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LoweConex Virtual Battery Trial Case Study

LoweConex Accomplishes First Successful Virtual Battery Trial on an Integral Freezer.

The Project

To display LoweConex automatically deploying remote Virtual Battery principles on a fully stocked commercial freezer

LoweConex rule-based logic and automation platform was used to automatically send changes to a Double Door Multideck Freezer in order to create an energy cost saving.

During normal operation, the compressor cycles on and off to achieve the required setpoint of the case, therefore keeping the product at the target value of -18 with a slight increase during defrosts.

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The Solution

The team created a 2-stage process outlined below. LoweConex then employed data modelling and graphical outputs to give the teams a clear view of the current and historical data around the targeted running conditions.  This data helped to prove in real time the reduction in energy usage.

1st Stage

When the team trigger the Virtual Battery Operation the case is driven lower in temperature. This starts the process of lowering the product temperature (mass) which is effectively ‘charging’ the battery during a lower cost period, ready for use when energy costs are higher.

During this time the compressor is on for longer, but it is on during the normal/medium energy cost period, the product temperature lowers until LoweConex is ready to begin the next stage.

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2nd Stage

The second stage of the Virtual Battery Operation is where the compressor stops running (saving energy).

The product temperature has lowered to -25.51 and the product/mass can now be used as the ‘battery’ which allows the energy saving to be achieved.

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During the last stage of the Virtual Battery Operation the unit is set to use as little energy as possible (no refrigeration), and in this example this continues for an hour. During this time the food is still within the requirements for food safety and the compressor does not run (saving energy).

This operation can be activated in advance of Duos Triad periods to save on high kw costs or during any other high-level contracted energy cost periods providing energy and cost savings.

As shown here the product temperature was still at -20.53 even after the operation of the case returned to normal.

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The Results

The Virtual Battery Operation can be applied prior to when high energy demand peaks to avoid high energy penalties., The cost of the energy used to charge the battery is significantly lower than the cost of normal operation during the high energy cost period.

This principle can also be applied in reverse making use of a low-cost energy tariff period using energy when it is cheapest.

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