The first ever refrigerated display cabinets, incorporating Adande® Refrigeration’s Aircell® technology, have been installed at the new Tesco Extra eco store in Lincoln. Aircell® is a patented airflow management system, designed for open front refrigerated multi deck cabinets. The technology was designed and developed by Adande®, with extensive prototyping, testing, validation and support from refrigeration consultants, ECH Engineering.
Two 2.5 m refrigerated display cabinets have been installed at the store for the display of sandwiches, snacks and soft drinks. The cabinets were manufactured by Manor Concepts under a licence agreement from Adande®. Manor Concepts incorporated the Aircell® system within its proven ‘Viper’ remote cabinet design and manufactured the prototype models to make the project a commercial reality within a demanding time schedule.
The design of new 80,000 sq ft Tesco Extra eco store, which is built on the site of an old open coal mine, has been driven by innovation, sustainability and customer connectivity. The design features roof lights which flood the store with natural light, a CO2 refrigeration system and a heat recovery process, which takes heat generated by the refrigeration units and re-circulates it back through the store. It is also the first Tesco Extra store which uses only LED lights.
The Aircell® concept avoids the need to fit physical barriers, such as glass doors, to the front of multi deck cabinets to achieve energy savings. To the shopper, Aircell® retail displays appear no different to conventional open front multi deck display cabinets, providing ease of access to shelves for unhindered browsing, shopping and restocking.
In addition to its shopper friendly characteristics, Aircell® is engineered to deliver significant energy savings. Aircell® segments standard retail cabinets into a series of air flow managed cells with short air curtains. Consequently, there is less pressure on the air curtain of each cell, resulting in a substantial reduction in cold air spillage from the case, so less energy is required to maintain the chilled temperature within the cabinet. The fact that less cold air spills from the cabinet also reduces cold aisle syndrome, which is the chilly and often uncomfortable temperature experienced by shoppers in the refrigerated departments of supermarkets.
The inherently stable temperature in Aircell® cabinets will also help to maintain the quality and appearance of chilled food over longer periods, reducing the volume of perishable merchandise which may be price discounted or thrown away.
Tesco Head of Refrigeration, Joe Gomez, stated: “We view Aircell® technology as a good fit with our environmental and customer focused objectives. It affords shoppers unhindered access to merchandise for ease of shopping. We will be monitoring the cabinets’ energy consumption, product display temperature stability and the effect on cold aisle syndrome against key performance indicators as part of this trial installation.”
Adande® Chairman, Nigel Bell, added: “This installation is an important breakthrough in the evolution of Aircell®. It is the result of hard work and committed cooperation between Adande®, ECH Engineering and Manor Concepts. It also highlights the environmental vision of the Tesco refrigeration and engineering team.”
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