Nov 15, 2017

  • Sainsbury’s and Williams collaborate to roll out a ground-breaking Aerofoil that will reduce energy consumption across 1,400 supermarkets and stores in the UK
  • Installation of the Aerofoil will cut energy consumption by 44m kWh every year, equivalent to 320million kettles boiled
  • New system helps to keep fridges cold whilst warming up the aisles for customers by up to 4°C

WAE, the technology and engineering business of the Williams Group, today announces that an aerofoil that can reduce the energy consumed by refrigerators by up to 30% will be rolled out across every Sainsbury’s supermarket.

Energy consumption makes up a significant percentage of a supermarket’s operational costs, with energy-hungry refrigerators that keep the produce cool the largest consumer of power. Sainsbury’s shoppers will no longer feel the chill of cold air spilling out to supermarket aisles.

The device, which has been inspired by the aerodynamically efficient rear wing on a Williams Formula One car, has shown significant reductions in energy consumption (up to 30% in lab testing), and has been trialled in 50 Sainsbury’s stores. Sainsbury’s, the UK’s second largest supermarket chain, will install Aerofoils as part of a significant retrofit programme, whilst all new fridges will be fitted with the technology as standard moving forward.

WAE worked closely with UK start-up Aerofoil Energy Ltd. to develop the device using its expertise in aero and thermodynamics, part of its growth strategy to commercialise sustainable technology.

Craig Wilson, Managing Director at WAE, commented: “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.”

Sainsbury’s Head of Sustainability, Engineering, Energy and Environment, Paul Crewe, commented: “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.”

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