DOI: 10.3390/en17010085 ISSN: 1996-1073

Analysis of Flexibility Potential of a Cold Warehouse with Different Refrigeration Compressors

Ehsan Khorsandnejad, Robert Malzahn, Ann-Katrin Oldenburg, Annedore Mittreiter, Christian Doetsch
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Building and Construction

The research into new approaches to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources (RES) has surged as environmental issues are on the rise, and fossil fuel sources are becoming scarce. The flexibility potential of cold supply systems has been discussed widely in the literature, firstly due to their high share of electricity consumption worldwide and secondly because of their potential to store thermal energy in the form of cold energy. However, finding a clear definition of flexibility and a concise approach for its quantification is still under progress. In this work, a comprehensive definition of the flexibility of energy systems and a novel methodology for its quantification are introduced. The methodology was applied on a cold warehouse with real data regarding its cold energy demand. The cold warehouse was first modeled via oemof, which is a modular open source framework developed in Python 3.8 using a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) optimization approach. The operation optimization of the cold warehouse was conducted for three goals, namely “minimization of electricity costs”, “minimization of CO2 emissions”, and “minimization of maximum used electric power (peak load minimization)”. Additionally, the effect of using different types of refrigeration compressors on the optimized operation of the cold warehouse was investigated. The results suggest that a cold warehouse possesses a high level of flexibility potential, which can be taken advantage of to reduce the electricity cost by up to 50%, the CO2 emissions between 25% to 30%, and the maximum used electric power by 50%. Different compressor types produced very similar results, although their flexibility level may vary.

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