Williams Technology Centre in Qatar and Sainsbury’s form technology collaboration; MLC flywheel energy storage for stationary applications

Sainsbury’s and Williams F1 will collaborate to apply Formula One-inspired technologies being developed at the Williams Technology Centre (WTC) in Qatar to help the supermarket group increase its energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The partnership will also see advanced vehicle simulator technology used to support the training and development of Sainsbury’s drivers to enhance both energy efficiency and safety.

The two announced two specific projects, with further areas of related collaboration under active discussion.

The first project will explore the adoption and use of Williams F1’s proprietary stationary high-momentum MLC flywheel systems (earlier post) in Sainsbury’s extensive network of depots and stores in the UK. The energy storage technology is expected to help Sainsbury’s support the introduction of distributed renewable energy generation, reduce energy consumption and increase reliability. The technology is a transient energy storage system, first developed for use in Formula One racing and now being scaled for a wide range of industrial and civil applications at the WTC which is headquartered at the Qatar Science & Technology Park in Doha, Qatar.

The second area of co-operation is in the advanced training of road haulage operators who drive Sainsbury’s fleet of HGV and online delivery vehicles, using Williams F1’s driver-in-the-loop vehicle simulator technologies. The simulator technology, again developed initially for the advanced training of Formula One drivers, is being further developed and extended at the WTC in Qatar to address a wide range of professional driver tuition and road safety applications. The technology allows high-fidelity advanced training to be conducted in a controlled environment across varied contexts with the benefit of repeatability to enable assessment and skills improvement.

The objectives of the simulator program are to create a best-in-class standard of driver training to improve road safety as well as to develop driving skills that will minimize fuel consumption, thereby making a significant contribution to the efficiency of the Sainsbury’s fleet.

Sainsbury’s aims to reduce its CO2 emissions per square meter by 25% by 2012; energy-related pilot programs to date have addressed supply (wind, solar and geothermal energy for example) as well as consumption (LED lighting, CO2 refrigeration).

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