2018 | Aktiv & Irma

Energy Management in the Retail Sector

The Project

The aktiv & irma supermarket chain operates ten retail markets in the Oldenburg area in the North of Germany and is growing steadily. Anyone who does their weekly shopping at aktiv & irma is not only shopping in a grocery store with exceptional architecture, but also in an extremely energy-efficient environment. By networking almost all electrical appliances through an intelligent energy management system, electricity is generated and consumed sustainably in the supermarket.

The Challenge

In supermarkets, the electricity bill is the second largest cost item after staff. For example, refrigerating food requires a lot of energy. According to statistics from the aktiv & irma supermarket chain, electricity costs account for between just under 5% and a good 9% of a supermarket’s total costs. Behind the single-digit percentages are absolute electricity costs of usually more than 100,000 euros annually. By comparison, the annual costs for gas range between 5,000 and just under 8,000 euros, depending on the supermarket.

The Solution

coneva was able to offer a solution that is perfectly tailored to the needs of the aktiv & irma market. The energy system implemented in the supermarket not only integrates innovative hardware and software components from SMA and Danfoss.

In addition to the modules, the inverters and the battery storage, numerous monitoring devices, valves, frequency converters and controllers are installed. One of the latest innovations is the digital energy management with a holistic view and real-time optimization.

The PV system has been producing solar power on the roof of the building for a good year now. This is either consumed directly by electrical devices in the supermarket or temporarily stored in the battery storage for the time after sunset. When it is dark or when it is particularly hot and more energy is needed, the electricity then comes from the battery. It does not have to be purchased from the energy supplier at expensive rates.

The heart of the system is the coneva Gateway, which, in combination with SMA’s Data Manager, networks and controls all energy data, building management data (heating, cooling, etc.), storage system and EV charging infrastructure.

The Result

By using the software-controlled battery storage system, the system at aktiv & irma maximises the solar system’s own consumption to over 98 %. Nice side effect: With the PV-charging function of coneva Charging, self-generated PV electricity can be also made available to customers for charging their electric vehicles.

  • The coneva solution protects against an overload of the grid connection point or unwanted load peaks at any time. This ensures smooth operation and no additional costs for grid connection and grid fees. 
  • The overall system is ready for further expansion stages at any time.
  • Through the consumption of self-generated PV electricity, around 135 MWh of solar power has already been consumed directly in the supermarket since the system was commissioned in July 2018, saving around 65 tonnes of CO2. This corresponds roughly to the annual emissions of a five-person household.


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coneva Charging

coneva Charging enables intelligent control of charging processes including VIP charging and PV charging.

coneva Monitoring

With the visualization of all energy flows in the company, coneva Monitoring creates a system for energy monitoring and energy controlling.

Coneva Flex

Benefit from variable electricity tariffs with load shifting? With coneva Flex, we offer a system for flexibility marketing in your company.

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