Industrial Utility Efficiency    

CALMAC Celebrates 70ᵗʰ Anniversary

Founded in 1947, Calvin ‘Cal’ MacCracken started the company to pursue his love of inventing. Prior to founding CALMAC, Cal designed and throttled the first jet engine ever built by GE. During his 50 years with CALMAC, he created over 250 inventions and had 80 patents. Some of his most widely known to the public include a hotdog cooker called Roll-A-Grill, and the award-winning Alumazorb low emissivity ceiling, saving hundreds of millions of kWhs for ice rinks around the world.  In addition to being a prolific inventor, Cal was an industry icon who was honored by ASHRAE and inducted into the ASHRAE Hall of Fame for his pioneering work in energy conservation through energy storage and ice rinks. Cal was so far head of his time, when he was on a “futuristic” 1953 T.V show entitled 2000 A.D., Cal correctly predicted, in detail, the coming of the Solar Age.

CALMAC was the originator of the IceMat® Ice Rink Floor, creating perfectly uniform ice with dramatic reduction in pumping power. IceMat rolls out like a carpet and connects to a refrigeration unit for quick installation at both temporary and permanent ice rinks. This flexible design has since become the industry standard for ice rinks. 

CALMAC’s most widely applied product is, IceBank® energy storage functions like an affordable, simple and reliable battery for a building’s air-conditioning system. IceBank® saves dramatically on the cost to cool buildings by reducing a building’s on-peak use of electricity. The IceBank ice battery system uses standard cooling equipment plus an energy storage tank to shift all or a portion of a building’s cooling needs to off-peak, nighttime hours. During off-peak hours, ice is made and stored inside IceBank energy storage tanks. The stored ice is then used to cool the building the next day. IceBank® offers a critical service to grid, since air-conditioning is the main culprit behind spikes in peak electrical demand. This on-peak reduction decreases the need to build new power plants or turn on expensive “peaker” power plants. The award-winning product has received many accolades including the Buildings Money-Saving Products Award and Building Operating Management Top Products Award.

Used by over 4,000 businesses in 60 countries, CALMAC has over 1GW of energy storage worldwide and has built a prestigious list of customers including Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Google, Kohl’s, IBM, IKEA, McDonald’s, Morgan Stanley, Nordstrom, Rockefeller Center, Wal-Mart and more. The company’s customers range from school districts, universities and places of worship to government buildings, retailers and medical centers. One customer, for example, St. Lucie County School District has reduced utility costs by $5 million a year thanks to CALMAC.

“As a school district located in South Florida, consistently hot temperatures and high humidity rates makes cooling 6.5 million square feet of buildings and 40,000 students one of our biggest priorities and biggest expenses,” said Marty Sander, St. Lucie County School District’s executive director of growth management, land acquisition, inter-governmental relations, facilities and maintenance. “We pair high efficiency chillers with CALMAC’s energy storage technology for hybrid cooling system that shaves peak demand and reduces our utility bill. Before working with CALMAC, we ranked 60th out of 67 school districts statewide for energy use per student. Now, we have moved to 16th in the state and have reduced our energy costs from $12 million to $7 million per year. Not only are we saving money, but now we can budget for an extra 100 teachers.”

As changes in business and the energy landscape occur, CALMAC’s ice based energy products continue to meet the challenges of today’s energy and facility managers. IceMat ice rinks are growing as a major player in retrofit markets with flexible, affordable engineered solutions for indoor and outdoor rinks. IceBank energy storage remains a leading thermal storage solution.

Although storing energy in ice has been applied for over 40 years, there have been a number of internal and external factors leading to a renewed interest in ice storage in the past decade. Materials of construction and manufacturing practices have increased the durability and life of the IceBank product, while growth of renewable energy and the green building market has turned the spotlight on the energy storage marketplace. 

“In the mid-1970s, I joined the company because of its focus on solar energy,” said Mark MacCracken, son of Cal MacCracken and now CALMAC’s CEO. “CALMAC’s development of IceBank became the top priority in the 1980s. In the 1990s, Demand Side Management was critical to the electric utilities and ice storage became a common tool to lower customer costs and decrease peak demand. As popularity for renewable energy rose following the development of LEED in the 2000s, the need for demand flexibility of energy storage became even more paramount. I went to Phoenix in 2009 to attend the GreenBuild Expo and was elected to be Chairman of the Board of Directors of US Green Building Council – ironically in the same city where my father attended the first Solar Energy Convention in 1955. It was an honor to be elected to run the most impactful non-profit organization in the sustainable marketplace in the same location my father launched CALMAC into it 54 years prior. He was truly ahead of his time.”

In April 2017, Mark MacCracken was also recognized by City and State New York as an honoree of the Corporate Social Responsibility Award for Sustainability and Environmental Impact for his success in promoting sustainability initiatives in the energy sector as well as devoting his time to creating a positive environmental impact.

 

About CALMAC

Since 1947, CALMAC Corp. has been a leading U.S. manufacturer of cool energy related technologies. CALMAC is most known for its IceBank energy storage systems strengthening the smart grid by storing critical energy sources - including renewables like wind power - for later use. IceBank energy storage tanks are installed at over 4,000 locations in 60 countries and last over 40 years. CALMAC’s IceMat and Alumazorb products are found in hundreds of rinks worldwide. Customers trust CALMAC for the best ice skating surfaces under any conditions — and lower construction and operating costs. Widely recognized for promoting peak energy conservation and energy cost savings, CALMAC Corp is a member of the Ice Skating Institute, U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the New Buildings Institute. For more information visit www.calmac.com.