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'Invisible' door to save energy in Waitrose trial

An ‘invisible door’ system is to be trialled at Waitrose stores, in a bid to reduce energy bills.

The AirDoor product from Wirth Research prevents warm air from leaving a store on cold days, and prevents cold air from being lost on hot days, when the physical doors are open. It involves the installation of an archway around the frame of the existing store entrance, with an array of sensors detecting airflow and generating a counter flow.

The system will be launched in the Berkhamsted branch of Waitrose later this year, and will be rolled out to further branches if it proves successful.

Wirth Research estimates that energy loss through doors costs retailers £1.5bn a year, with stores spending between £5,000 and £10,000 each to compensate for temperature changes.

Waitrose & Partners technical services senior manager Jim Burnett says, “We are always looking to find innovative ways to reduce our impact in the environment and while we know we still have a lot of work to do, the potential of the AirDoor could be key in helping us make our shops even more sustainable in the future.”