Surplus Heating from Supermarket’s Cooling  

System Used in Danish District Heating Network


Thanks to cooperation between Danfoss and Sønderborg District Heating, a Danish supermarket on the island of Als in Denmark, is also a district heating supplier. Residents living near the SuperBrugsen supermarket have their district heating supplied from the recovered surplus heat from the cooling system in SuperBrugsen, and thereby help contribute to reducing CO2 emissions.

Around 20 Danish supermarkets send surplus heat to the district heating networks – now also in Høruphav, a small town in Southern Denmark. With this investment, the Danish supermarket chain, SuperBrugsen, will make a difference for the environment, because heat recovery reduces the impact of CO2 emissions on the environment.

“Currently, we see the potential of refrigeration systems in not only Denmark, but worldwide, to become an integrated part of the distributed district heating network. This means that supermarkets or butcheries with large refrigeration systems, or in principle all undertakings with large refrigeration systems, may shift from being consumers of energy to also become suppliers of energy. Until only a few years ago, the big news was that you could utilise the heat in refrigeration systems to heat supermarkets. Today, this technology is applied in most new supermarkets, but now, the very same supermarkets can also supply heat to private homes, which are located nearby,” says Danfoss engineer Torben Green, who is part of the project team behind the development of the solution in Høruphav.

“It is slightly more expensive installing the solution in old stores, but all new supermarkets should reuse the surplus heat from the refrigeration system as district heating. It is much cheaper to set up the solution when you begin to build a new store,” says Torben Green.

District heating get key role in energy systems of the future

“Calculations show that the surplus heat from SuperBrugsen will supply 16 so-called standard homes of 130m² annually. The project has been smooth, and has been run in close cooperation with Danfoss and SuperBrugsen,” says department head Jan Due Kristensen, Sønderborg District Heating.

“This is a great example of how to incorporate district heating as a two-way energy infrastructure to distribute and thereby utilise energy, which would otherwise have been lost. Based on the political objectives of phasing out fossil fuels and utilising renewable energy and surplus energy sources to a greater extent, district heating will play a key role for the urban energy systems of the future,” says head of development Jan Eric Thorsen, Danfoss Heating.

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