Solar and frozen fish??

Monday, September 13, 2021
Veli Markovic

Solar and it's %$$## freezing!!

It's a no brainer!

Cold storage facilities and solar and in this presentation we look at how much energy is required in these facilities, available roof area to load ratios and what a business owner can do to combat rising electricity prices. Great information for business owners looking at commercial solar and renewable energy installers and designers alike.

Step by step 

In this presentation we will be looking at the energy requirements for cold storage facilities from a commercial solar perspective.

An example

Have a facility of around 1200 cubic metres and it takes 0.75 kWh/day* to cool 1 x cubic metre and the total kWh used per day is 900 kWh. 

* total of all loads required to cool to 4 degrees C and below

What are the loads?

900 kWh/day is how much energy is consumed:

  • On your bill you pay, for example $0.25 per kWh
  • Cost to to run per day is $225
  • Equates to $82,125 every year

In the case of this site the vast majority of the loads was refrigeration.


Usually two main types:

  • Electrical loads - office loads, cold storage facility loads
  • Gas, natural or LPG, office heating, hot water, etc

Some energy management options

The business owners has quite a few options at their disposal which include:

  • Full energy audit of site
  • Installation of a renewable energy system
  • More comprehensive cold storage facility management software

Cost benefit analysis is required.

What is my average daily load?

  • The average amount of electricity consumed per day in kWh
  • Available from your electricity bill
  • Shows how much per day but not when you use it

Interval data, what is it?

  • It is multiple snapshots of energy consumption on site
  • Usually in half hour increments if obtained from your smart meter
  • What’s being consumed at 8.00 pm and 4.30 am for example

Interval data is needed as solar obviously only works during daylight hours and because of the discrepancy between the import and export tariff system design needs to optimise self consumption as much as possible.

Interval data, why is it important?

This is because getting a commercial solar system for your business is mainly based on financial considerations.

If you are saving energy at a cost of $0.25/ kWh don’t really want to sell excess at say $0.07 /kWh.

By analysing the interval data the commercial solar system designer can come up with the best system financially.  

Cold storage facility, actual case study

Had an average daily load of over 600 kWh but the roof only allowed a maximum of 100 kW of panels.

What direction and tilt to install the panels??

100 kW West facing @ 10 degrees

100 kW East facing @ 10 degrees

100 kW North facing @ 10 degrees


Cold storage loads are fairly stable and it takes 0.75 kWh/day* to cool 1 x cubic metre. Commercial solar takes into account average daily loads and the interval data is also required. In many cases roof logistics will also determine how the system is designed.

If you’d like to see more of what Greenwood Solutions get up to in the real world of renewable energy, solar, battery storage and grid protection check out the following pages:

About the author

Veli Markovic

CEC Designer
Veli has nearly two decades of experience in the renewable industry. He is passionate about providing people with valuable education and is highly regarded throughout the industry as an educator and operator.
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