Refrigeration

Refrigeration

Commercial refrigeration uses roughly 1.3 quads per year of source energy, representing about 7% of total commercial building use in the U.S. In supermarkets, grocery stores, and convenience stores, refrigeration can account for up to half of a building's total energy use. Through the Refrigeration Technology Research Team, partners improve the efficiency of new and existing refrigeration systems and components. Partners participate in peer-to-peer exchanges on various refrigeration controls technologies, as well as the challenges surrounding one of the most basic and effective energy efficiency technologies: retrofitting doors on display cases.

Ensure Project Success : Refrigeration Commissioning Guide
Showcase Your Refrigeration System: Contribute a Case Study
Better Buildings Alliance Open House Webinar: Register
Alliance Activities

Participate in expert-led technology teams, test out an implementation model, join a technology campaign, or take part in a technology challenge or demonstration.

Events Calendar

Better Buildings partners participate in webinars, peer-exchange calls, meetings, and industry workshops and conferences. Browse upcoming events and opportunities to participate by month.

Partner List

Through the Better Buildings Alliance, over 200 public and private sector organizations across the country are working together to share and replicate positive gains in energy efficiency. 

Featured Solutions

This report breaks down best practices and guidelines for conducting case retrofits by project stage, from initial planning through project completion and system monitoring.
This case study documents one year of operating experience with a transcritical carbon dioxide (TC CO2) booster refrigeration system at Delhaize America’s Hannaford supermarket location in Turner, Maine.
This report is a field test of a liquid refrigerant pump that enhances the performance of a supermarket refrigeration system.
Field demonstrations of high-efficiency permanent magnet synchronous (PMS) AC motors for evaporator fans in commercial refrigeration equipment that was developed in partnership with DOE.
This report is a laboratory evaluation of transcritical CO2 booster system for supermarket refrigeration.

Other Resources

Calculator

Spreadsheet tool for a mechanical designer to calculate the feasibility of heat recovery system integration. Assumes that the refrigeration system is a system with a single suction group.

Case Studies

This case study, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, discusses the motivation, implementation, and results of Fresh & Easy’s case retrofit program.
Pilot project to characterize and estimate the potential for supermarkets to participate in utility demand-response programs, with focus on the refrigeration system.
To advance its commitment to cutting energy waste, CKE, in collaboration with Southern California Edison’s (SCE) New Products Development and Launch (NPDL) organization, field tested an advanced demand defrost control system for walk-in coolers and freezers in their Carl’s Jr. restaurants. 

Guidance

Easy-to-use guidance for achieving 50% energy savings in new grocery stores ranging in size from 25,000 to 65,000 ft2 with medium- and low-temperature refrigerated cases and walk-ins.

Presentations

Refrigeration often accounts for over half of the energy consumption in supermarkets, grocery stores, and convenience stores. Learn how the Better Buildings Alliance is helping members reduce refrigeration energy consumption.
Learn about the Refrigeration team's current initiatives, future activities, and resource development and deployment from day 1 of the Summit. 
Learn about the Refrigeration team's current initiatives, future activities, and resource development and deployment from day 2 of the 2014 Summit.
Refrigeration Systems: How Smart is Yours? 2016 Better Buildings Summit
In this session, panelists described how display-case controllers can help lower costs for installation, start up, energy, and maintenance, all while improving food quality and safety. Learn whether display-case controllers are right for your food retail business.

Showcase Projects

Brooklyn Third and 3rd Showcase Project
Whole Foods installed a Gray/storm water recycling system; a 157 kw combined heat and power (CHP) plant; a 324 kw solar canopy array; and 19 self-generating wind/solar powered parking lot lights at this Brooklyn store.
South Euclid, OH Showcase Project
Store #2362 in South Euclid, OH, was selected by Walmart to serve as a platform to test and showcase technologies that go above and beyond what is required to achieve LEED® Silver certification.

Webinars

This webinar was an introduction to case door retrofit technology and the potential that it offers food retail store operators.
A Better Buildings webinar summarizing available retrofit technologies for advanced control of walk-in coolers and freezers (WICFs). Nine WICF control technologies were discussed and a matrix of their key energy-saving features was presented.

White Paper

Experimental and analytical evaluation using thermal mass in supermarket refrigerated display cases to lower peak electric demand.

Additional Information

GreenChill Partnership
An EPA partnership with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions, global warming and ozone layer impacts.

ENERGY STAR Commercial Refrigerators and Freezers
A directory of qualified self-contained commercial refrigeration equipment.

Commercial Refrigeration Equipment Rulemaking
DOE energy conservation standards and test procedure rulemaking documents. Includes discussions on energy-efficient technologies and full analytical results.

Food Marketing Institute
Among many other things, FMI provides information and resources related to food retail, and hosts the annual Energy & Store Development Conference.

Priorities

Meet the Technology Expert

Jim Young facilitates the Refrigeration Technology Research Team on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy. At Navigant Consulting, Jim also supports the Department of Energy’s emerging technologies program through technology characterization and market assessment for different commercial building technologies, including alternative refrigerants and advanced controls for HVAC&R systems. He also supports several utilities through identification and evaluation of new technologies for their energy efficiency, demand response, renewable energy, and other programs. He holds a M.S. in sustainable engineering from Villanova University and a B.S. in aerospace engineering from Notre Dame University.