RICHMOND, Calif., and NEW YORK — Owners of grocery stores and other cold storage facilities in parts of Brooklyn and Queens can now receive incentives from Con Edison’s Neighborhood Program for installing Axiom Exergy’s thermal energy storage system. The Axiom Exergy Refrigeration Battery stores cooling instead of electricity to help businesses manage their energy usage, reduce demand charges on their electric bills, and prevent food spoilage. Over $5 million worth of Refrigeration Battery systems are set to be installed at supermarkets and other businesses in the Brooklyn and Queens areas covered by Con Edison’s Neighborhood Program. The 1.5-2 MW of energy storage set to be installed has the capacity to shift in aggregate of 6-8 MWh of energy. Businesses are eligible for incentives under the program and Con Edison is working with customers to reduce their energy usage while still having the lighting, heating and cooling, and appliances they need to run their businesses.

“We’re thrilled to see that Con Edison is taking an innovative approach to help address surging power demand on its grid by working with grocery store and cold storage facility owners to reduce their energy bills and enhance their razor-thin profit margins,” said Amrit Robbins, president and co-founder of Axiom Exergy. “By deploying Refrigeration Battery systems, these locations can convert power-hungry refrigeration systems into intelligent ‘batteries’ that can respond dynamically to the needs of the facility and the grid operator, taking into account energy prices, weather patterns, and grid programs like demand response.” 

Using the Axiom Exergy thermal energy storage technology, businesses with large refrigeration-based energy loads can reduce their peak electricity demand by up to 40 percent, said the company. The Refrigeration Battery can shift six hours of a building’s refrigeration-based electricity loads. It uses the existing refrigeration system’s excess capacity to “store cooling” at night by freezing a tank of salt water. During afternoon peak hours, the Refrigeration Battery uses the frozen tanks to supply refrigeration services to the building, eliminating the need to run energy-intensive compressors and condensers. The Refrigeration Battery is a non-invasive, modular retrofit that operates in parallel with existing refrigeration systems to shift daytime energy loads to less expensive off-peak hours. It can also provide backup cooling to reduce uninsured food spoilage during power outages, an expensive problem for supermarket owners. Installation of the Refrigeration Battery does not require physical or programming modifications of existing equipment.

“By working with customers in the Neighborhood Program area to help them use energy more efficiently, we have been able to keep service reliable during another hot New York summer,” said Greg Elcock, who manages the program for Con Edison. “We will continue to help customers in these sections of Brooklyn and Queens choose from a variety of technologies and energy options that will help them manage their usage.”

Business, such as supermarkets, food and manufacturing facilities, can also receive incentives from Con Edison to install doors on open refrigerated display cases to further reduce peak energy demand. During summer afternoon and evenings when demand for electricity is high, Con Edison will be able to call upon Axiom Exergy to remotely activate the fleet of installed Refrigeration Battery systems to reduce strain on the grid and help keep electric service reliable.

The fleet of Refrigeration Batteries in the Con Edison Neighborhood Program will respond to Con Edison’s signals requesting electricity demand reductions. In order to provide host sites with even greater energy bill savings, each Refrigeration Battery can also permanently shift large refrigeration loads away from on-peak hours (when electricity is most expensive) on a daily basis. Controlled by Axiom’s KARL cloud platform, the fleet of Refrigeration Batteries will also provide facility operators and Con Edison with real-time fleet performance monitoring, data analytics, and alerts, adding intelligence and flexibility to otherwise unintelligent refrigeration equipment. 

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Publication date: 9/21/2016

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