posted 5 years ago

F1: Williams Makes Supermarket Fridges More Efficient

Formula One Know-How Transferred To Supermarkets

Williams Advanced Engineering is transferring its Formula One know-how to ensure supermarket fridges burn less power. That could be tremendously beneficial as the industry stores millions of products that have to be cooled. Refrigeration is one its largest consumers of power, and power one of the most significant costs.

Williams Advanced Engineering – the division of Williams that commercialises Formula One technology – is therefore working with UK start-up Aerofoil Energy on a concept to help supermarkets and convenience stores save money and reduce their carbon footprint.

Current Fridges Inefficient

As of now, supermarket fridges tend to propel cool through high-mounted holes that then drifts down onto the produce. The problem is that a fair percentage of the air escapes into the isles. This is financially and environmentally inefficient. It also creates the “cold isle syndrome” that some people find unpleasant.

The Solution

Williams' solution is aerofoils that are shaped to direct air efficiently. The system can be retrofitted to existing fridges. In contrast, Williams' Formula One aerofoils help its racing cars stick to the track – a trick that has earned the team numerous world titles. At night, draw-down blinds further minimise waste.

Sainsbury's Test New System

Williams says “a number of supermarkets are evaluating the aerofoil technology with promising results”. Among them is Sainsbury’s - the UK’s second largest chain – that has 1,100 stores. As part of its 20/20 Sustainability Plan, Sainsbury’s plans to reduce its “absolute operational carbon emissions” by 30% by 2020.

Sainsbury's Head of Refrigeration, John Skelton, said: “We’re proud to be giving our fridges a turbo boost with this fantastic aerodynamic technology. 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.” Mr Skelton concluded: “This Formula One inspired innovation has already shown it can cut carbon produced by major refrigerators.”

Williams Discuss Cooling

Craig Wilson, Managing Director of Williams Advanced Engineering, added: “Williams Advanced Engineering’s mantra is to take the best of Formula One technology and know-how and work with a range of industries to help improve their products and services. Much of our work focuses on improving energy efficiency and the collaboration with Aerofoil Energy is a perfect example of how Formula One innovations can have a tangible benefit to ordinary people and the environment. This technology has global potential and the savings in operational costs and emissions are extremely promising.”