Utilizing thermal mass in refrigerated display cases to reduce peak demand.

Number: pap. 2449

Author(s) : FRICKE B., KURUGANTI T., NUTARO J., et al.


The potential to store energy within refrigerated food products presents convenience store and supermarket operators with an opportunity to participate in utility sponsored demand response programs, whereby electricity usage can be shifted or reduced during peak periods. To determine the feasibility of reducing peak demand by shifting the refrigeration load to off-peak times, experimental and analytical analyses were performed. Simulated product, consisting of one-pint containers filled with a 50% ethylene glycol and 50% water solution, were stored in a medium-temperature vertical open refrigerated display case. Product temperature rise as a function of time was determined by turning off the refrigeration to the display case, while product temperature pull-down time was subsequently determined by turning on the refrigeration to the display case. It was found that the thermal mass of the product in a medium-temperature display case was such that during a 2.5 hour period with no refrigeration, the average product temperature increased by 5.5°C. In addition, it took approximately 3.5 hours for the product to recover to its initial temperature after the refrigeration was turned on. Transient heat conduction analyses for one-dimensional objects is in good agreement with the experimental results obtained in this study. From the analysis, it appears that the thermal mass of the stored product in refrigerated display cases is sufficient to allow product temperatures to safely drift for a significant time under reduced refrigeration system operation. Thus, strategies for shifting refrigeration system electrical demand can be developed. The use of an advanced refrigeration system controller that can respond to utility signals can enable demand shifting with minimal impact.

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  • Original title: Utilizing thermal mass in refrigerated display cases to reduce peak demand.
  • Record ID : 30018628
  • Languages: English
  • Source: 2016 Purdue Conferences. 16th International Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Conference at Purdue.
  • Publication date: 2016/07/11


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