East Lothian heat battery innovator pushes into US with breakthrough New York project

Sunamp, the East Lothian-based thermal storage specialist, will see its “world-leading” technology installed in buildings across New York State as part of a new project that takes the firm into the US.

Thermal storage systems developed by Sunamp in Scotland will be installed in residential and commercial buildings as part of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s NextGen Innovation Challenges award.

Sunamp received $668,000 (£504,000) following a successful bid with Optimized Thermal Systems, LaBella Associates and James D Warren and Son, in response to a competitive solicitation by the research and development authority.

The project will demonstrate potential ways of cutting carbon emissions, lowering fuel costs and improving energy resilience associated with heating and cooling.

Sunamp’s heat batteries use advanced thermal energy storage materials that can be charged with large amounts of energy from renewable and other sources, and released to deliver hot water, cooling and space heating on demand. Picture: Malcolm Cochrane Photography

Thermal batteries will be installed in up to eight building types and heating systems commonly found across the state to evaluate how the company’s technology can help officials meet their ambitious carbon reduction targets and improve power grid resilience.

Sunamp’s thermal batteries are up to four times smaller and are said to store up to four times more energy than the hot water tanks they replace. They can be charged by a range of energy sources.

The firm’s global head of commercial and industrial, William Edrich, said: “It’s amazing to be working with New York State to help meet their aim of building a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers.

“It’s particularly exciting because it marks Sunamp’s official launch into the US market. We are on the lookout for additional project sites and are actively building a talented team on the ground in New York to begin the roll out of Sunamp products across the country.

“Through these projects, we will demonstrate how our technology can improve the efficiency of the existing typical heating and cooling systems, help overcome network constraint issues and maximise the capture of renewable energy by demand shifting into thermal storage.”

The firm is now actively sourcing residential and commercial pilot sites across the state.

Doreen Harris, president and chief executive of New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, said: “Through support of solutions like Sunamp’s heating and cooling technology, we are advancing building electrification to lower carbon emissions as we progress toward New York’s State’s goal for economy-wide carbon neutrality.

“We welcome Sunamp to New York as part of our ongoing commitment to fostering innovation that delivers enhanced energy efficiency solutions while growing our clean energy economy.”

Macmerry-based Sunamp designs and manufactures space-saving thermal storage products using Plentigrade, its patented technology which captures energy from almost any source and releases it for heating, cooling and hot water on demand.

In September, the firm received a £6 million boost from the Scottish National Investment Bank as it looks to scale up.

The firm is already active in 17 countries and has so far shipped more than 15,000 thermal batteries for the residential market from its manufacturing facility near Tranent.

Thanks to the convertible loan note investment from the Scottish National Investment Bank, Sunamp will be able to scale up production and accelerate international expansion into China, the Americas and continental Europe.

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