Sainsbury's rolls out Formula 1 inspired fridge technology
The aerofoils are being introduced in aisles with products such as cheese, yoghurts and meat. Sainsbury’s said they will account for an energy reduction that equates to over 320M+ kettles boiled and 360M+ toaster pops-ups. While the fridges will remain at the same temperature to keep food cool and fresh, the aisles will be warmer by up to 4°C.
The technology, which borrows from the world of Formula 1, prevents cold air from the fridges spilling out into the aisle by steering it directly back down into the fridge unit. The principle for the technology replicates aerofoil design with an aerodynamic ‘profile’ that redirects air flow, similar to those seen on cars. The aerofoil system is attached to the front of the refrigerator unit shelves to keep more of the cool air inside the fridges in the cold aisle of a supermarket.
The new fridge technology will be installed across the Sainsbury’s estate by the middle of 2018.
Paul Crewe, head of sustainability at Sainsbury’s, said: “By keeping the cold air in our fridges using this technology, we’ll see an energy reduction of up to 15% which, when multiplied across all of our stores is a significant amount of energy saved. By looking outside of our industry, and borrowing technology from an industry that is renowned for its speed and efficiency, we are accelerating how we are reducing the impact on the environment whilst making shopping in Sainsbury’s stores a more comfortable experience.”
Williams Advanced Engineering has created the technology in collaboration with UK start-up Aerofoil Energy.
Craig Wilson, managing director of Williams Advanced Engineering, added: “Our collaboration with Aerofoil Energy is a perfect example of how Formula 1 derived innovations can have a tangible benefit to the general public, and the environment. This technology has global potential and, the extensive tests we have carried out with the support of Sainsbury’s, have shown the significant savings in operational costs and emissions are extremely promising.”
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