Sven-Olaf Klüe

General Manager

Sven-Olaf Klüe has been working in the field of design, manufacture and applications of pillow plate heat exchangers worldwide for 27 years. For the past 15 years, he has focused specifically on the process-related applications of pillow plate heat exchangers in industrial applications.

Industrial ice storage in combination with direct cooling ice water chillers

An energy efficiency saving for the industry with sustainability


Efficient cooling in industrial production is important for the quality and durability of machines and materials. However, conventional cold water systems cause high costs and energy consumption. A better alternative is offered by ice water systems of direct cooling, which can be used in combination with industrial ice storage. This technology makes it possible to save all energy and thus reduce operating costs through out all industries. This solution can ensure an efficient and cost-effective cooling system for industrial production.

The use of ice water in industrial cooling has become increasingly important in recent years. Direct cooling ice water systems have proven to be particularly effective and energy-efficient, and can be further improved by the use of targeted industrial ice storage.

Explanation of the individual energy efficiency components

What is an industrial water chiller system? What are direct cooling ice water chillers?

Direct cooling ice water systems are heat exchange systems that produce cold water at 0.5°C directly from city or process water. A primary refrigerant or a secondary refrigerant  is distributed in the heat exchange system, and cold water of 0.5°C is produced on the outside of the system. The advantage of this technology is the high cooling capacity combined with low energy consumption. By using ice water systems of direct cooling, the ice water production can be controlled according to demand. The ice water is stored in storage tanks and fed into the cooling processes as needed.

In order to make ice water units more energy-efficient, the combination of direct cooling and ice storage using falling film chillers and ice storage is a proven solution. Depending on the space available on site, this can be implemented using rectangular tanks or cylindrical silos with a small footprint. A thermal alternative is to expand the capacity by using a pre-cooler and falling film chiller on existing ice storage tanks. With this combination of technologies, companies can save costs in the long term and at the same time contribute to the conservation of sustainable resources as to be the right step for a sustainable development.

What are industrial ice banks?

Industrial ice storage is a clever tool for storing energy in industry. This method of latent heat storage uses the solidification of water to store and later release excess energy during demands needed.

The crucial factor in this process is the evaporator plates, which are positioned vertically in a water tank. With an evaporation temperature between -4 and -10 °C, the ice is formed and sticks to the plates, thus forming an ice bank. To ensure efficient ice production, uniform thawing is crucial. For this reason, a distribution system for the return water has been installed in the tanks, as well as an automatic distribution system for the air circulation. These technologies ensure perfect heat transfer, keep the ice water temperatures low and create intensive turbulence. The constant ice surface until the end of the cooling phase enables maximum cooling capacity at the lowest temperatures. Our system ensures optimal ice production and is therefore the perfect solution for your business.

Ice storage is usually recharged when energy prices are lower or surplus energy from renewable sources, such as wind turbines or photovoltaics, is available. When needed, the ice is then used for cooling, saving energy.

Combination of industrial ice storage and direct cooling ice water systems

Why is energy efficiency important?

The use of ice water chillers for direct cooling in combination with industrial ice storage offers numerous energy efficiency advantages:

The advantages of combining ice water systems of direct cooling and industrial ice storage are energy savings. Compared to conventional cooling systems, energy savings of up to 50% are achieved. This is due to the fact that ice water systems of direct cooling are fed directly to the process when required. Ice is also used as a storage medium with a high energy density. However, melting the ice is only done when needed or when it is energetically favourable. In addition, industrial ice storage systems are low-maintenance and have a long service life because they are made entirely of stainless steel.

The areas of application for the combination of ice water systems for direct cooling and industrial ice storage tanks are diverse. For example, they can be used in the food industry, the chemical industry, the metal industry or in data centres. Particularly where large amounts of cooling energy are required, ice water systems for direct cooling in combination with industrial ice storage can bring their advantages to bear. Since the ice is repeatedly melted and reformed in a closed circuit, the cooling is very effective and consumes comparatively little energy, since the energy is used when the energy costs are lowest.

What is energy efficiency of these energy chiller systems?

  • Energy efficiency: Direct cooling ice water chiller systems are already very energy efficient. However, even more energy can be saved by combining them with industrial thermal ice storage, as the ice is charged with cheap energy in a tank and used for cooling when needed. This can significantly reduce energy costs and be an alternative for sustainability.
  • Flexibility: Since the ice water is already cooled to a very low temperature, it can be used very effectively to cool processes in many applications, machines or products. The use of industrial thermal ice storage makes it possible to design this cooling very flexibly and to call it up at any time, regardless of current energy prices or the availability of renewable energies.
  • Efficiency: The combination of thermal ice storage and ice water systems of direct cooling enables a higher efficiency of the industrial process. The decrease in kWh over the 24-hour day is optimally covered with industrial ice water production and ice storage. The cooling systems and processes can be operated at a higher efficiency and thus the energy demand is reduced.
  • Long-term cost savings: Although the investment costs for installing a thermal ice storage system and direct cooling must be amortised, these systems lead to significant cost savings in the long run. The optimal coverage of the demand in ice water and industrial chip ice, depending on the demand, leads to an optimal control of the daily demand without additional and unnecessary energy costs.
  • Environmental friendliness: The combination of thermal ice storage and ice water chiller systems of direct cooling is environmentally friendly and a sustainable development for the climate. Since less energy is needed to cool the production facilities, less CO2 is emitted to the climate.


Overall, it can be said that the combination of direct cooling ice water systems and industrial ice storage is an extremely efficient and cost-saving solution for cooling in industrial production. When companies use this technology, they can significantly reduce their energy costs, which has a positive impact on their cost balance. But not only that: by using this technology, companies also contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and thus make an important contribution to environmental protection. Considering the cost and environmental benefits, it is no wonder that more and more companies are switching to this technology.