A pioneering cold storage technology based on modular ice cells — and ready for air conditioning/cooling use by commercial and industrial buildings — is available from Nostromo; the company has raised $13.6 million for its clean energy storage system and will begin trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
Nostromo’s cold energy storage system is based on encapsulated ice cells (dubbed IceBrick) that allow modular installation in commercial buildings and factories. The modular structure, economical in space, allows for swift installation on roofs, in basements, or along walls. The system charges cold energy during hours when electricity demand is low or there is a surplus of renewable energy, and discharges the energy during peak consumption hours, relieving the grid from the high air conditioning electricity demands, Nostromo says.
Using air conditioners and electric fans to stay cool already accounts for about a fifth of the total electricity used in buildings around the world – or 10% of all global electricity consumption today. But as incomes and living standards improve in many developing countries, the growth in AC demand in hotter regions is set to soar, says the International Energy Agency (IEA). AC use is expected to be the second-largest source of global electricity demand growth after the industry sector, and the strongest driver for buildings by 2050.
Building Owners Install Nostromo Cold Storage System
In April, Nostromo announced a 20-year agreement with the Hilton Beverly Hills hotel to install a 1.5 MWh system (serving both the Hilton and the adjacent Waldorf Astoria).
Nostromo also signed an agreement with Sandstone Properties for the construction of a 900 kWh system in a Los Angeles office building and a memorandum of understanding with Westfield, one of the biggest owners and operators of large retail centers in the US to install systems at its sites.
In California, utilities are sometimes forced to initiate rolling blackouts during peak summer hours. Wide deployment of Nostromo systems in commercial and industrial buildings can help prevent the phenomenon, the company believes.
The company’s latest project, a 600 kWh system installed on the roof of advanced medical device manufacturer, Medinol, will go live this year. In addition to electricity cost savings, the system provides critical backup to Medinol’s clean rooms cooling system, the company says.
Nostromo also has R&D projects with energy giant Royal Dutch Shell and the Israeli Electric Company, as well as partnerships with leading US engineering companies.
Cold Storage Benefits
Nostromo says its solution is ideal for data centers, office buildings, hotels, shopping centers, hospitals, factories, and other facilities that carry large electricity demands for air conditioning and cooling. Other benefits from shifting electricity demand during peak hours for air conditioning include a building’s ability to meet other energy demands, such as charging electric vehicles, without further investment in infrastructure. In addition, several Nostromo systems can scale up to multi-MWh capacity, forming a virtual power plant.
In February, Mr. Mayo A. Shattuck III, the chairman of American energy giant Exelon, announced a $500,000 personal investment in Nostromo. On June 21st, Nostromo completed a merger with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) listed company Somoto, raising $13.6 million in the process.
Nostromo’s transition from a private to a public company will allow it to “accelerate our market penetration and pursue widespread implementation of our technology,” says Yaron Ben Nun, Nostromo’s founder, CTO and president.
“Nostromo provides a solution to one of the most inconceivable problems of the 21st century,” says Ilana Shoshan, General Manager of the company’s U.S. West Coast operations. “In California, for example, utilities are sometimes forced to initiate rolling black outs, impacting hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses during peak summer hours. Wide deployment of Nostromo systems in commercial and industrial buildings can help prevent the phenomenon.”