UK: Supermarket group Asda is set to adopt an energy-saving aerofoil device on refrigerated cabinets in 187 of its stores.

The Aerofoils, developed by Williams Advanced Engineering, the technology and engineering services business of the Williams Group, in collaboration with UK company Aerofoil Energy, attach to the shelf strips of multipack cabinets to reduce cold air spillage.

The device is based on the aerodynamic technology employed in racing cars and is similar in appearance to the rear wing of a Formula 1 car. Cold air is said to be guided down the fridge more efficiently, resulting in reductions in refrigeration energy costs of around 17%, leading to fewer carbon emissions and warmer shops. Initial results from tests in the US also show an increased shelf life of produce, helping to reduce food waste.

“Like all the Walmart family, we’re committed to lowering our energy use, with a target of a 30% reduction in energy intensity by 2025 from our 2010 baseline,” said Brian Churchyard, Asda’s senior manager for construction design standards. “The rollout of Aerofoils, alongside other initiatives we’re undertaking, such as moving to 100% LED sales floor lighting this year, will significantly help us in achieving this target, as well as improving the shopping experience for our customers.”

The Aerofoil has won a number of awards and was most recently a finalist with the Royal Academy of Engineering for their MacRobert Award, the UK’s most prestigious and longest-running engineering prize.

Aerofoil Energy worked closely with Williams Advanced Engineering to refine the original Aerofoil concept, using Williams’ proven expertise in aerodynamic design and testing from four decades of success in Formula One racing. Williams’ Advanced Engineering division uses computational fluid dynamics to model and simulate new designs before testing them at the Williams technical facility in Oxfordshire.

“It is great to see such a well-known and respected brand as Asda choosing to install Aerofoils,” said Paul McAndrew, CEO of Aerofoil Energy Ltd.  “From an idea I had a few years ago, through working with Williams to refine and produce it, to now seeing Aerofoils in operation in supermarkets, this is a proud day for me and the Aerofoil team.”

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