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
Another Successful, Sustainable Thermal Energy Storage Installation in Mexico

Viking Cold has successfully installed another Thermal Energy Storage (TES) and refrigeration optimization system inside a third-party logistics frozen food warehouse in Mexico. Our client, Frigoríficos ARCOSA, is a leading cold storage provider with distribution centers across Mexico and has over three decades of experience providing temperature-controlled solutions and support services to their food & beverage and retail clients. They are also proud members of the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA). Operating energy-intensive refrigerated facilities in Mexico presents many challenges. Not only do operators like ARCOSA have to deal with the expected business and logistical challenges of cold storage, but the energy market in Mexico has variability which creates difficulties for operations budgets and profitability. After payroll, energy related expenses are typically the second highest cost for cold storage facilities, and refrigeration can be up to 90% of their energy costs. Without technologies and strategies that add energy flexibility, variable energy prices can negatively impact the bottom line. In Mexico, like many other places around the globe, energy prices vary based on time-of-use with consumption and demand charges significantly higher during peak periods and intermediate peak periods (sometimes referred to as partial peak periods). Because cold storage warehouses must maintain temperatures to protect food quality, technologies that safely reduce refrigeration energy consumption and demand during Mexico’s high-priced periods without loss of temperature control are critical to cold storage profitability. With these needs in mind, ARCOSA approached Viking Cold to see if refrigeration optimization and TES technology with Phase Change Material (PCM) could provide the energy flexibility needed to reduce energy costs and GHG emissions in their refrigerated warehouses in Mexico. Viking Cold first evaluated their 64,000 square foot freezer in Juquila. At the time of evaluation and installation, this plant experienced intermediate peak prices up to 17 hours per day and peak prices up to four hours per day with some seasonal variations. The operating strategy had three goals: Minimize energy demand (kW) and reduce energy consumption (kWh) during each of the seasonal peak periods and intermediate periods Maintain temperature protocols Not increase energy use during any period An interface between existing refrigeration controls and Viking Cold’s refrigeration optimization software was implemented, additional sensors were added, and TES modules containing PCM specifically engineered to the warehouse’s temperature requirements were easily integrated into the existing warehouse infrastructure. Results have exceeded expectations, since installation of the TES and refrigeration optimization solutions: Demand reductions over 380 kW during all peak periods Annual weather-normalized consumption reduction of over 400,000 kWh - the equivalent of 280 metric tons of GHG emissions Temperatures held within requirements Approximately $120,000 (MEX$2,400,000) of annual savings at current energy prices ARCOSA owner and President Gabriel Guzman noted, “ARCOSA’s partnership with Viking Cold has begun with positive results for both cost reductions and sustainability improvements that we hope to replicate in our other facilities.” The flexibility Viking Cold provided to manage when and how their refrigeration system uses electricity has provided ARCOSA with confidence that when energy market changes do occur, they have technology-enabled flexibility that reduces energy risks and improves the sustainability of their cold chain operations.

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.

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