In an attempt to look at how the food processing and chilling industry use energy in a new way, a team of engineers and researchers as part of a CryoHub project are looking at using cryogenic energy storage techniques which allow electricity to be supplied back into the grid as well as providing cooling for cold stores and food factories.

 

CryoHub is an EU Funded project that uses the fact that an industrial refrigeration plant has a large demand for electricity to produce cooling, and that sites are generally located in areas that are highly suited to renewable energy generation. However renewable energy generation tends to be intermittent and the site needs a continuous and reliable supply. By employing renewable energy sources to first liquefy and then store cryogens, CryoHub can overcome this. “The potential is huge” says project coordinator Prof Judith Evans of London South Bank University. “Not only can this help to balance the power grid, it is ideally suited to using waste heat from equipment and components in refrigerated food warehouses – everybody wins!”

 

With the EU gearing up to the challenging target of 20% of its energy demand satisfied by renewal energy by 2020, it means that renewable energy sources are going to become increasingly widely available in the next few years. At the same time, demand from the food cold chain for energy is increasing as the market for refrigeration expands. CryoHub will help match these two key trends. The CryoHub technology could allow food producers a ready-made package to integrate on-site management of renewable energy harvesting and storage, heating, cooling, and waste regeneration. The big benefit here is that they will be able to sell any excess energy back to the grid at peak demand times!

 

How to get involved in this innovative approach

If you think there could be an opportunity for your business, whether you are a cold store/factory owner, consultant or designer/installer please get in touch with the CryoHub group to see if your store would be suitable to become a CryoHub Champion Site. Take our survey here to find out more. We are currently looking for a suitable site that will benefit from EU funding for installation and equipment (Gold Champion) as well as from the expertise of the CryoHub team who will carry out in-depth monitoring of several warehouses (Silver Champions) to ensure savings are achieved and supply/demand is balanced. This will be an opportunity to boost your company’s sustainability credentials as an environmental pioneer and test out cutting-edge technologies for energy saving.

 

Help map renewable energy supply and demand

A map for the EU which overlays cooling demand against potential renewable energy supply sites is being developed. This will help owners of refrigerated cold stores and food processing facilities to plan for how they could integrate renewable sources into their energy mix in the future. If you own or operate a food processing site using greater than 500 kW of electricity for refrigeration (on average), please get in touch via our Survey at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/cryohub so we can add you to the cooling demand map.

 

Find out more about CryoHub at www.cryohub.eu or contact Prof Judith Evans at London South Bank University (j.a.evans@lsbu.ac.uk).

 

CryoHub is funded as part of the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. It involves project partners from London South Bank University, Institute of Refrigeration, Carbon Data Resources, Corac Energy Technologies, Cranfield University and the University of Birmingham in the UK; PSU tec, Mayekawa and EUREC in Belgium; Technical University of Sofia in Bulgaria; CENER in Spain and Air Liquide, IRSTEA in France, and the International Institute of Refrigeration.

 

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No 691761.

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