Aerodynamic technology developed in Macclesfield alongside F1 racing giant Williams is helping to slash energy use in Sainsbury’s fridges, putting it in the running for a prestigious engineering award.
The energy saving device, developed by Aerofoil Energy Ltd, was inspired by the aerodynamically efficient rear wing on a Williams Formula One racing car.
How it works
The device works by directing the cold air blown into the top of open-fronted fridges back into the fridge cabinet, keeping the fridge cooler and the shopping aisle warmer.
Sainsbury’s found that retrofitting aerofoils to fridge shelves kept goods cold whilst warming up shopping aisles by up to 4°C, reducing energy consumption by around 15 per cent and improving comfort for customers in the process.
The supermarket retailer is now rolling out the technology across all of its UK stores and fitting them to new fridge units as standard.
Following this success, the technology has been shortlisted for a Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award - described as the UK’s longest-running and most prestigious national prize for engineering innovation.
Paul McAndrew, chief executive of Aerofoil Energy, praised the “great partnership” between the company and Williams Advanced Engineering, which provided its expertise in aerodynamics developed over four decades of F1 racing.
“It’s an honour for us to be through to the final three for the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award”, he said.
“[The technology] is delivering tangible benefits to our supermarket customers, the environment and customers across the UK, with potential for worldwide application. We’re excited about where the future might take Aerofoil.”