UK: Aerofoil Energy, the company behind the energy-saving aerofoil shelf strip adopted by most UK supermarkets, is to provide free access to some 20 technology patents.
The company’s Vortex technology uses CFD to address inefficiencies in the flow of cold air in and around a refrigerated cabinet. It works alongside Aerofoils to further increase energy efficiency and improve the product temperatures of supermarket refrigeration. The technology has been developed in collaboration with technical partner Williams Advanced Engineering to improve the aerodynamic and thermodynamic performance of open-fronted fridges and covers some 20 patents.
The Aerofoils, which attach to the shelf strips of multipack cabinets to reduce cold air spillage, were first introduced in 2015. They are now supplied to five of the largest supermarket chains in the UK and can be seen in over 4,000 stores.
In laboratory testing, the combination of Aerofoils and Vortex technology is said to have doubled energy savings to as high as 52%. As a result, the company claims that open-fronted fridges can now perform as effectively as those with glass doors.
The Vortex technology is particularly suitable for new-build fridges because it can be incorporated into the existing assembly process on a very low-cost or no-cost basis. It has already been adopted in some existing fridges spanning over a thousand UK stores.
With this new offer supermarkets that have specified Aerofoil technology can now order new cabinets from their preferred manufacturers with Vortex technology built-in and royalty-free. Four of the UK’s leading grocers are said to have already taken up this offer and are in the advanced testing and deployment stages.
The UK technology company has already transformed supermarket refrigeration in terms of energy efficiency and emissions, through the roll-out of its Aerofoils to virtually all of the leading chains including Sainsbury’s, Asda, M&S and Tesco.
With Aerofoils already said to be reducing supermarkets refrigeration energy costs by an average of 15 to 20%, Paul McAndrew, Aerofoil Energy’s founder and CEO said: “Our Aerofoil technology already saves 150,000 tonnes of CO2 every year in the UK alone but we know we can do more. We are gifting our suite of Vortex technology to speed up take-up across the grocery industry with the dual aims of reducing UK CO2 emissions by 1 million tonnes per year and enabling supermarkets to commit and deliver on net zero targets.”