Grid Fruit is developing and evaluating a novel technology and operating framework for monitoring and control of commercial refrigeration systems installed at food retailers.

Grid Fruit uses artificial intelligence (AI) and data to keep food fresh while reducing the energy needed for commercial refrigeration. The technology simultaneously procures savings for food retailers and provides grid services for electrical utilities.

Grid Fruit evaluates and then improves the performance of refrigeration systems in terms of energy and food quality. They plan to leverage this information for intelligent asset management including fault detection and predictive maintenance.

Grid Fruit will also improve performance of refrigeration systems by providing custom operational recommendations. Finally, with better monitoring and control the technology will be able to leverage thermal storage capacity of retailer refrigeration systems as energy storage (thermal batteries) for the grid.

Grid Fruit is enrolled in ORNL’s Innovation Crossroads program. TAEBC and Launch Tennessee provide non-exclusive business mentoring services to the Innovation Crossroads Innovators.

Innovation Crossroads is a new program based at ORNL that matches aspiring energy entrepreneurs with the experts, mentors, and networks in technology-related fields to take their world-changing ideas from R&D to the marketplace.

The Tennessee Valley Authority joins Innovation Crossroads as a program sponsor enabling an innovator focused on energy-related research. Innovation Crossroads is also sponsored by DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.

Several entrepreneurs have been selected to transform their ideas into clean energy companies with financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Innovators receive a fellowship that covers living costs, benefits and a travel stipend for up to two years, plus up to $350,000 to use on collaborative research and development at ORNL.