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
Press Release Thumbnail How Viking Cold Can Help Your Energy Efficiency Goals

Energy costs around the U.S. have been climbing leaving consumers wondering "how high will they go?" States such as Hawaii, Massachusetts, and California have the highest electricity rates in the country, with California as the second-largest energy consumer in the nation after Texas. In the last five years, electricity costs in the Los Angeles area exceeded the national average by 34% or more since 2018 – see Chart 1. Chart 1: ­Average prices for electricity U.S. & Los Angeles Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Despite California’s high-energy consumption, its per capita energy consumption is less than most states due in part to its mild climate and its energy efficiency programs. The Golden State primarily produces electricity from solar, geothermal, and biomass energy, making it one of the most energy-efficient states in the country – but that isn’t enough for California. The state has committed to reaching a goal of 100% renewable and zero-carbon electricity by 2045, and the California Energy Commission (CEC) is leading the way. The CEC supports energy research and development programs to spur innovation in energy efficiency and has lately completed a major study on the route to zero net energy (ZNE), which includes Viking Cold Solutions’ Thermal Energy Storage (TES) in the blueprint for a path to net zero emissions for commercial buildings. The Viking Cold TES system was installed in the walk-in grocery freezer at a San Francisco Whole Foods store. This installation included Phase Change Materials (PCM) mounted on the ceiling of the walk-in freezer as well as cloud-based intelligent controls integrated with the existing refrigeration controls. According to the report, refrigeration accounts for a majority of the store’s electrical load, therefore thermal PCM, also known as thermal energy storage or TES, is a promising method for storing small amounts of excess energy. TES allows refrigeration compressors to run less often when energy costs are high (and energy production is low) and to run more often and store thermal energy when energy costs are low (and there is excess generation). This reduces cycling of the compressors and refrigeration energy costs, ultimately improving the efficiency of existing refrigeration systems. This is done by increasing the percentage of the total refrigeration run time that occurs during hours with lower ambient temperatures, thereby running the compressors at higher efficiency levels – see Chart 2. Chart 2: ­Plot comparing the predicted baseline energy with post-retrofit energy consumption for Viking Cold System Source: CEC Report, Figure D-9 TES technology combines intelligence with PCM to maximize the energy efficiency of the refrigeration system. Viking Cold PCM cells add thermal mass to a room, providing the ability to hold designated temperatures for much longer periods, which helps reduce refrigeration runtimes. Intelligent controls and an energy-management system help maintain a constant temperature and alert operators about any mechanical malfunction or power outage. The CEC study concluded that TES technology produced 25% energy savings and was proven as an applicable energy conservation measure to help achieve California’s energy efficiency goals. The results of this study were released by the CEC as a blueprint for a successful path to ZNE commercial buildings in California, but this blueprint could easily be one for the entire world. Read more about Viking Cold’s approach to cold storage efficiency here. For additional information about the CEC study, click here.

Viking Cold Solutions Wins pv magazine’s Sustainability Award

pv magazine recently recognized Viking Cold Solutions as the 2021 Sustainability Award winner for its innovative Thermal Energy Storage (TES) technology and services. This accolade is awarded to companies with technological innovations and groundbreaking solutions in the solar and energy storage industries. An independent panel of jurors cited the energy efficiency and the scalability of the company’s TES technology as two of the reasons Viking Cold was selected over hundreds of other companies vying for awards. This international recognition of TES technology's contributions to greater efficiency and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from energy-intensive temperature-controlled facilities supports Viking Cold’s core mission: To transform refrigeration by reducing its carbon footprint, operating costs, food loss, and electrical grid impacts using innovative Thermal Energy Storage technology and services. The Sustainability Award was presented to Viking Cold during a globally live-streamed ceremony from Berlin, Germany, in February. View full video: here. During the event, pv magazine’s panel discussion with Viking Cold’s CEO, James Bell, further revealed that TES technology offers an effective and sustainable solution to a major environmental challenge: food degradation and waste. In fact, Viking Cold has developed the only proven, environmentally-friendly way to store solar energy in the cold storage industry. James commented, “TES allows energy-intensive refrigeration equipment in C&I facilities to be cycled down during peak hours of the day, effectively cutting the production of carbon emissions and reducing carbon footprint by tens of thousands of metric tons.” Users can expect improved temperature stability and to save up to 50% on their energy expenses while improving their refrigeration system efficiency by 20% to 30%. With a 20-year system life and no mechanical components, TES is an effective solution to managing demand and storing solar or other renewable energy in the cold chain. “This is an ingenious and very efficient solution to solar’s ‘duck curve’ problem and we hope to see widespread deployment,” said one juror from the selection committee. Read more about Viking Cold's approach to cold storage efficiency here. For more details on our recent awards and milestones, check out our latest press release. And for more information about a TES solution for your facility, contact us here.

Another successful TES installation for a sustainability focused 3PL company

Initial results show 20%-30% energy savings on a recent deployment of Thermal Energy Storage technology in a US Cold facility in Tulare, California. US Cold references the energy saving and carbon reducing technology in their quarterly newsletter- the Shield- accessible here. Here at Viking Cold we are excited that another world class company has embraced the energy and cost savings of TES technology and the sustainability and carbon reduction that it provides to the cold chain which consumes more electricity than any other source except lighting. #sustainability #carbonreduction #vikingcoldsolutions

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