Study of the potential for waste energy recovery from a refrigerated warehouse

District heating from refrigerated warehouses?


Recovering waste heat from urban infrastructure (water treatment plants, datacentres, household waste incineration plants, refrigerated warehouses, laundries, glassworks, etc.) is a way of adding to the urban energy mix and enabling the infrastructure to engage in its own energy transition.
Efficacity specifically studies waste heat recovery from refrigerated warehouses.

Case study

Efficacity carried out a case study on the Sofrilog refrigerated warehouse in Trappes (78), to examine the feasibility of supplying heating to buildings or to a district adjacent to a refrigerated warehouse, by means of a district heating system.

The 24,000 m2 refrigerated warehouse is located close to a large and fairly densely populated district (La Verrière), comprising some 45,000 m2 built on a total of 5 hectares (car parks included).


The approach employed was divided into the following stages:

  • Analysis of warehouse electricity consumption to characterise the waste energy available (quantity, temperature, intermittence, etc.) ;
  • Thermal characterisation of the district over a one-year period (modelling the load curve) ;
  • Choice of recovery technology (heat pumps, exchangers).

This made it possible to produce the new energy balance for the production mix and to study the impact in terms of primary energy and C02 .


Coupling the Sofrilog refrigerated warehouse to the La Verrière district would, in order of magnitude, reduce C02 emissions by 60%.

The energy mix would then consist of 53% R&REN. Overall system performance is compromised, however, when all auxiliary power consumption is factored in (circulator pumps in particular).

Such a coupling would also reduce cooling tower water consumption.

The financial aspects, including the recovery of the waste energy and its distribution via a district heating system, remain to be considered.

Client Sofrilog

Dates 2017

Members EDF R&D

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Un éventuel couplage entre l’entrepôt frigorifique Sofrilog et le quartier de la Verrière permettrait, en ordre de grandeur, de faire chuter les émissions de C02 de 60%