Supermarket refrigeration systems for demand response in smart grids
Doctoral thesis, 2020

With an increasing share of intermittent renewable energy sources in the electrical grid, the need for adapting the demand to the available supply of electricity becomes increasingly important. Within this thesis, the demand response capacity by supermarket refrigeration systems are investigated and methods for enabling it is developed.

Article 1 explores the temperature control system in depth, concluding that the majority (80.5 %) of return air temperature sensors in RDCs were located in an area where a thermal gradient interfere with the perceived temperature, i.e. the temperature readings falsely indicated a higher return air temperature than the actual mean temperature of the passing air. The issue is analysed in detail and mitigated through a strategic re-positioning of the affected temperature sensors.

Article 2 presents a computationally efficient yet accurate dynamic hygro-thermal model of an RDC with the capability to include effects of door openings. Thus, the model contributes to enabling demand response by supermarkets as it could provide the forecasts of the necessary temperature constraints, limiting the duration for which the supermarket could attend to a demand response request.

Article 3 presents a field study where wireless gyroscopes were attached to the RDC doors in an operational supermarket to record the speed, duration, angle and frequency that the doors are operated at. Novel insights in significant differences in behaviour between medium and low temperature RDCs could be concluded.

Article 4 presents a method for the thermal characterisation of RDCs based on an adaption of the Co-Heating methodology. The method evaluates infiltration rates within the 10 % limit compared with the condensate collection method. In addition, data on thermal performance, such as the heat transfer coefficient for the envelope and its thermal inertia, can be measured in a systematic way.

The thesis together with the four appended articles presents a suite for the evaluation of temperature development in refrigerated display cabinets in operational supermarkets, which represents the main constrain for the demand response capacity.


Demand-side management


Energy efficiency

Food retail


Thermal modelling

Refrigerated Display Cabinet

Renewable energy

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Opponent: Prof. Savvas Tassou, Brunel University London, Storbritanien


Tommie Månsson

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology

Analysis of door openings of refrigerated display cabinets in an operational supermarket

Journal of Building Engineering,; Vol. 26(2019)

Journal article

This thesis is about how supermarkets can be used to balance the electrical grid. At times of energy deficiency, the supermarket refrigeration systems could be turned off to reduce the demand for a while. Within the thesis, a methodology for evaluation of the capacity is described.

Supermarkets as thermal buffers for renewable electricity grids

Climate-KIC, 2013-10-01 -- 2018-09-30.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)


Subject Categories

Energy Engineering

Civil Engineering

Food Engineering

Energy Systems

Control Engineering



Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 4873



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Opponent: Prof. Savvas Tassou, Brunel University London, Storbritanien

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