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Title: Experimental and computational study to improve energy efficiency of frozen food retail stores
Author: Mylona, Zoi
ISNI:       0000 0004 7658 2166
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2017
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Trends such as online shopping, fast pace of lifestyle and wellness issues are key drivers for consumers' preferences of shopping activities and product selection. There is evidence that food retail has shifted towards smaller in size stores and ready meals or food products which require less time for cooking. In fact, the frozen food market has increased recently and is projected to rise by 27% by 2020. This study focuses on energy efficiency of small size frozen food supermarkets. The investigation started with in-situ monitoring of energy use and environmental conditions in two frozen food stores with different HVAC but same refrigeration systems and store operation schedules. A dynamic thermal model of frozen food stores was developed using EnergyPlus and validated using the monitored data. The model takes into account interlinked heat exchanges between building, HVAC and refrigeration systems and was used to investigate energy efficiency improvements. Two HVAC systems were examined; coupling heating, air-conditioning and ventilation (coupled system) and separating heating and air-conditioning from ventilation (decoupled system). A number of refrigeration systems (remote, centralised, cascade, transcritical CO2 booster) and working fluids were investigated. Analysis of the monitored data has shown that energy use of frozen supermarkets is at the upper range of published supermarkets energy use benchmarks (1085 kWh/m2/annum). It was also shown that sales area temperature is highly affected by HVAC controls, refrigeration equipment and transient customers' pattern. The computational study has identified energy performance of sub-systems and their interactions. Results indicate that 61% of total energy use is due to the refrigeration system while HVAC and lighting are the next most energy intensive systems. Apart from lighting upgrade to LED which offers high energy savings (23%), energy efficiency can be improved for both coupled and decoupled HVAC systems by incorporating night ventilative cooling and operating remote LT cabinets with lower ambient temperature. Night ventilative cooling can lead to reduction of 3.6% in total energy use. Centralised refrigeration systems change the heating/cooling balance and can reduce the total energy use by up to 20% for a CO2 centralised system. The results of this research project are a contribution towards better understanding of energy use in food dominant supermarkets and their energy savings potential.
Supervisor: Kolokotroni, M. ; Tassou, S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Supermarket energy use ; EnergyPlus ; Environmental and energy monitoring ; Advanced thermal modelling ; Model callibration