Formula One engineers are developing a technology which can cut the energy usage of supermarket fridges.
The engineers from Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) are developing an aerofoil which attaches to fridge shelves to keep more cool air inside.
WAE has teamed up with start-up company Aerofoil Energy to develop the product – a “wing” that controls the direction of air flow.
The device is expected to reduce the carbon footprint of stores and improve the shopping experience for customers. Previous tests using the technology have resulted in energy savings ranging from 18% to 41.5%.
Managing Director of Williams Advanced Engineering Craig Wilson said: “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.”
A number of supermarkets – where 60-70% of the energy are used by refrigerators – are evaluating the technology.
Sainsbury’s, which uses 1% of the UK’s energy in total, has been testing the product at a number of its stores.
Head of Refrigeration at Sainsbury’s John Skelton said: “This Formula One inspired innovation has already shown it can cut carbon produced by major refrigerators.”