Sainsbury’s partners with Williams F1 to accelerate energy-savings in supermarket ‘first’


Sainsbury’s is the first UK supermarket to roll out revolutionary Formula 1 inspired aerofoil technology on fridges in the cold aisles across all of its stores.  The new energy saving technology helps to chill food to the same temperature whilst making the aisles warmer for customers.

The aerofoils, which will be introduced in aisles stocking products such as cheese, yoghurts and meat, will account for an energy reduction that equates to over 320M+ kettles boiled and 360M+ toaster pops-ups.   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 – helping to make the shopping experience more comfortable for customers.

The state-of-the-art aerofoil technology, which borrows from the fast-paced 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, Sainsbury’s, said; “By keeping the cold air in our fridges using this technology, we’ll see an energy reduction of up to 15% 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: ““Our collaboration with Aerofoil Energy is a perfect example of how Formula One derived innovations can have a tangible benefit to the general public, and the environment. 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.”

Williams Advanced Engineering, the division of Williams that commercialises Formula One derived innovation and expertise, has created the technology in collaboration with UK start-up Aerofoil Energy.

Paul McAndrew, managing director of Aerofoil Energy, commented: “Bringing a new technology to market is extremely challenging, but we have been fortunate to have a great partner in Williams Advanced Engineering and the support of Sainsbury’s. This announcement of a mass scale roll-out of our technology across Sainsbury’s signals the successful conclusion of several years of extensive development work, which can benefit retailers in the UK and globally in significantly reducing carbon emissions.”