Super-Integration: Sector-coupled flexible supermarkets

Francesco  D’Ettorre

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Super-Integration: Sector-coupled flexible supermarkets

Right now, Danish Technological Institute is participating in the project ‘Super-Integration: Sector-coupled flexible supermarkets’ which is about supermarkets being able to provide flexibility services to the energy system through sector coupling. By using new algorithms and digital control systems, the project will work to optimize the operation of supermarkets’ compressors and solar PV systems and to ensure heat recovery for the district heating system.

The green transition requires a transition to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy, which are characterized by a variable production and unpredictability. This creates challenges in relation to maintaining a stable and reliable energy supply.

To meet these challenges, there is today an electricity market where electricity consumers and producers can offer flexibility services – i.e. be available to adjust production and/or consumption up or down at short notice. As the energy system is increasingly supplied with renewable energy sources, there will be a need for more flexibility services, and this increased need for flexibility services forms the background for the present project.

One way to create new opportunities for flexibility solutions is the use of sector coupling. Sector coupling refers to the integration of different sectors in the energy system – for example electricity and heat. By coupling these sectors together through sector coupling technologies, a more efficient use of energy resources is achieved, and synergies are created between the various sectors. Through this, a potential is generated to offer flexibility to the market.

Large energy consumption in supermarkets is utilized to provide flexibility services
Supermarkets are interesting in relation to flexibility services, as they have a large energy consumption for operating refrigeration systems as well as heating and ventilation systems.

The Super-Integration project will enable the use of supermarkets as sector coupling technology to deliver new flexibility services by:

  1. Identifying and making available flexibility services that are based on a variable operation of the refrigeration compressors.
  2. Integrating heat recovery from supermarkets into the district heating system.
  3. Verifying the developed solutions for delivering flexibility services and quantifying the economic and environmental benefits.
  4. Enabling balancing of the distribution network by appropriate control of photovoltaic systems on supermarket roofs.

The above points will be addressed by developing strategies that, based on data and digitalisation, can optimize the operation of supermarket utilities in relation to economic and energy-related considerations. The project's algorithms will form the basis for real-time optimization of how the overall installations are operated and will also be able to create knowledge that can be used in connection with dimensioning new supermarket installations that ensure the highest possible socio-economic consideration and an efficient energy use.

About the project
In this project, which will run for three years (starting January 2024), Danish Technological Institute will collaborate with a wide range of partners:

  • Danfoss, Ennogie, Coop Danmark, AK-Centralen, S.C. Nordic and DTU Compute.

The project participants represent the entire value chain from component suppliers such as Danfoss and Ennogie, service suppliers such as AK-Centralen and S.C. Nordic, knowledge institutions such as DTU Compute, and Danish Technological Institute, and finally Coop as end user. Thus, all relevant actors in relation to the optimization of supermarket installations are present in the project.

The project receives funding from ELFORSK.