Investigation into the design and optimisation of multideck refrigerated display cases
The refrigeration energy load in a modern day supermarket makes up a large proportion of the total energy bill. Better design of refrigerated display cases would reduce this load and also have a corresponding effect on the running costs of the refrigeration plant. Further enhancements such as the reduction of air overspill from the case would also influence the aisle temperatures and therefore the comfort levels in the store. This research project uses the technique of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to investigate the contemporary design of a vertical multideck refrigerated display case. From a two dimensional computational model conclusions were drawn as to the principles of operation of the case. During the course of the project, a custom designed experimental facility was constructed, capable of testing the display case according to the relevant test standards. Using this facility, experimental validation was carried on a number of the design modifications to assess the actual refrigeration load against that predicted by the CFD model. The success of this validation allowed further work into the feasibility of certain design changes by making modifications to the CFD model. The work presented in this thesis makes a contribution to the global effort towards the reduction of the energy consumption by retail refrigeration systems. It does this by showing that possibilities do exist for an improvement in the energy efficiency of multideck refrigerated display cases and that CFD provides a useful tool towards this goal. It also demonstrates the design modifications which proved to yield a saving in energy. These were a reduction in the mass flow rate of air around the case, the inclusion of a honeycomb section on the air curtain outlet of the case the addition of a front upstand and the introduction of a second air curtain thus applying a velocity gradient across the curtain.