existing water tanks

Cryogel Balls may be installed in older water storage tanks or in other existing containment.

Storage capacity of older chilled-water thermal storage systems can be increased by a factor of 4 or 5 by adding Ice Balls to  existing tanks.

Use of existing tanks can significantly reduce initial costs.

Gov Bldg

Direct Tank Burial Option

Underground Thermal Energy Storage



Underground tank installation is an attractive option in areas where space is expensive.

Below grade tank installations will support overhead vehicle traffic where parking and/or real estate are at a premium.


Concrete Tanks

Rectangular concrete or steel tanks in below grade areas or in underground parking structures allow for tanks to be hidden in downtown or architecturally sensitive urban settings.

Large single tanks filled with Ice Balls eliminate balancing or rigging of multiple tanks or heat exchanger sections.

Inside a Concrete Tank before Ice Ball Loading -------------------------------------------->

Concrete Tank 801

Redundancy and Reliability

Hi Rise Ice Ball Thermal Storage System

Ice Balls are small, independent storage units – no tubing, fittings or possibility of a single internal tube leak causing system shutdown.

No biocide requirements – and there is no corrosion issue with plastic Ice Balls.

Cryogel Ice Balls are one of the most thoroughly tested thermal storage products on the market today, including independent laboratory testing of performance and durability.

Low Temperature Air for Airports (PCA) and Refrigeration Process Cooling

Low Temperature air for aircraft cooling or low temperature propylene glycol for food-grade process refrigeration are possible in addition to traditional off-peak air conditioning application.

Ice Thermal Storage Tank below Airport Concourse  ------------------->


Since 1996, Cryogel Ice Balls have been installed at numerous airports to cool aircraft on the tarmac – and for terminal and concourse cooling.

Central thermal storage cooling offsets fuel and maintenance cost for jet auxiliary power units.


No possibility of over-charging when making ice

Central Plant Airport 2


No ice caps, no ice bridging, no flow channeling, no tank deformation, no extra ice-limiting controls.

Ice Balls cannot be over-charged which simplifies design and operation.

<------- Airport Terminal Cooled with Ice Balls in 6 Pressure Vessels

Light Commercial and Residential Sized Systems

Cryogel tanks can be the size of a refrigerator or the size of a house.

Ice Balls are ideal for the next generation of small packaged thermal storage systems as residential time-of-use electricity rates become more common.

Small units can also assist display refrigeration or cold room equipment for supermarkets.

Retrofit for small roof top package units.

Balls Close Up in Fluid Large Scale

• Environmentally Friendly Technology

The California Energy Commission has published a detailed report showing that shifting peak electrical loads with thermal storage saves energy and reduces emissions from power plants. A copy of that report is available on request.

• Simplicity Means Lower First Cost and Lower Operating Costs

Lower costs for piping, balancing, valves, controls, real estate, concrete pads, foundations, etc. No moving parts and no air compressors or bubblers with associated maintenance and parasitic power costs. Full storage and partial storage systems are available to optimize economic performance.

• Contact Cryogel for no cost thermal storage analysis, tank sizing and assistance with system economics.

Victor J. Ott, P.E.,  Cryogel    (858) 457 1837
* Ice Ball is a Cryogel Trademark.