The system, designed by U.K-based Wirth Research, keeps cold air inside open display cases.
Display of the Ecoblade shelf-edge system at the FMI Energy & Store Development Conference in Dallas, Texas.
At the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Energy & Store Development Conference in Dallas, Texas, yesterday, Dover Food Retail unveiled for the North American market the Ecoblade, a shelf-edge technology designed to reduce energy consumption and improve product temperatures in Hillphoenix open refrigerated display cases.
The FMI Energy & Store Development Conference continues through Wednesday of this week.
Dover (which comprises Hillphoenix and Anthony) is collaborating with U.K-based Wirth Research, designers of various U.K. systems including Ecoblade for about 349 Waitrose stores, said Nick Wirth, president and technical director at Wirth Research, at the FMI event. More than half of those stores use water-cooled hydrocarbon self-contained display cabinets – with propane (R1270) in most of them and propane (R290) in the remainder, explained Geoff Amos, co-founder of NRMS Global, a U.K. design, manufacturing and consulting firm.
Other U.K. retailers employing the Wirth system “mainly use CO2 refrigerant,” said Wirth. In the U.K., Wirth partners with NRMS, Carter Retail Equipment, Koxka and others. In North America, Hillphoenix has sold more than 500 transcritical CO2 racks including full-size systems (called Advansor) and downsized units (called AdvansorFlex).
In the U.K., Asda, a division of Walmart, is employing a similar shelf-edge technology called Aerofoil.
Ecoblade is a patented two-blade system that manages the airflow directly in front of the shelves within open multi-deck cases. Attached directly to either flat or angled shelves in Hillphoenix open display cases, it ensures that cool air remains inside the case, thereby providing more efficient refrigeration and reducing energy consumption by up to 33%, said Dover Retail in a statement announcing the product.
The technology behind Ecoblade incorporates “the same techniques that streamline airflow more efficiently around race cars to enable them to corner at high speeds,” said Dover Retail.
"Ecoblade offers industry-best energy and food temperature performance to retailers for open multi-deck refrigerated cases, especially for merchandising perishable meat products," said Anshuman Bhargava, director of product management with Dover Food Retail, based on Conyers, Ga., U.S.
The system is being tested by several large U.S. retailers “with one already making the commitment to specify for use in all new stores,” said Bhargava. It can be used with Hillphoenix cases and also retrofitted on existing cases.
"We are delighted to be working with Hillphoeni," said Wirth."It is a fantastic endorsement of our technology and services to be partnering with one of the largest refrigeration OEMs in the world. We look forward to accelerated adoption of our technology and helping U.S. grocers and shoppers make their contribution to the planet by saving energy and cutting carbon dioxide emissions."
“We look forward to accelerated adoption of our technology and helping U.S. grocers and shoppers make their contribution to the planet by saving energy and cutting carbon dioxide emissions."
– Nick Wirth, Wirth Research