Data Driven Futures
Why do we cut corners

Sainsbury’s rolls out F1-inspired cold aisle tech

Written by Anthony Strzalek

Sainsbury’s has begun to roll out Formula 1 inspired aerofoil technology on fridges in the cold aisles across all of its stores – technology which helps to chill food to the same temperature whilst making the aisles warmer for customers.

The UK supermarket giant has partnered with Williams F1 to introduce aerofoils, which will be used in aisles stocking products such as cheese, yoghurts and meat. The initiative is expected to deliver energy reductions of up to 15 per cent.

The fridges will remain at the same temperature to keep food cool and fresh, however the aisles will be warmer for customers by up to 4°C – in an effort to make the shopping experience more comfortable for customers.

The state-of-the-art aerofoil technology, which has been borrowed from the world of Formula 1, prevents cold air from the fridges spilling out into the aisle by steering it directly back down into the fridge unit.

The principle for the technology replicates aerofoil design with an aerodynamic ‘profile’ that redirects air flow, similar to those seen on cars. The aerofoil system is attached to the front of the refrigerator unit shelves to keep more of the cool air inside the fridges in the cold aisle of a supermarket.

The new fridge technology will be installed across the Sainsbury’s estate by the middle of 2018 and Sainsbury’s will be the first retailer to retrofit the technology on such a large scale.

Paul Crewe, head of sustainability at Sainsbury’s, said: “By keeping the cold air in our fridges using this technology, we’ll see an energy reduction of up to 15 per cent 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.”

Craig Wilson, managing director of Williams Advanced Engineering, added: “This technology has global potential and, the extensive tests we have carried out with the support of Sainsbury’s, have shown the significant savings in operational costs and emissions are extremely promising.”