Sunamp wins £9.25m funding to tackle greener heat challenge

Sunamp wins £9.25m funding to tackle greener heat challenge

Andrew Bissell

Scottish thermal storage manufacturer Sunamp has secured £9.25 million to develop and trial its thermal storage system to tackle fluctuations in renewable energy availability.

Sunamp will test their technology in 100 homes across the UK extending their existing heat battery to provide increased storage duration and capacity and pair it with household energy systems.

The funding is awarded through the Longer Duration Energy Storage Demonstration programme, part of the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) which provides funding for low-carbon technologies and systems.

The project brings the East Lothian firm together with some of UK’s innovators in electrification including myenergi, which designs and manufactures smart home energy products including the eddi solar power diverter; Energy Systems Catapult, the net zero innovation centre; and Ripple Energy which enables consumers to own stakes in large-scale wind projects. Fischer Future Heat will provide expertise in customer relations as well as their installation workforce for the field trial.

Sunamp is proposing a thermal storage system that directly replaces boilers fired by fossil fuels and will include an intelligent heating control to optimise electricity demand against heating demand patterns and tariffs.

A heat pump will charge renewable heat into large capacity time-shifting thermal storage, delivering space heating and hot water on demand. The bulk of input electrical energy is from offsite wind energy.

Customers will have the option of part ownership of a wind farm through Ripple Energy. The proposed system uses smart control logic from myenergi and a significantly large thermal storage from Sunamp to overcome lulls in wind energy supply.

Minister for climate Graham Stuart said: “Accelerating renewables is key to boosting our energy resilience. Energy storage helps us get the full benefit of these renewables, improving efficiency and helping drive down costs in the long term.

“This £32.9 million government backing will enable green innovators across the UK to develop this technology, helping create new jobs and encouraging private investment, while also safeguarding the UK’s energy security.”

Sunamp CEO Andrew Bissell said: “We are thrilled to have received this very significant funding award, which is the result of outstanding work from our own and our partners’ product, materials and engineering teams. The money will be used to develop and test in 100 homes a first-of-a-kind thermal energy storage technology aimed at replacing fossil fuels and bringing forward the electrification of heat.

“EXTEND systems in homes will help the UK ride out lulls in renewable energy generation and will allow homeowners to cut their carbon emissions and benefit from lower cost tariffs for flexible demand and participation in grid-supporting measures.”

Energy Systems Catapult CEO Guy Newey said: “World-leading innovators like Sunamp are exactly the reason we created the Living Lab – so the latest technologies can be developed and tested with real people in real homes – helping the UK accelerate to Net Zero.

“In addition, the Living Lab now connects to our new Whole Energy Systems Accelerator, allowing us to test the benefits that Sunamp’s heat battery technology brings to the wider electricity network, utilising real-time data on real world household behaviour.”

Lee Sutton, CEO of myenergi, said: “We are excited to be collaborating in this pioneering project to demonstrate the potential of Long Duration Energy Storage. While myenergi is best-known for our zappi electric vehicle charger, our smart controller technology can support a broad range of heating and hot water applications, as we will show in this trial. To get to Net Zero, it is vital that we decarbonise heat as quickly as possible, and we are proud to be playing our part in supporting consumers to switch from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.”

Sarah Merrick, founder and CEO of Ripple, said: “We’re thrilled to be part of this project. All electric homes, with heat batteries and smart controls, powered by wind farms owned by the household, could be a gamechanger for the UK’s energy system. It can protect consumers from escalating fossil fuel prices, reduce CO2 and help stabilise the grid. Exactly what’s needed in a Net Zero world.”

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