Engineers have radically changed lives for the better over the years, solving problems, improving safety and contributing to the quality of life. That is why the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) has created an exhibition dedicated to the 100 engineering ideas that have changed the world.
Having been named one of the top innovators at the IET’s 2016 Innovation Awards, Williams Advanced Engineering and Aerofoil Energy’s retrofittable aerofoil that can be attached to supermarket fridges is part of the exhibition.
The Horizontal Innovation Award recognised the effective transfer of knowledge and technology from one sector to another based upon pre-existing technologies and processes, and delivering huge potential benefits in terms of scale, time to market and relative costs.
Energy consumption makes up a significant percentage of a supermarket’s operational costs, with energy hungry refrigerators that keep the produce cool the largest consumer of power. Open fronted multi deck refrigerators that line the aisles of supermarkets consume excessive energy, with some of the cold air used to cool produce spilling out into the aisles resulting in increased energy consumption and “cold aisle syndrome” which can be unpleasant for shoppers.
Aerofoils are carefully designed and engineered profiles that control the direction of air flow. The Aerofoil attaches onto each refrigerator shelf to keep more of the cool air inside the refrigerator cabinet. This innovative technology will result in significant energy savings for supermarkets and convenience stores, with corresponding benefits for their carbon footprint. The technology will also make the shopping experience more pleasant for consumers.
Aerofoil is currently being used in some stores by Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi, Waitrose, The Coop, Shell, Boots, Nisa, Costcutter and Spar.
The exhibition is currently installed at Savoy Place, the new, cutting edge home of the IET that is open to the public.