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Project Launch: 04/01/2020

Partner: Slipstream

This research project examined the savings potential and economic viability of thermal energy storage in commercial refrigeration applications.


This research project helped ComEd better understand the market and the potential for three refrigeration thermal energy storage (TES) approaches (static thermal mass, phase change material and external storage) in their service territory. For each approach, the project team defined the market in ComEd’s territory, quantified the potential energy savings, and established the feasibility of shifting load throughout the day. The research team analyzed the economics of each approach and solicited feedback on these technologies from refrigerated warehouse and industrial food processing vendors in ComEd’s territory.

Results and Outcomes

The research demonstrated that TES in refrigerated facilities has some potential to save kWh for several ComEd customer types. TES also offers customers the ability to reduce peak demand by shifting their load. Static thermal mass is the most promising of the three strategies but is limited to freezers. The phase change material approach may also be viable. As the most expensive approach in most scenarios, external storage is likely the least viable approach in ComEd’s territory.

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