With the Project:
Ice Storage

Coop is always on the lookout for new measures, helping them to reach their energy and CO2 vision. The photovoltaic system on the roof of the point of sale in the community of Etagnières produces surplus electricity, especially on Sundays. Usually, it is fed into the grid which leads to an excessive burden on the power grid due to performance fluctuations. Thanks to the deployed ice storage, the surplus electricity can be stored in the form of ice and then be used for cooling purposes in the point of sale.


In 2008, Coop decided to reach CO2 neutrality by 2024. During the last years, several measures have been implemented in all of the points of sale, the distribution centres, the logistics and their own production facilities. In order to reach this ambitious goal and to keep their pioneering role, new technologies are being tested and implemented in pilot projects. When the pilot project proves to be a success, the new strategy can be implemented in the points of sale. Wherever possible, photovoltaic systems are already in use. However, the energy production and consumption are not always congruent, especially on Sundays. This fact has led to the start of a new pilot project.


Making up 60% of the total yearly electricity consumption, the use of cooling energy is the largest consumer. Thanks to the implementation of the ice storage, the energy consumption for cooling energy can therefore be reduced. This concept relieves the power grid and increases the private use of the photovoltaic system from 60% to over 90%. Since this project is a pilot project, the ice storage is currently in use at one point of sale. After the successful execution of the yearlong trial run, it could be extended to other branches.


There are huge changes going on in the energy branch. More and more small and decentralised power plants as well as larger facilities are producing renewable energy on a fluctuating level. This is a burden on the power grid which is designed for few and large power plants with a consistent level of energy production. At the same time, the expansion of renewable energies is crucial in order to keep CO2 emissions at a low level. This pioneer project uses an ice storage as a latent storage unit which stores energy in the form of ice, allowing for its use when needed. Smart operation of this system can guarantee the stabilisation of the power grid on a certain area or even in whole communities.


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