Blue Ice, what does it mean 'when permafrost is active'?

Playing in the Open Beta I gave Kelvin Gear that gave him shield regeneration. This meant when I was out of combat I was able to regenerate to a full shield. Does this classify as Permafrost being active? If so it creates an interesting build and major change to playing Kelvin. If not, when is Permafrost considered active?

I think it is in specific reference to the shield gained by skills, not any provided by gear. Don’t know if having full shielding from gear would interfere with gaining permafrost effects or not.