OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — A collaboration of five countries, including the United States, under the auspices of the International Energy Agency (IEA) has produced a study that finds significant potential for energy savings in supermarket refrigeration systems.

The study, released by the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), was intended to examine ways to reduce the global warming impact of supermarket refrigeration systems, based on the concern that refrigerant leakage would be a major contributor to global warming. The study concluded that advanced refrigeration systems would cut the global warming impact of supermarket refrigeration by about 60 percent, mostly due to reduced emissions of refrigerants.

But the study also found that supermarkets could achieve additional global warming benefits by recovering the waste heat from their refrigeration systems. According to the study, most stores could provide about 40 percent of their space heating and water heating needs by using this waste heat.

The study was performed as part of a series of efforts under the IEA’s Heat Pump Program. The supermarket refrigeration study is called "Annex 26." To view an executive summary of the final report, go to www.ornl.gov/engineering_science_technology/Annex26/ and click on “Reports” at the top of the page.

Publication date: 10/06/2003