Signature Electric and Three Ice Bears


Signature Electric in conjunction with Modern Niagara HVAC Services is part of an exciting joint pilot-program with the Toronto Zoo, the Ontario Power Authority, Toronto Hydro Electric System and Ice Energy Inc. On Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010 the Tundra Trek Caribou Café at the Toronto Zoo revealed their Ice Bear Energy Storage system.

Ice Bear is a cooling unit that is added to an existing Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system. During off peak hours, the unit freezes large blocks of ice which are then used during peak energy hours to provide cooling. There is no additional energy created during the process and it reduces demand for air-conditioning during the peak energy consumption hours.

This particular installation had a few special issues. Normally the ice storage units would be located as close as possible to the existing HVAC units in order to minimize the piping and wiring required between them. In this case thezoo wanted to feature these as a display and asked to have the units moved down near the pedestrian walkway where it could be seen by guests. In fact some fairly elaborate landscaping was provided to make these units easily visible.

In order to accommodate the piping and wiring a series of concrete piers were installed through the wooded area just behind the Ice Bear units.

 The other challenge on this job was the schedule. The zoo wanted the units up and running by Friday September 17, 2010 in order to unveil them to the public on the last day of summer. This meant that in one week, all three units had to be tied in to the sub service in the restaurant, feeds were run to the new Ice Bears, and the controls were tied in to the existing HVAC units on the roof of the restaurant.

Even though some parts did not arrive until Thursday, all the work was completed on schedule.

Signature Electric is proud to have contributed to this successful project.