Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs, CA, is celebrating the summer by cooling down its three-screen movie house with a new solar-plus-ice-battery-storage system. The 73.6 kilowatt rooftop solar array, installed by Horizon Solar Power, will provide power to the theater during the day, while charging five Ice Energy Ice Bear cold energy storage units. The combined system is expected to reduce the theater’s peak hour cooling costs by up to 40 percent.
"The Camelot Theatres' greatest energy load comes from turning on the AC in late afternoons and early evenings for community events," said Claude McGee, Horizon Solar Power director of business development. "The clean energy created by our solar PV system, combined with the flexible storage and cooling solution provided by the Ice Bears, reduces both the theater’s energy bill and the community's carbon footprint.”
Camelot Theatres features first run art, foreign and independent films. With hot temperatures in Palm Springs nine months out of the year, a majority of the theater’s energy costs were spent on cooling the building during peak hours. In order to replace an outdated and inefficient cooling system, Camelot chose the rooftop solar array and cold energy storage system because it provided an opportunity to cut costs and provide an environmentally-friendly entertainment experience while promoting the benefits of solar energy.
The Ice Bear units use lower-cost energy during off-peak hours to make ice then it distributes that stored cold energy as cooled air through the building’s existing HVAC duct work during hotter peak hours. The system has the potential to provide 6-hours of air-conditioning and consumes five-percent of the electricity usually required by traditional air-conditioning systems.
The California Public Utilities Commissions’s Self-Generation Incentive Program and financing from the state’s Property Assessed Clean Energy program allowed the theater to install the system with low up-front costs. "We're witnessing a trend in which the incentives for solar power export are decreasing, so businesses and homeowners are looking for new ways to maximize their investments in solar PV," said Mike Hopkins, Ice Energy CEO. "A well-designed solar-plus-ice-storage system like this one can provide efficient cooling comfort, optimize the use of solar over-generation, and help utilities to flatten their load on a grid-wide scale."Tweet