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WP2 Air conditioning, chilling and freezing

Refrigeration used in air conditioning, chilling and freezing consumes around 16% of UK electricity and is responsible for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Applications are diverse and the industry is fragmented with 90% of companies being small and micro business. This, combined with low operating margins, makes innovation in air conditioning, chilling and freezing challenging. Innovation is required in advanced materials and techniques to minimize cooling loads, the development of high efficiency cooling technologies, the investigation and application of passive cooling techniques, the integration of bivalent heating and cooling together with better understanding of practices, capabilities and behavioural barriers.

The projects proposed below address these areas of investigation and, in order to give greatest impact, investigations will focus on key applications with large potential carbon emission savings. These include supermarket refrigeration, data centre cooling and transport refrigeration.

 

 

WP2.1 Retail chilling and freezing

Prof. Maidment (London South Bank University)

Rationale: This WP focuses on retail chilling and freezing. At least 40 per cent, and sometimes up to 70%, of a supermarket’s energy consumption is used directly for cooling, mainly refrigerated display cabinets (RDCs), and a further 25% of the energy is commonly used for heating, of which around a third can be required to offset cooling losses from the RDCs. The performance of the RDC and its interaction with the supermarket environment is therefore key to reducing end user energy demand in supermarkets..

Challenge / Objectives / Deliverables: The aim is to develop supermarket RDCs that use 1/3 of the energy of existing RDCs..

Carbon impact potential: Savings of 4.8 million tonnes of CO2 annually in the UK with full uptake. In addition, investigations will consider the impact from the cradle to grave and this will encourage smart remanufacture and recycling, thus reducing embodied carbon impact..

Pathway to impact: The investigation will work closely with end user Asda Stores Ltd, Sainsburys, The Coop and Bond Retail Display (manufacturer) and will consider form and ergonomics, user requirements, readiness, etc. Furthermore, much of thetechnology developed here will be generic to the other temperature work packages, and it will be disseminated through SIRACH.

 

WP2.2 Retail chilling and freezing

Prof. Maidment (London South Bank University)

Rationale: If the results of WP2.1 suggest the need, it will be extended into a 2nd Wave project investigating more fundamental concepts of retail display and their applicability in the longer term.

Challenge: To challenge the concept of the retail display cabinet, specifically from a fundamental aesthetic, ergonomic and energy use perspectives.

Objectives / Deliverables: To deliver a new concept in RDC that has 1/10 of the existing energy consumption.

Carbon impact potential: 12 million tonnes of carbon in energy alone.

Pathway to impact: The investigation will work closely with end user Asda Stores Ltd, Sainsburys, The Coop and Bond Retail Display (manufacturer) and will consider form and ergonomics, user requirements, readiness, etc. Furthermore, much of thetechnology developed here will be generic to the other temperature work packages, and it will be disseminated through SIRACH.

 

WP2.3 Data centres

Prof. Maidment (London South Bank University)

Rationale: Cooling of data centres will be investigated specifically with integrated free cooling, evaporative cooling and energy stores, to deliver effective low cost cooling with minimum PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness).

Challenge / Objectives / Deliverables: To develop integrated solutions utilising free cooling and energy storage and avoid the need for mechanical cooling.

Carbon impact potential: Currently data centres utilise 2% of total electricity consumption in the EU and this is expected to double by 2020. Cooling can use up to 50% of this and by developing integrated free and low energy solutions it is possible to massively reduce their carbon footprint.

Pathway to impact: By working with HP and 4D Data Centres, solutions can be trialled and implemented. The Green Grid will provide the dissemination route. Technologies developed here will be transferable across other work packages and delivery temperatures.

 

WP2.4 Refrigerated transport

Prof. Maidment (London South Bank University)

Rationale: Refrigerated transport refrigeration will be investigated from a total energy and carbon perspective, taking into consideration overall use of fuel for transportation and cooling.

Challenge/Objectives/ Deliverables: Because refrigerated transport operates transiently and there are opportunities to utilise integrated heating and cooling cycles utilizing motive energy and heat energy from the engine itself combined with energy storage. The challenge is to develop novel materials, components, whilst reducing weight of the vehicle and maintaining food at required temperatures.

Pathway to impact: By working with Hubbard and Asda, solutions can be trialled and implemented.

Latest progress

Click here to view the latest update of the work carried out by our research team presented in our last Advisory Board in April 2017 at the University of Warwick.

Applications for Cryogenic Cooling

On the 12th October STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) will be opening it's doors to the SIRACH Network. RAL is home to many of the UK’s most advanced research facilities and supports work in a range of areas including space science and astronomy, particle physics, nanotechnology and developing new materials.

Our SIRACH event will focus on applications for cryogenic cooling and delegates will hear presentations on leading edge technologies.

Click here for more information.