Analysis of a closed-loop water-cooled refrigeration system in the food retail industry: A UK case study

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Title: Analysis of a closed-loop water-cooled refrigeration system in the food retail industry: A UK case study
Authors: Efstratiadi, M
Acha Izquierdo, S
Shah, N
Markides, C
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Refrigeration in supermarkets accounts between 30% and 60% of total electricity demand in UK stores. The aim of this study is to conduct a pre-feasibility analysis of whether the use of a water-cooled configuration rejecting heat to the soil can improve the overall cooling performance of commercial refrigeration systems against air-cooled designs. In this work, a model simulating the operation of an existing refrigeration system is presented and validated against field data measurements taken from a supermarket. The examined system is used as a baseline and then modified to evaluate the impact of installing a water-cooled gas cooler. Results indicate that the use of water-cooled gas coolers has the potential to reduce electrical consumption of refrigeration systems by up to a factor of 5 when external temperatures are high. Overall, annual operation indicates the water-cooled alternative uses 3% less electricity than the air-cooled approach. A hybrid system is also considered consisting of coupled air-cooled and water-cooled units operating in parallel, for which an energy reduction of 6% is obtained compared against the baseline system. An economic evaluation of these systems shows promising results with a payback period of about 5 years for systems installed in new stores, although retrofits are costlier.
Issue Date: 4-Mar-2019
Date of Acceptance: 1-Mar-2019
ISSN: 0360-5442
Publisher: Elsevier
Journal / Book Title: Energy
Copyright Statement: © 2019 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This manuscript is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Sponsor/Funder: Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd
Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Funder's Grant Number: CEPSE_P57236
Keywords: 0913 Mechanical Engineering
0915 Interdisciplinary Engineering
Publication Status: Published online
Embargo Date: 2020-03-04
Online Publication Date: 2019-03-04
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Centre for Environmental Policy
Chemical Engineering
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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