Model predictive control technologies for efficient and flexible power consumption in refrigeration systems

Tobias Gybel Hovgaard, Lars F. S. Larsen, Kristian Edlund, John Bagterp Jørgensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Considerable amounts of energy are consumed in supermarket refrigeration systems worldwide. Due to the thermal capacity of refrigerated goods and the rather simplistic control most commonly applied, there is a potential for distributing the system load over time in a more cost-optimal way. In this paper we describe a novel economic-optimizing Model Predictive Control (MPC) scheme that reduces operating costs by utilizing the thermal storage capabilities. A nonlinear optimization tool to handle a non-convex cost function is utilized for simulations with validated scenarios. In this way we explicitly address advantages from daily variations in outdoor temperature and electricity prices. Secondly, we formulate a new cost function that enables the refrigeration system to contribute with ancillary services to the balancing power market. This involvement can be economically beneficial for the system itself, while crucial services can be delivered to a future flexible and intelligent power grid (Smart Grid). Furthermore, we discuss a novel incorporation of probabilistic constraints and Second Order Cone Programming (SOCP) with economic MPC. A Finite Impulse Response (FIR) formulation of the system models allows us to describe and handle model as well as prediction uncertainties in this framework. This means we can demonstrate means for robustifying the performance of the controller.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)105-116
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Energy efficiency
  • Flexible demands
  • Optimization
  • Model predictive control
  • Robust performance
  • Smart Grids


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