Analyzing Control Challenges for Thermal Energy Storage in Foodstuffs

Publication: Research - peer-reviewArticle in proceedings – Annual report year: 2012



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We consider two important challenges that arise when thermal energy is to be stored in foodstuffs. We have previously introduced economic optimizing MPC schemes that both reduce operating costs and offer flexible power consumption in a future Smart Grid. The goal is to utilize the thermal capacity of refrigerated goods in a supermarket to shift the load of the system in time without deteriorating the quality of the foodstuffs. The analyses in this paper go before closing any control loops. In the first part, we introduce and validate a new model with which we can estimate the actual temperatures of refrigerated goods from available air temperature measurements. This is based on data obtained from a dedicated experiment. Since limits are specified for food temperatures, the estimate is essential for full exploitation of the thermal potential. Secondly, the thermal properties, shapes and sizes of different foodstuffs make them behave differently when exposed to changes in air temperature. We present a novel analysis based on Biot and Fourier numbers for the different foodstuffs. This provides a valuable tool for determining how different items can be utilized in load-shifting schemes on different timescales and for estimating maximum energy storage time. The results are shown for a large range of parameters, and with specific calculations for selected foodstuff items.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2012 IEEE International Conference on Control Applications (CCA)
Publication date2012
ISBN (print)978-1-4673-4503-3
ISBN (electronic)978-1-4673-4504-0
StatePublished - 2012
EventIEEE International Conference on Control Applications (CCA 2012) - Dubrovnik, Croatia


ConferenceIEEE International Conference on Control Applications (CCA 2012)
Internet address
SeriesI E E E International Conference on Control Applications. Proceedings
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI
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ID: 12597378