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
Viking Cold Collects 2020 FL100+ Award

Food Logistics has recognized Viking Cold Solutions among the top logistics software providers for 2020, as one of the leading software and technology partners to the food and beverage industry, for the second year in a row. The publication named Viking Cold as a winner of its 2020 FL100+ Award in recognition of the significant reductions in both energy usage and costs and operational improvements that Viking Cold’s Thermal Energy Storage (TES) technology delivers in cold chain settings. Now in its 17th year, the FL100+ is a highly respected annual listing of top logistics software providers that are addressing the unique challenges of today’s food and beverage supply chain. Recipients are judged to deliver products and services that support efficient transportation and warehousing, minimize operational waste, facilitate safe operations, and assure regulatory compliance. Viking Cold was selected for the strengths of its innovative Thermal Energy Storage (TES) technology, which equips cold chain facilities with the means to enhance refrigeration efficiency and increase operational resilience. This not only helps customers reduce their carbon footprint, but also achieves a reduction in energy costs of up to 50%. Combining environmentally friendly phase change materials with a powerful suite of cloud-based operational tools, TES integrates easily with existing controls to provide real-time monitoring and analytics of temperatures, equipment status, and energy use. These data-driven insights are made available to warehouse managers via the Viking Cold client portal with custom reports, notifications, and analytics giving them the actionable intelligence to improve cold storage operations and reduce costly peak-period energy consumption for up to 13 hours per day. All the while, TES ensures stable refrigerated temperatures are maintained, which safeguards food products, limits waste, and minimizes disruption during periods of downtime or power outage. The full list of FL100+ Award winners was revealed by Food Logistics in an announcement on December 16. Full details will be published in the November/December 2020 print issue of the magazine. For more information on the technology behind Viking Cold’s award-winning thermal energy storage solution, and how it can reduce energy consumption and costs for your food warehousing operations, get in touch today.

Viking Cold Wins Green Supply Chain Award 2020

Viking Cold is delighted to have been named a winner at the Green Supply Chain Awards 2020 in recognition of its commitment to help customers reduce their carbon footprint. The win is a testament to the strengths of Viking Cold’s highly efficient Thermal Energy Storage (TES) technology, which optimizes refrigeration, lowers demand and overall power consumption in high-demand cold storage applications, and delivers benefits to both the environment and the bottom line. The Green Supply Chain Awards, co-ordinated by Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine, celebrate companies working to achieve sustainability goals as well as providers of supply chain solutions and services that support customers in their carbon-reduction efforts. Winners were selected for their ability to demonstrate a clear sustainable supply chain strategy and provide evidence of how they are executing on those strategies to deliver measurable results. Viking Cold’s TES technology, which has previously been recognized in the Green Supply Chain Awards, increases refrigeration system efficiency in cold storage environments by an average of 26%. It is based on the use of 100% recyclable thermal energy storage cells that contain environmentally friendly Phase Change Materials. Energy is stored in the cells for later release, enabling refrigeration equipment to be safely cycled off over long periods, limiting the amount of power being drawn from the grid while maintaining a consistent temperature to safeguard food quality. Viking Cold’s offering also incorporates a cloud-based suite of operational tools to deliver the data insight needed to optimize operations and energy usage and provide evidence of the savings generated. For more information on the Green Supply Chain Awards, visit the SDCE website. Contact us today to discuss how Viking Cold’s award-winning Thermal Energy Storage technology can help reduce energy consumption and enhance the sustainability credentials of your cold storage facilities.

Frozen Food Market Trends 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has greatly disrupted the U.S. food industry, resulting in significant changes in consumer behavior and an increased demand for industrial cold storage warehouse space. With quarantines still in effect around most of the country, consumers have been forced to eat at home more and either “panic-buy” large quantities of extra groceries and/or shift to more online orders more frequently. Additionally, because of its longer shelf-life and surge in available options, the frozen food category has seen significant growth in both online and in-person grocery purchases, forcing grocery and cold storage facilities to scramble to keep up. According to the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), seven in 10 frozen food shoppers have increased the amount of frozen food they’re buying since the start of the pandemic. Six months in, U.S. shoppers are continuing to stock up their freezers with frozen meals, meats, ice cream, and frozen novelties. Not only is the number of consumers purchasing frozen food growing, but many have also switched to ordering directly online from restaurants and foodservice distributors. The question is: How has this rapidly changing behavior affected the cold storage industry – an essential element of our supply chain dedicated to protecting, delivering, and handling temperature-controlled goods in the United States. Warehouse demand, in general, has been accelerating in recent years, largely due to the booming e-commerce industry. The world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm, Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis (CBRE), examined the relationship between e-commerce grocery growth and cold storage warehouse capacity in its 2019 “Food on Demand Series: Cold Storage Logistics Unpacked” report, forecasting that in order to meet the demand generated by online grocery sales, an additional 75 to 100 million sq. ft. of industrial freezer and cooler space will be needed within the next five years – an increase of roughly 47%. CBRE researchers also suggest that much of the cold-storage sector’s growth is likely to occur in gateway markets like Los Angeles and the New York area, as well as in top food-producing states such as California, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida, and Washington state. As the pandemic persists, cold storage facilities are at record high capacity and struggling to keep up with the continuous demand. Cold storage facilities typically fall into the categories of public refrigerated warehouses (PRWs), foodservice and wholesale, grocery distribution centers and retail stores, and food processing facilities. Due to changing demand, PRWs have been forced to provide smaller, more frequent orders. National food industry news source, The Food Institute, stated that “Instead of supplying a full pallet of a single product to a warehouse, PRWs are now delivering a pallet with multiple products directly to the store. These small orders increase labor requirements and change transportation options drastically.” Many expect major PRWs to accelerate the industry’s consolidation trend in order to gain more control over the United States’ cold storage footprint. It is also expected that to address the changing market, cold storage facility operators will be proactively upgrading their warehouses with new technologies to improve operational efficiency and flexibility. Warehouse upgrades that are seeing a surge in popularity include technologies such as Viking Cold Solutions thermal energy storage (TES), warehouse management systems (WMS), and material handling automation and robotic systems. The intelligence platform of Viking Cold’s TES system not only optimizes temperatures and energy use, but provides valuable, actionable data that allows operators to make operational improvements. Additionally, there has been a growing interest in sustainable, carbon-reducing technologies. Viking Cold’s thermal energy storage systems also address these needs by increasing refrigeration energy efficiency an average of 26% while better protecting food and improving temperature resiliency. By absorbing and consolidating up to 85% of the heat infiltration, TES also allows refrigeration systems to be safely cycled off for up to 13 hours each day to avoid demand or time-of-use energy fees, while maintaining stable temperatures. The technology leverages existing refrigeration systems and easily integrates with controls, other data platforms, and racking structures to bring efficiency, flexibility, and additional food protection to the frozen food chain. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated changes in consumer behavior, implementation of technology, and broad market trends in the food industry. The entire distribution chain from food processors to logistics companies to retailers is under added pressure to make improvements to stay profitable and keep food on our tables. The future remains unclear but enabling technologies like Viking Cold’s TES are helping the food and beverage industry feed our families by improving operations, cutting costs, and lowering the GHG emissions of refrigeration.

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