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New energy efficient supermarket launches in Denmark

young woman with glasses smiling
3 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
supermarket fridge cases and displays with orange light shades hanging from ceiling

Image credit: Danfoss

Danish industrial machinery manufacturer Danfoss has opened a new energy efficient supermarket in Nordborg, Southern Denmark.

The 1,500 square metre ‘Smart Store’ showcases a range of innovative refrigeration and heat capture and reuse technology that helps it save on operating costs, limit food waste, and improve food safety.

According to Danfoss, the space is 50% more energy efficient than a standard supermarket with a first-generation CO2 cooling system and no energy efficiency solutions. The Smart Store’s cooling systems are run solely on CO2, which has a climate impact around 4,000 lower than traditional hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants (HFCs). The supermarket also uses high-end case controllers which can analyse and optimise the performance of refrigerated display cases, helping to save energy while still ensuring food safety.

The space additionally has a heat recovery unit which can capture excess heat from the cooling systems to provide warmth for the entire store and the local community through the district heating network. Reusing excess heating from the cooling systems in this way is predicted to reduce heating costs by up to 90%.

While most retailers operate a heating and hot water system and a separate refrigeration system, Danfoss notes its novel approach integrates supermarket refrigeration, heating, air conditioning, and ventilation, which reduces the store’s carbon footprint and brings down installation and operational costs.

Installing doors on fridge and freezer cases allows the Smart Store to cut electricity bills by a third, says Danfoss. It says it also uses up to 85% less electricity by swapping incandescent bulbs for LED lights. Given that they don’t emit heat, UVA, or infrared rays, LED are better for preserving fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, and fresh meat and fish.

The supermarket is fully powered by solar energy, provided by 100 kW solar panels on the roof of the building.

line of people in queue outside to go into supermarket

The Smart Store is said to be 50% more energy efficient than a regular supermarket. Credit: Danfoss

The Smart Store is said to be 50% more energy efficient than a regular supermarket. Credit: Danfoss

To tackle food waste, Danfoss has also installed its Alsense Food Retail in the Smart Store, an IoT (Internet of Things) cloud service platform. IoT devices are fitted with different types of software that allow them to communicate with other systems over the internet. With Alsense Food Retail, users can send operational data to the cloud application and receive real-time insights on how the business can throw away less food. The technology also has a 24/7 monitoring and alarm system which prevents large scale waste. For instance, if a supermarket freezer case were to breakdown overnight, the application would alert the store, dispatch the necessary technicians, and even perform remote repairs on site.

Jürgen Fischer, President at Danfoss Climate Solutions commented on the launch of the Smart Store: “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. 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 urbanization, larger populations, greater energy demands, a growing need for cooling, and efficient food storage.”

Fischer added that the space will operate as “a ‘live’ testing site”, to trial more innovative and sustainable solutions for supermarkets. He concluded: “we hope [it] will inspire food retailers around the world to move towards zero emissions supermarkets – while making economic sense.”


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