This guide summarizes demand response measures that can be implemented in refrigerated warehouses. In an appendix, it also addresses related energy efficiency opportunities. Reducing overall grid demand during peak periods and energy consumption has benefits for facility operators, grid operators, utility companies, and society.
State wide demand response potential for the refrigerated warehouse sector in California is estimated to be over 22.1 Megawatts. Two categories of demand response strategies are described in this guide: load shifting and load shedding. Load shifting can be accomplished via pre-cooling, capacity limiting, and battery charger load management. Load shedding can be achieved by lighting reduction, demand defrost and defrost termination, infiltration reduction, and shutting down miscellaneous equipment. Estimation of the costs and benefits of demand response participation yields simple payback periods of 2-4 years.
To improve demand response performance, it’s suggested to install air curtains and another form of infiltration barrier, such as a rollup door, for the passageways. Further modifications to increase efficiency of the refrigeration unit are also analyzed. A larger condenser can maintain the minimum saturated condensing temperature (SCT) for more hours of the day. Lowering the SCT reduces the compressor lift, which results in an overall increase in refrigeration system capacity and energy efficiency. Another way of saving energy in refrigerated warehouses is eliminating the use of under-floor resistance heaters. A more energy efficient alternative to resistance heaters is to utilize the heat that is being rejected from the condenser through a heat exchanger. These energy efficiency measures improve efficiency either by reducing the required electric energy input for the refrigeration system, by helping to curtail the refrigeration load on the system, or by reducing both the load and required energy input.