Creating technology to give cooling systems higher efficiency

A strong collaboration partner and C-KIC accelerator membership gave ChillServices a kick start on their journey.

SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT of food is thrown away by households, because it doesn’t look attractive or edible anymore. In supermarkets, vast amounts of food and energy is wasted because of non-efficient cooling systems. This problem was the starting point for a unique collaboration, culminating in the startup ChillServices, between the REWE supermarket chain in northern Germany and a research team lead by York Ostermeyer, at that time postdoc at ETH Zürich.

CHILLSERVICES DEVELOPED A product and a service that make cooling systems in supermarkets more efficient by optimizing the temperature reading in cabinets. The energy savings lead to three to five percent less CO2eq emissions and better cooling makes the food look good for a longer time, thereby contribute to less food waste.
– With only a few clicks, we install the system and via the smartphone app we monitor and ensure the quality. We also generate a lot of data that can be used to tailor further services to our client and enable him to better benchmark and manage his stock. The energy saving that we enable is actually quite an achievement, as REWE is already the most advanced supermarket in terms of energy efficiency in Germany, Ostermeyer says.

THE EARLY COLLABORATION with REWE hurried the development and the first prototype was ready after a short time. The willingness of REWE to test the prototypes in their markets was a key factor of success, substituting a lot of lab work with much more realistic data and insights, saving years of development work.

CHALMERS INNOVATION OFFICE has helped ChillServices with the funding of a patentability search and supported in the application to the Climate-KIC accelerator.

– Climate-KIC enabled our team to turn research findings from previous projects into a commercial product and service, Ostermeyer says.
IN 2016 THE, the first commercial products were produced and an order for 50 REWE supermarkets was placed. By the end of 2017, 350 markets and around 8000 cabinets will have been improved. A significant interest from other chains has been seen.