DENMARK – Global engineering company Danfoss has opened a new high efficiency concept supermarket store that will also act as the company’s test centre for energy efficiency technology for retailers across the World.

‘The Smart Store’, expected to be approximately 50% more energy efficient compared to a typical supermarket and with a first-generation CO2 refrigeration system, is located in Nordborg, Denmark.

The flagship store, according to the company, runs off sustainable energy sources and reuses the excess heat created by cooling cases, thereby reducing supermarket heating costs by up to 90%.

It operates both as a functioning supermarket and a development centre for testing new technology by the engineering firm, with the new store opening new opportunities to significantly reduce costs of operating supermarkets while addressing food waste and climate change concerns across the world.

While approximately 50% more energy efficient compared to a typical supermarket with a first-generation CO2 refrigeration system and no energy efficiency solutions, the concept store is further expected to be approximately 20 to 30% more efficient than an equivalent local store already fitted with multiple energy efficiency solutions, explains Danfoss.

“We have developed this new Smart Store supermarket with partners and customers to demonstrate that it is possible to build a climate friendly and super-efficient facility, using world-class heating and cooling technology,” says Jürgen Fischer, President, Danfoss Climate Solutions.

“Our new ‘Smart Store’ proves that the future is now. This supermarket is purpose-built for the world ahead of us; a world of more urbanisation, larger populations, greater energy demands, a growing need for cooling, and efficient food storage.”

Danfoss reveals that the world’s population continues on its course to reach 10 billion people by 2050, investments in sustainable food retail and storage are urgently needed to feed the growing number of people on the planet, with pressure growing, both on energy demand and costs, and on the need to cut down on food loss.

“Climate-friendly, super-efficient and loaded with automation solutions, the new ‘Smart Store’ is providing inspiration for food retailers in a world of rising energy costs, emissions, and worsening food losses,” Danfoss explains, adding that supermarkets and retail food stores, while vital around the world, they are also big energy consumers, while the average profit margin for a large food retailer is just 1.7%, which puts everyday operating costs under scrutiny.

New technologies, big savings for retailers

Danfoss explains that the ‘Smart Store’ demonstrates the significant savings that can be achieved in supermarkets, with a typical payback time of three to four years, with supermarkets wasting less energy and reducing food wastage, even in Africa, where the retail sector is at its most significant growth phase in most countries, and where energy prices can be prohibitive plus energy access is still patchy, with load shedding fairly common in many countries such as Nigeria and South Africa.

“Due to the high importance of energy saving in South Africa and other African countries, we have noticed a trend towards adopting smart store solutions. Customers require real-time monitoring and management of their stores, particularly to regulate and manage their energy consumption. By having a physical concept, we can demonstrate to the market what we can offer,” adds Roy Naidoo, Danfoss Climate Solutions, Sales Director Sub-Saharan Africa

Solar power is the supermarket’s primary energy source, with 100 kW solar panels on the building’s roof providing green energy to support the supermarket operations, while heat capture and reuse is also key to the energy efficiency of the supermarket with up to 90% reduction in supermarket heating costs expected.

The company reveals that excess heat is the world’s largest untapped source of energy.

The ‘Smart Store’ is fitted with state-of-the-art heat recovery units that are designed to recover the waste heat from all the refrigeration systems. The recovered heat is then reused to heat up the store and produce domestic hot water, with any additional heat shared with residents of the surrounding town through a district energy network.

The store’s energy efficiency initiatives are further bolstered by installing doors on refrigerator and freezer cases, which save about third on energy use, while the choice of LED lighting uses up to 85% less electricity than incandescent bulbs. Automation and monitoring of the ‘Smart Store’ adds another layer of energy saving.

“Danfoss has reimagined what food retail stores could look like in the 21st century. For the first time, all of Danfoss’ most cutting-edge technology and energy efficient food retail solutions are being brought together into one retail site,” Jürgen Fischer added.

 “The new Smart Store supermarket is only the beginning. Because it will also serve as an Application Development Center, a ‘live’ testing site for new technologies which we hope will inspire food retailers around the world to move towards zero emissions supermarkets – while making economic sense.”

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