F1 Aerodynamics Give Refrigerators a Turbo Boost

Bryan Kilgore for Zondits, May 1, 2015. Image credit: Hans

Aerodynamic designs inspired by Formula One engineering could save up to 41.5% of the energy in grocery store refrigeration. The principle is similar to how a Formula One race car is designed with aerodynamic features directing air around the car, reducing drag force. An airfoil device can be attached to existing grocery store refrigerators to limit cold air escaping to the aisle, thus increasing efficiency. This will provide efficiency improvements similar to an air curtain, but without requiring a blower. This product is being designed by a company experienced with commercializing Williams Advanced Engineering, which specializes in commercializing Formula One technology.


Williams uses F1 tech to increase refrigerator efficiency

Gizmag, April 24, 2015

A new aerodynamic device has the potential to reduce the energy consumption of supermarket refrigerators by up to 41.5 percent. The product, currently being developed by Williams Advanced Engineering in collaboration with Aerofoil Energy, can be clipped onto existing cabinets, making it easy for companies to upgrade their stores.

Supermarkets and convenience stores consume a huge amount of energy every year. A single 30,000 sq ft (2,787 sq m) supermarket uses in the region of 1.5 million kWh of energy a year, and with the biggest four supermarket operators in the UK running some 2,300 stores combined, the energy figures for the industry are off the chart, running into the billions of kWh’s every year.

Refrigerators in supermarkets and convenience stores are responsible for a large chunk of that energy consumption – according to Williams Advanced Engineering, as much as 70 percent. The company, a division of Williams that commercializes Formula One developed technologies, believes that aerofoils (also known as airfoils) can play a part in increasing efficiency.

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