Ice Storage Tanks were installed at several locations on Dover Air Force Base. The tanks are part of a thermal energy storage system which will help reduce energy costs by $300,000 a year. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brianne Zimny)
A set of ice storage tanks being lowered onto a foundation during their installation. The tanks are located at many facilities on Dover Air Force Base, and are part of the installations energy reduction mandate, helping to reduce overall costs of cooling facilities during the summer months. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brianne Zimny)
by Airman 1st Class Matthew Hubby
436th AW Public Affairs
2/24/2010 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- Dover Air Force Base is looking to save $300,000 by cooling buildings in the summer with a newly installed ice storage system.
"The system makes ice overnight," said April Steward 436th Civil Engineering Squadron energy and utility manager. "Then during the day the ice system is used instead of the existing air conditioning system. It lowers our electrical output, because we don't have to use as much electricity with theses tanks as we did with our air conditioning systems."
Installation of the tanks is a simple process due to the lightweight polyethylene tanks, which are coated in aluminum. There are two types of installation: partial burial and on-grade.
"The most difficult part of installation is finding a place to put the tanks as they are 9-feet tall and 8-feet in diameter," said Dustin Brown, 436th Civil Engineering Squadron project manager. "The partial burial method requires knowledge of existing underground utilities to avoid damage to any other base systems."
Partial burial requires a hole to be dug and the foundation poured before the tanks are placed and connected. Then the soil is back-filled into the hole and reseeded with grass. On-grade installation involves pouring a pad and setting the tanks on the pad and connecting them into the system.
"The tanks are a key part of the thermal energy storage system which is being installed along with the tanks," said Mr. Brown. "This system will have many benefits, such as, reduction in overall air conditioning energy usage, assisting in building dehumidification, providing electrical load shedding capabilities and cooling system redundancy in case of an air conditioner failure."
This new system will help the base meet its energy reduction mandate by three percent per year as according to Executive Order 13423 and Energy Policy Act of 2005.