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
North American Clean Energy: Why Refrigerated Warehouses Need Long-Duration Thermal Energy Storage

North American Clean Energy has published an article by Viking Cold's Director of Marketing, Damon Vance, that discusses how many commercial & industrial (C&I) refrigerated warehouses across the country are contributing to solutions for some of the challenges on the electrical grid. The C&I facilities in the cold chain, when utilizing energy storage and refrigeration optimization solutions like Viking Cold's, represent a significant opportunity to help reach the goals of utility operators and the Biden Administration's $36 billion decarbonization plan. By enabling cold chain facilities with added sustainability, resiliency, and flexibility operators of both cold storage and the electrical grid can reduce costs and GHG emissions. Read the article or contact Viking Cold to learn more about the intense electrical load, aging infrastructure, and rapid growth rate of the refrigerated cold chain and how new technologies like Thermal Energy Storage (TES) are helping them improve refrigeration efficiencies, reduce their carbon footprint, and contribute to the growth of renewable energy sources as we enter the energy transition.

Inbound Logistics Podcast: Sustainable and Profitable Refrigerated Logistics

Jeof Vita, the host of the Inbound Logistics Podcast, spoke with Viking Cold President & CEO, James Bell to discuss how Thermal Energy Storage (TES) technology is helping cold chain operators balance their need to be more sustainable and profitable with the amount of refrigeration required to protect their food's quality (Episode 118).  Utilizing Viking Cold's refrigeration optimization solutions to address the unique temperature and energy challenges of different cold storage facilities from food producers and 3PL providers to foodservice distributors and retailers is also discussed. Additionally, they cover how the unique energy storage and efficiency capabilities of TES are improving how refrigerated facilities are interacting with the electrical grid for improved sustainability and reduced operating costs.

Refrigeration Engineers Presentation – Efficient, Flexible, Sustainable Refrigeration with Thermal Energy Storage

Refrigeration engineers often receive a lot of valuable training and education through their professional organizations. Viking Cold's Global Director Brad North, P.E., CEM presents some of the key benefits of Thermal Energy Storage (TES) using Phase Change Material (PCM) in refrigeration applications to a national HVAC and refrigeration engineering association. In this 21-minute video presentation to engineers in the HVACR industry, refrigeration benefits such as reducing energy use, improving sustainability, minimizing temperature stratification, extending temperature resiliency, and improving interconnectivity with power from the electrical grid are covered. Brad begins his presentation with relevant cold chain statistics about facilities where refrigeration optimization with intelligent Thermal Energy Storage is being achieved by leveraging PCM. He also explains some of the unique thermodynamic properties of PCM that allow TES systems to achieve positive refrigeration energy and temperature management results. He then covers how the PCM is configured and easily installed into various cold storage refrigerated facilities without additional space requirements or the loss of valuable storage area. Also covered in the presentation is a brief evolutionary history of the refrigeration practice known as flywheeling – subcooling the food and surrounding room to then minimize refrigeration during periods with high energy costs. Brad discusses factors that influenced the start of flywheeling, are transforming flywheeling practices with new technologies, as well as how PCM safely extends the length of flywheeling periods while reducing the risk to food quality and shelf life. He also shares how PCM is able to slow temperature increases in a room without active refrigeration and shows case study data illustrating a reduced rate-of-rise and improved temperature stability. Inside cold storage facilities temperature stratification throughout the room generally occurs. Brad shows some examples of how properly installed PCM combined with intelligence reduces the extent of temperature stratification and creates a more uniform temperature across the vertical space of these refrigerated rooms.  With the introduction of PCM a new “stratification floor” is created that consolidates more of the heat near the ceiling in the airflow of the evaporators for improved temperatures around the food and for easy removal of the heat by the refrigeration system. Thermal Energy Storage is often considered a way to simply shift when energy is consumed by refrigeration systems. Brad explains many of the factors that allow Viking Cold’s TES technology to not only shift the timing of refrigeration but also to safely reduce the total kWh energy consumption (energy efficiency) of the refrigeration systems. Hear about the factors that enable this such as reducing the horsepower per ton ratio, the ability to run refrigeration systems at maximum designed efficiency or “fully loaded”, the consolidation of up to 85% of the heat infiltration near the top of the room, the PCM’s higher heat capacity and heat transfer rates, and the fact that TES systems do not have mechanical components that cannibalize the energy savings with parasitic losses. Also discussed in this refrigeration engineer's presentation are additional attributes of TES that provide energy flexibility and the ability to safely and easily participate in multiple utility and grid operator programs. Many of these programs reduce costs, some provide financial incentives for technology upgrades, and some programs can generate revenue streams for operators of refrigerated facilities. The added refrigeration flexibility from TES enables participation in programs such as demand response, permanent load shed, targeted load shed, peak shaving, responding to market index pricing signals, renewables plus storage, and capacity programs. Temperature resiliency inside the refrigerated cold chain is paramount to maintaining food quality and shelf life while minimizing food loss. Brad also explains how PCM adds resiliency to cold storage rooms. Common scenarios that disrupt cold storage operations and create a need for temperature resiliency are becoming more common and include mechanical breakdown of refrigeration system components and loss of power from ice storms, hurricanes, wildfires, utility-initiated de-energization, and more. Refrigerated facilities that have TES installed have up to three times longer temperature protection during any of these situations that may cause the loss of refrigeration. Whether you are a facilities or business leader, refrigeration engineer, cold storage operator, or somewhere in the temperature-controlled cold chain, there is something in this short professional association presentation for you. Quickly learn about mitigating risk, cutting costs, improving sustainability, stabilizing temperatures, and more. Click above to watch this short 21-minute refrigeration engineer professional association presentation. Or contact us today to learn how our refrigeration optimization and thermal energy storage solutions will save you energy and money.    

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