Improving refrigeration display case efficiency

© adisa, #122168916, 2018, source:


Energy Carbon
Wholesale and retail trade (exc. motor vehicles)
Investment cost:
Medium cost
Payback time:
For example, € 460 per metre of retrofitted display case with 40 % energy savings
Medium cost
Associated cost savings: Energy
Size of company:
Micro (less than 10)

Food and product display cases are integral features of the customer browsing experience and vital to maintaining product quality, especially cooled displays and refrigeration cases. 

Little-known but effective display case practices can help shops and handlers save on energy and improve overall performance. Interaction between display cases and the surroundings is one of the most important aspects. 

One of the best energy saving options is to install doors or covers to avoid outside air entering the unit and cool air being lost. This is a major contributor to 'heat gain' in vertical cabinets (64 %) and significant in horizontal display cases (23 %).

Installation of glass covers or lids in horizontal chest freezers is a common practice in many retail stores today. Although the ratio of heat loss is not as high, it soon pays back the cost of installation. Heat gain through radiation can also be avoided with thin metal layers on the glass doors.

How often the display cases are opened has a big influence on the performance of these freezers as well. Notices and stickers informing customers to choose the product before opening the door or cover can reduce the frequency, thus saving energy and, ultimately, reducing CO2 emissions.

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