Innovative thermal energy storage system for cold stores in Mexico

The Mexican cold storage company Red de Frios reduced its energy consumption by 20% using PCM-based thermal energy storage.

In Mexico, high summer temperatures significantly increase the energy consumption of cold storage facilities. Red de Frios, a Mexican company dedicated to the storage, conservation, and distribution of frozen, refrigerated, and dried products, decided to use thermal energy storage (TES) in order to reduce its operation costs and energy consumption in one of its storage centres located in Monterrey.

The technology is provided by the Viking Cold company. The system was configured to operate specifically for Red de Frios’ utility rate structure and facility requirements. The intelligent control system monitors freezer conditions to optimize efficiency, minimize equipment run-time, and avoid customers’ peak demand periods. During the months of July, August, and September, some of the warmest months of the year, Red de Frios has seen a 20% reduction in energy consumption. Additionally, during daily periods of high energy costs, when refrigeration equipment is cycled off, Red de Frios has seen a slower increase in temperatures and greater temperature stability.

The TES system uses a phase change material (PCM) composed of water and inorganic salt, which stores and releases energy while transitioning in the latent phase between solid and liquid states. In its latent phase, the PCM absorbs 300 times more heat than frozen food would. The PCM is contained in individual cells which are located above the food and directly in the air flow of the facility's refrigeration equipment.

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