Savings on open-fronted cabinets claimed with new NGR technology
Waitrose is set to reduce energy use in its stores by more than 40 per cent, after introducing new technology from Wirth Research in all its new open-fronted fridge cabinets.
Wirth’s NGR (Next Generation Refrigeration) technology helps to retain more of this air inside the fridge cabinet, meaning considerably less energy is required to keep food at the optimum temperature – resulting in substantially lower heating bills.
Four of Waitrose’s stores are now NGR-equipped – Chesham, Evesham, Dorchester and Worthing – and a phased roll-out will eventually see the technology replace existing refrigeration across the retailer’s estate. Further elements of the brand’s partnership with Wirth Research will be announced in due course, the firm said.
The technology was designed and developed using advanced 3D modelling and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. Wirth said it ’pinpoints improvements that fridge manufacturers can make to their cabinets to drive efficiency to previously unseen levels’, and builds upon the savings already generated by the firm’s EcoBlade shelf-edge twin strip, introduced by Waitrose earlier this year.
The firm reports that NGR has been laboratory-proven to cut energy usage by more than 40 per cent in standard store operating conditions, ’even surpassing what the Carbon Trust estimates would be achieved by bolting sliding or pull-out doors onto fridges.’
Whereas the EcoBlade is a retrofit option, NGR is incorporated directly into the body components and operations of the fridge from the outset. The result is ’the most aerodynamically efficient open fridge cabinet yet’, considerably enhancing the 25 per cent energy saving achieved by the EcoBlade.
Jim Burnett, senior manager of technical services for Waitrose & Partners, said: “This new technology takes the energy efficiency of our refrigeration to another level, delivering significant environmental benefits while helping to create warmer, more comfortable surroundings for our customers.”
Nick Wirth, president of Wirth Research added: “When NGR fridges are fitted throughout a store and the plant supplying the fridges is modified to suit, the capital expenditure reduction of the whole installation actually pays for NGR technology, meaning this is a no-brainer for new fridge and plant installations. NGR can be easily integrated into any OEM open fridge cabinet, and it is our aim that all fridge manufacturers ultimately sign up to this unrivalled technology.”