Boulder—Colorado-based Rebound Technologies was awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant by National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop IcePoint, a refrigeration cycle using energy storage to help save supermarkets 65% on their low-temperature cooling costs.
The six-month, $141,507 grant will help Rebound and its project partners design, construct and test a 2-kilowatt prototype.
Colorado State University’s Energy Institute will provide prototype construction, testing support and techno-economic modeling. The Energy Institute also is supporting Rebound’s SunChill technology; an off-grid solar refrigeration product that was awarded a $1.37 million federal research grant in the fall.
Rebound’s IcePoint technology cools commercial retail freezers without having to use a compressor around the clock like conventional systems.
Instead, IcePoint generates ice at night using inexpensive, off-peak electricity. It then melts the ice, mixing it with salt to create a -35C, brine refrigerant.
“One of the critical system elements is improved efficiency via heat recovery,” said Russell Muren, Rebound’s chief technology officer. “Once the cold brine provides the necessary cooling, it is separated back into pure water and salt using waste heat."
Dr. Shanon Reckinger, who leads the Fairfield work, is excited about the project.
“This collaboration is a great experience for our students who have been able to work on focused areas of refrigeration technology, which allow them to discover and innovate within their technical ability,” said Dr. Reckinger. “Findings from their projects are directly impacting Rebound's engineering solutions, which is exactly what we want out of industry partnerships in academia.”
Current investigation results indicate the IcePoint cycle is 45% more efficient than conventional supermarket refrigeration systems. Additional savings are realized due to load shifting—the purchase and storage of inexpensive, low-demand electricity for use during times of higher demand.
IcePoint also reduces the use of synthetic refrigerants, which contribute to climate change more than 3000 times faster than carbon dioxide.
Rebound Technologies is rethinking refrigeration through tailored, thermally-driven heat pump architectures that provide efficient, practical and cost-effective global solutions.
Rebound’s tailored development approach enables dramatic improvement over the one-size-fits-all, state-of-the-art by utilizing renewable resources, waste heat capture, energy storage, and simple, low-cost construction.
Read more about how Rebound Technologies is tackling the development of both their SunChill and Icepoint technologies.