Frequently Asked Questions
A quick reference to common questions about our Thermal Energy Storage system. If you still have questions that we have not addressed, please reach out to us.
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1. WHAT IS THERMAL ENERGY STORAGE (TES)?
TES is the storing of excess thermal energy (energy in a system due to its temperature) for future use.
2. HOW DOES YOUR THERMAL ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM WORK?
The Viking Cold TES system leverages existing refrigeration equipment in low-temperature facilities to freeze Phase Change Material (PCM) when energy costs are lower and system efficiencies can be exploited. This allows intelligent controls to turn off refrigeration equipment during periods of high energy costs while the PCM maintains temperature stability and low energy consumption. The result is 20% to 35% lower energy costs, 38% greater temperature stability and more efficient, longer lasting refrigeration systems.
3. WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE VIKING COLD SOLUTIONS TES SYSTEM?
Our Thermal Energy Storage system includes three components:
  • Phase Change Material (PCM)
  • Control System
  • Remote Monitoring & Reporting Portal
4. WHAT IS A PHASE CHANGE MATERIAL (PCM)?
Phase Change Materials (PCM) store and release energy when they transition between their solid and liquid states. While changing phases our engineered PCM absorbs 300 times more heat than food.
5. IS YOUR PHASE CHANGE MATERIAL SAFE TO USE?
All our PCM formulations are comprised of deionized water and inorganic salts. They are food safe, environmentally friendly, non-toxic and non-combustible. The entire system is also 100% recyclable.
6. ARE THERE ANY MECHANICAL PARTS IN YOUR TES SYSTEM?
No. There are no mechanical parts (pumps, motors, actuators, compressors, etc.) in our TES system. They leverage existing refrigeration equipment. The PCM is housed in self-contained cells mounted in stationary positions throughout the facility.
7. WITH WHICH REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS DOES YOUR TES SYSTEM WORK?
Our solution is refrigeration system agnostic and works with any properly maintained system.
8. WITH WHICH CONTROL SYSTEMS DOES YOUR TES SYSTEM WORK?
Our TES system is extremely flexible and can be integrated with any existing control system. We also have our own control system that can drive the refrigeration system in conjunction with our PCM.
9. DOES THE VIKING COLD TES SYSTEM AFFECT OTHER FREEZER COMPONENTS?
No. Our system actually integrates with existing racking systems, does not reduce any storage space, does not limit sprinkler or fire suppression systems, will not affect your commodity classification and will not impede or disrupt any logistical operations in your facility. In fact, the system’s controls and remote monitoring actually improve overall efficiencies and allow for predictive maintenance of other system components.
10. CAN YOUR SYSTEM BE INSTALLED INTO EXISTING FACILITIES (RETROFIT)?
Yes. Viking Cold systems can be installed as a retrofit, refurbishment or in new construction projects. The sooner they are installed, the sooner that facility will start to see reduced energy expenses, improved temperature stability and increased refrigeration system efficiencies.
11. WHAT ARE TYPICAL ENERGY SAVINGS?
Our clients save between 20% and 35% of their energy expenses while maintaining greater temperature stability.
12. DOES THE TES SYSTEM MAINTAIN TEMPERATURE STABILITY?
Yes. Our TES system is engineered to maintain temperature stability within the specific temperature range for each facility; providing fewer fluctuations and a 38% slower rise in temperatures.
13. CAN YOUR SYSTEM PROVIDE THERMAL BACKUP PROTECTION?
Yes. In the event of power outages or equipment failure, we have seen temperatures remain stable three times longer with our TES system installed.
14. DOES THE TES SYSTEM IMPROVE REFRIGERATION EFFICIENCY?
Yes. The Viking Cold system maintains stable temperatures while allowing the existing refrigeration system to be turned off for extended periods of time. When the systems are running, they run at full capacity at times when ambient temperatures are lower, enabling greater refrigeration efficiency and less energy usage. The reduced mechanical run time of the refrigeration equipment also leads to less maintenance and longer equipment life.
15. DOES YOUR SYSTEM INTEGRATE WITH ON-SITE SOLAR POWER GENERATION?
Yes. Our system pairs very well with onsite solar/PV generation to dramatically increase solar ROI. Our solar clients have seen a reduction of 39% annualized energy expenditures and 95% overnight grid reduction, directly addressing grid challenges related to the “duck curve”.
16. HOW LONG WILL YOUR SYSTEM LAST?
The life of the Viking Cold TES system is 20+ years.
17. HAS YOUR TES SYSTEM BEEN APPROVED OR VERIFIED BY ANY OUTSIDE PARTIES?
Yes. Our system installations have been accepted and funded by numerous utilities as part of energy saving incentive programs, as well as being proven effective in a third-party validation study (click here) performed by the California Energy Commission’s Emerging Technology Coordinating Council.

Still have questions about our Thermal Energy Storage solution?
Call +1 832.781.COLD or click for more answers.

Recent Posts From Our Blog
New Cold Storage Construction with TES in Puerto Rico

Cold storage firm, Isla Frio Refrigeration Corp., recently acquired a former PepsiCo bottling and distribution plant in Cidra, Puerto Rico. The 147,000 square-foot building on eight acres is being fully renovated to become a state-of-the-art frozen and refrigerated food warehouse, beginning with 50,000 square feet of frozen storage. The end goal of the $10 million project is to supply hurricane-resistant cold and dry storage space for the island while also providing thermal resilience with our Thermal Energy Storage (TES) technology for temperature-controlled goods in the event of a power outage. Over the years, Puerto Rico has been hit exceptionally hard by natural disasters and other crises, and with an unreliable power grid, these events inflict significant impacts on supply chain efficiency and functionality. During Hurricane Maria in 2017 and the lengthy power loss that followed, our clients’ facilities on the island did not lose any food product, thanks to the TES systems they have installed. The recent coronavirus pandemic has also amplified the growing need for more cold storage capacity and the island-wide shortage of warehouse space. The recent acquisition of the PepsiCo plant provides an opportunity to build a highly efficient, energy-secure cold storage facility to support the recovering supply chain and electrical grid on the island. The energy resources of this construction project are in alignment with the guiding principles of Puerto Rico’s overall grid modernization plan. Led by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the $20 billion plan will reconstruct the island’s grid, ultimately dividing it into eight self-sufficient mini-grids and providing residents with a safer, greener, and more resilient energy supply. In addition, the island has committed to generating 40% of its power from renewables by 2025 and 100% by 2050. These ambitious clean energy goals will drive the widespread adoption of renewable energy generation, which is complemented through the use of sustainable energy storage technologies like our TES systems. “Puerto Rico has always been very important to Viking Cold Solutions. Our first warehouse installation was on this beautiful island, and it’s appropriate that our first new cold storage construction project be right here in Cidre, PR,” said Paul Robbins, Founder of Viking Cold Solutions. The Isla Frio project, which began construction in June 2020, will be Viking Cold’s first system installation to be part of a facility’s original design and construction plan; previous installations have been facility retrofit projects. Phase One will be to install our technology and get the cold storage facility up and running by December. Phase Two will build out the rest of the site and may eventually include an onsite solar power resource to assist in powering the facility. Once the plant is operational with TES technology, carbon emissions and energy use will be minimized, enhanced energy resilience and flexibility will be in place, and the facility will benefit from lower electricity costs – a significant value on an island with among the highest electricity costs in the U.S. The building itself is connected to a large diesel generator to provide backup power and is built at a high elevation, better protecting it from floods. During extended grid interruptions or power outages, the generator and its fuel can be conserved because the TES technology provides built-in temperature resilience to protect food up to several days without power. We are proud to again be working with another Puerto Rico-based company, this time to help them build their cold storage resources in a sustainable way right from the start. By implementing our energy storage technology, Puerto Rico is one step closer to meeting its goal of generating 100% of its power from renewables by 2050.

Impact Investment and Viking Cold Solutions

Karma Impact, the impact investment news site aimed at the alternative investment community, published an overview of the impact of Viking Cold Solutions' technology on energy consumption and costs, resilience, and sustainability. Starting with the story of Viking Cold, from the initial insight of its founder Paul Robbins, up to its current status as a provider of proven energy savings, Karma Impact outlines the key advantages of Viking Cold Solutions for impact investors. Karma Impact describes how Viking Cold's Thermal Energy Storage (TES) technology allows cold storage facilities to consume electricity when prices are lowest, and then maintain low temperatures within each facility while reducing refrigeration energy through the rest of the day. Using sealed containers of a phase change material, managed and monitored through intelligent software, the system with no mechanical components provides efficiency and cost reductions of 25-50% for low-temperature facilities. Of particular interest to the impact investment community, as Karma Impact noted, is the potential to pair Viking Cold’s TES solutions with renewable energy, such as solar. This combination allows facilities to reduce electricity consumed from the grid by up to 95%, and while facilities managers would be impressed by the resulting cost savings, impact investors will be struck by the ability to dramatically reduce electricity consumption in an energy intensive sector of the economy. Alternatives to Viking Cold’s TES technologies might understandably be less attractive to impact investors. Traditional batteries, such as Lithium-ion batteries, are environmentally damaging, Karma Impact notes. Alternatively, sub-cooling food to attempt to lower energy costs (often called “flywheeling”) can decrease food quality. Moreover, Karma Impact notes the impact of Viking Cold’s technology in improving resilience in the face of natural disasters, referencing the experiences of Viking Cold’s customers in Puerto Rico during Hurricanes Maria and Irma. You can read the full coverage on Karma Impact’s site, here. To speak directly to Viking Cold, to find out how we can help you reduce electricity consumption, cut carbon emissions, and improve resilience, contact us here.

Thunder Said Phase Change Materials Review

Thunder Said Energy, the research consultancy for energy technologies, has released a review of the benefits of thermal energy storage for refrigeration, renewable energy sources, and energy storage at large. Phase Change Materials (PCM), such as those used by Viking Cold Solutions, are described by the report as a “game-changer” for energy storage technology, particularly with reference to their use alongside renewable energy. The report explains the economics of cold storage, the functioning of Phase Change Materials, and covers a review of 5,800 patents in the space. Thunder Said’s Phase Change Materials review made the key observation that PCM technologies can: Earn double-digit Internal Rate of Return Unlock 20% efficiency gains in freezers and refrigerators Provide superior efficiency over battery storage Noting that refrigerators and freezers comprise 9% of the US electric grid, including consumption across 4,200 warehouses, 40,000 supermarkets, and 620,000 restaurants, Thunder Said is bullish on the potentials of Phase Change Materials. The PCM report, which can be purchased from the authors here, highlights the achievements of Viking Cold Solutions’ thermal energy management technologies, the industry-leading performance that will be of particular interest to the readers. While Thunder Said expects 20% improvements in efficiency gains and commensurate cost savings, Viking Cold’s own installations have delivered efficiency improvements and cost savings of between 25% and 50%, out-performing the analysts’ expectations. Viking Cold Solutions has developed its own PCMs and proprietary software from its headquarters in Houston, Texas, and now has the technology installed and running in locations from California to Puerto Rico and Mexico to Australia, with years of reliable operation and documented case studies to confirm the technology’s effectiveness in reducing cost, energy consumption, and carbon emissions. For specific case studies and overviews of Viking Cold Solutions’ technology’s performance, see our Resources. And to find out how we can improve your energy efficiency and reduce your energy costs, contact us here.

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