A More Renewable-Friendly Electrical Grid: Thermal Storage Refrigeration for Demand Response in California and Denmark


Energy storage technologies, which enable demand response, are being explored throughout the world as a component of strategies for switching to renewable intermittent energy sources and reducing peak loads. This study examines thermal storage refrigeration (TSR) technology as a case study for the potential value of demand response in California and Denmark. Using technical specifications from a TSR prototype developed at UC Davis and market data from California and Denmark, the analysis examines possible business models for the TSR refrigerators and highlights market characteristics that are important to its adoption. Results suggest that the TSR technology is not a viable option in the current market environment in Denmark, but could payback in less than 6 years in California if a part of a demand response based virtual power plant. In a hypothetical future scenario involving real-time pricing in the retail market, a high degree of price volatility would be needed to make TSR technology appealing to residential consumers. Based on this analysis, an interesting area of future work would focus on the market potential of TSR technology for commercial and industrial applications.

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K. Kornbluth, J. Cook and P. Erickson, "A More Renewable-Friendly Electrical Grid: Thermal Storage Refrigeration for Demand Response in California and Denmark," Smart Grid and Renewable Energy, Vol. 3 No. 4, 2012, pp. 316-323. doi: 10.4236/sgre.2012.34042.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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