Demand Response Opportunities in Industrial Refrigerated Warehouses in California
Industrial refrigerated warehouses that implemented energy efficiency measures and have centralized control systems can be excellent candidates for Automated Demand Response (Auto-DR) due to equipment synergies, and receptivity of facility managers to strategies that control energy costs without disrupting facility operations. Auto-DR utilizes OpenADR protocol for continuous and open communication signals over internet, allowing facilities to automate their Demand Response (DR).
Refrigerated warehouses were selected for research because: They have significant power demand especially during utility peak periods; most processes are not sensitive to short-term (2-4 hours) lower power and DR activities are often not disruptive to facility operations; the number of processes is limited and well understood; and past experience with some DR strategies successful in commercial buildings may apply to refrigerated warehouses.
This paper presents an overview of the potential for load sheds and shifts from baseline electricity use in response to DR events, along with physical configurations and operating characteristics of refrigerated warehouses. Analysis of data from two case studies and nine facilities in Pacific Gas and Electric territory, confirmed the DR abilities inherent to refrigerated warehouses but showed significant variation across facilities. Further, while load from California’s refrigerated warehouses in 2008 was 360 MW with estimated DR potential of 45-90 MW, actual achieved was much less due to low participation. Efforts to overcome barriers to increased participation may include, improved marketing and recruitment of potential DR sites, better alignment and emphasis on financial benefits of participation, and use of Auto-DR to increase consistency of participation.