Vista Medical Center East

Ice Thermal Storage System, Design

Ice Thermal Storage System, Design - Waukegan, IL


GBA designed a thermal storage system for a 449,000-square-foot hospital's central plant, including 2,400 ton hours of cooling thermal storage and a 385-ton screw refrigeration machine. 


The installation of the ice storage system involved taking an existing steam absorption chiller out of service and replacing its cooling capacity with a new
screw compressor refrigeration machine capable of generating ice.

  • Peak ice melt capacity was 450 tons or 2,400 ton-hours of thermal storage.
  • The refrigeration machine could be used to provide chilled water via a shell-and-tube heat exchanger.
  • Thermal storage discharge was integrated into EMS demand controls.
  • Neighbors frequently complained of excessive noise from an existing cooling tower installed close to the site boundary. The new thermal storage system allowed load to be shifted to another tower and the noisy tower removed, resolving the noise complaints.
  • The thermal storage system was based on ice-on-pipe technology.
  • The project had an estimated payback of six years based on energy cost savings.