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Engineering company, Danfoss and SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA) have come together to help add green energy solutions to Oldenburg (Kreyenbrück) aktiv&Irma supermarket’s daily offer, located in the Western Cape.

Wind and solar energy are available only at specific times of the day or year. Grid support services such as energy storage are needed to balance out the fluctuating supply of a renewable energy based system.

According to these companies, supermarkets can be excellent providers of these becoming so-called prosumers by producing their own solar energy, incorporating an intelligent energy management and using the huge untapped excess capacity of their refrigeration systems.

Every refrigeration system in local supermarkets has something like a small power station – the compressor – which is commissioned to match an average of the hottest and coldest day in a given period. This is mandatory to comply with food security standards. The potential unused capacity can then be used as thermal energy storage.

“The unused compressor capacity can be turned into an opportunity for supermarket owners and the community’s energy system. Looking at the big picture, Danfoss has the technology to unlock this capacity to integrate supermarkets into the energy system,” said Jürgen Fischer, President of Danfoss Cooling.

Fischer added: “In that way, supermarkets do not only provide green energy, they can also reduce the carbon footprint of the store and enable it to reduce operating expenses. A win-win for climate and business.” Read more...

Energy management platform

Jochen Schneider, general manager of SMA subsidiary coneva GmbH, explained that the integration into the energy system will be controlled by combining SMA’s energy management platform ennexOS with the Danfoss smart supermarket solutions, enabling the store (located in Stellenbosch) to optimise its energy use according to factors such as energy price fluctuations, external temperature, and grid demand.

Schneider added that this platform is focused on supplying energy services and solutions such as energy monitoring, efficiency and management.

Marco Frerichs, managing director and owner of aktiv&irma, said: “SMA and Danfoss provide the solutions, that represent a leap forward in the food retail industry and maybe energy supply as such. For sure, it is one of the first examples of a supermarket’s potential in the quickly moving energy transition.

“Surplus energy will be made available through two highly modern car charging stations, so that customers can charge their electric vehicles while they shop green goods.”