Danfoss and SMA subsidiary coneva GmbH add green energy to your supermarket's daily offer

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Usually your local grocer's main mission is to supply you with fresh and healthy products. But soon, supermarkets will save the day and enable the energy transition by adding green energy to the offer. Supermarkets will allow us to integrate more renewable energy into the energy grid and you can of course charge your electric car while you shop. Danfoss A/S and SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA) will demonstrate this in a pilot project in an aktiv & irma supermarket in Oldenburg.

The future of supermarkets is now. A new pilot supermarket by aktiv & irma in Oldenburg, Germany has decided to take the lead in demonstrating the intelligent energy management potential of supermarkets, by not only efficiently using green energy but also delivering flexibility for a more sustainable energy system.

Wind and solar energy are available only at specific times of the day or year. Grid support services such as energy storage are needed to balance out the fluctuating supply of a more and more renewable energy based system. And supermarkets can be excellent providers of these becoming so-called prosumers by producing their own solar energy, incorporating an intelligent energy management and using the huge untapped excess capacity of their refrigeration systems.

What keeps your food refrigerated, can also keep the energy system cool. Every refrigeration system in your local supermarket has something like a small power station – the compressor – which is commissioned to match an average of the hottest and coldest day in a given period. This is mandatory to comply with food security standards – to keep our food fresh and healthy at all times. The potential unused capacity can then be used as thermal energy storage.

"The unused compressor capacity can be turned into an opportunity for supermarket owners and the community's energy system. Looking at the big picture, Danfoss has the technology to unlock this capacity to integrate supermarkets into the energy system. In that way, supermarkets do not only provide green energy, they can also reduce the carbon footprint of the store and enable it to reduce operating expenses. A win-win for climate and business," says Jürgen Fischer, President of Danfoss Cooling.

"The integration into the energy system will be controlled by combining SMA's energy management platform ennexOS with the Danfoss' smart supermarket solutions, enabling the store to optimize its energy use according to factors such as energy price fluctuations, external temperature, and grid demand.", explains Jochen Schneider, general manager of SMA subsidiary coneva GmbH, which is focused on suppling energy services and solutions such as energy monitoring, efficiency and management.

"SMA and Danfoss provide the solutions that represent a leap forward in the food retail industry and maybe energy supply as such. For sure, it is one of the first examples of a supermarket's potential in the quickly moving energy transition. And where to charge your car? Surplus energy will be made available through two highly modern car charging stations, so that customers can charge their electric vehicles while they shop green goods," says Marco Frerichs, managing director and owner of aktiv & irma.

In addition to the energy-efficient building design and exquisite shopping experience, there are several key improvements planned for the Oldenburg (Kreyenbrück) aktiv & irma store to transform it into the supermarket of tomorrow, today. A solar system with SMA system technology will supply renewable energy at an attractive price per kilowatt hour, which is much more cost-effective when compared to conventional power. The energy storage will be supported by a lithium-ion battery system with SMA storage technology, which will be used for peak-shaving and increase self-consumption up to 100%. It will also provide backup power for the cooling system in case of power shortages in the grid. Heart of the new system will be SMA's Data Manager that connects Danfoss management system for buildings and the refrigeration system incl. all energy assets, storage and charging infrastructure, and acts as gateway to the energy system. 

Heiko Matthias, architect, Dirk Leinweber, Director Sales Food Retail Danfoss Central Europe, Marco Frerichs – managing director and owner aktiv & irma, Lars Bluhm, Sales Danfoss, Günter Walter, managing director aktiv &irma in one of the aktiv & irma pilot supermarkets in Oldenburg. 

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