Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Home Cold Reservoir

Insulated tank to reduce cost of cooling.
  [vote for,

First, I'll mention that this was inspired by the "home icehouse" idea.

This would be a thermally insulated tank of water, with just enough antifreeze mixed in to bring its freezing point slightly below 0F. There would be tubes of antifreeze running through it, and tubes of refrigerant running through it.

Every night, a heat pump (refrigerator) would be run, moving heat from the tank to the atmosphere until the tank is completely frozen. This takes advantage of the cool night air, and the (sometimes) lower cost of electricity at night.

To make use of the cold reservoir, antifreeze loops run from the tank to your freezer and refrigerator, and for summer cooling, and to air handlers in either a central location or in each room in the home. (Or through a radiant heating/cooling system in your floors; however, you'd have to be careful not to cool your floors below the dew point, or else you'll get condensation)

Obviously, you'd want a tank that can store enough cold/frozen water so that once the system shuts off in the morning, it will provide for all your home cooling needs until late the next evening.

goldbb, Feb 10 2009

Stirling Home System Stirling Home System
Potentially related as a potential (reversible) heat-pump for the home - in addition to cooling, by having a reliable storage of cold, you'd also be able to generate electricity. [zen_tom, Feb 11 2009]

Supermarket with hot/cold accumulator http://www.welt.de/...-mit-Erdwaerme.html
There is a supermarket in germany using this principle [loonquawl, Feb 11 2009]


       [+] done any number-crunching on that ?
FlyingToaster, Feb 11 2009

       Not only perhaps less energy but better for the grid. Night time electricity is cheaper to produce and distribute.
MercuryNotMars, Feb 11 2009

       I think this is the best energy use for ice. Short- term energy storage to shift to off-peak rates.
colorclocks, Feb 11 2009

       Nice idea but I think that 100m underground would be better at cooling than the atmosphere.
marklar, Feb 11 2009

       It depends where you are - how deep do you have to go to start benefiting from geothermal heating?
zen_tom, Feb 11 2009

       //Night time electricity is cheaper to produce and distribute.//
Rubbish - it costs me a small fortune to keep my solar panels running at night.
coprocephalous, Feb 11 2009

       Underground is often warmer than above ground (very hot in coal mines) but at intermediate depths it is actually feasible to store hot/cold water, with very good insulation values. (->Link)
loonquawl, Feb 11 2009

       Don't run tubes to the freezer from it; put a freezer compartment inside.
Loris, Feb 11 2009


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