There are two basic types - Ice Building Systems (static systems) and Ice Harvesting Systems (dynamic systems). The main advantage of ice storage is that it requires less space, can provide colder air to the building, and reduces duct and fan size; with an offsetting disadvantage of consuming more chiller energy.
Ice storage, being more compact, is most common on smaller commercial buildings or where space for the storage is limited. Ice storage systems, while requiring more refrigeration, can produce lower temperature chilled water, enabling the use of smaller chilled water pumps, piping, and coils. In general, static systems are more compact, simpler, and less costly than dynamic systems. As a result, static or Ice Builder systems seem more popular. The most prevalent ice storage systems are:
- Ice on coil in an open water side system (requires some periodic water treatment),
- Ice on coil using brine in a closed (pressurized) water side system, and
- Ice maker systems (ice harvester including spray-slush-ice).
Other system types (such as encapsulated ice, iceballs, eutectic salt storage) are variations being developed and commercialized.