Williams Advanced Engineering announced last Wednesday that it has partnered with Aerofoil Energy Ltd. to develop an aerofoil that can reduce energy consumption by refrigerators by up to 30 per cent. The Williams Group business will provide the aerofoil to Sainsbury’s supermarkets with the hope of reducing operational costs, as well as controlling temperature levels and energy use.
Aerofoils control the direction of air flow, and installation at supermarkets will ensure that cool air stays inside the refrigerators rather than allowing it to leak out into the aisles, resulting in energy savings for stores, a reduced carbon footprint, and a better shopping experience for customers who no longer freeze while perusing the grocery aisles.
A Williams Formula One car provided inspiration for the device, which has been shown to significantly reduce energy consumption in lab testing that occurred in 50 of Sainsbury’s 1,100 stores. Sainsbury’s has committed to lowering carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2020, and the aerofoils will go a long way in helping to accomplish that goal. The device will be installed as part of a retrofit programme, and it will be a standard feature in refrigerators going forward.
John Skelton, Head of Refrigeration at Sainsbury’s, commented on the effects of these aerofoils as seen through testing. “We’re proud to be giving our fridges a turbo boost with this fantastic aerodynamic technology,” he said. “Aerofoils help the airflow around Formula One cars and can improve their performance, and that’s exactly how they help the fridges in our stores, by keeping the cold air in. This Formula One-inspired innovation has already shown it can cut carbon produced by major refrigerators.”
Williams Advanced Engineering’s Managing Director Craig Wilson stated, “Working with Sainsbury’s shows how Formula One can be a vehicle for change and is another example of how we engineer advantage for our customers. As air quality and sustainability concerns revolutionize traditional industries, there is huge growth potential for our business in deploying energy efficient technology in a range of sectors, not just automotive. Formula One is the ultimate R&D platform, which can be applied beyond the racetrack to solve some of society’s most demanding challenges.”
Paul Crewe, Sainsbury’s Head of Sustainability, Engineering, Energy, and Environment, added, “By keeping the cold air in our fridges using this technology, we’ll see an energy reduction of up to 15 per cent, 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.