Thermal energy storage firm Sunamp has received a £6 million convertible loan note investment from the Scottish National Investment Bank.
This funding will be used to increase its sales in the UK, scale up production – with the company currently having a UK manufacturing facility on the outskirts of Edinburgh and plans to open its first overseas manufacturing facility under licence in Korea in October – and to accelerate its international expansion.
Specifically, it expects to expand in China, Korea, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Ireland, Chile, Canada and the USA, with recruitment underway for roles in sales, support and manufacturing.
Sunamp will also use the funds to enhance its product line into container-scale thermal batteries that improve efficiencies of heating and cooling for business and industry and further develop its solutions to drive fuel economy up and carbon emissions down for the automotive industry.
The company’s product range includes what it claims to be the world’s most compact and most energy efficient alternative to hot water cylinders and storage water heaters. Sunamp’s heat batteries can support net zero heating and hot water when connected to renewable energy sources such as heat pumps, using less energy than other forms of thermal storage and taking up less space.
Sunamp’s thermal stores are designed to have a lifespan of up to 50 years and be highly circular in their product life cycle. Andrew Bissell, Sunamp chief executive, said there is "enormous potential" for the company's thermal storage technologies and products both under Sunamp and partner brands. Indeed, Sunamp's order book grew 250-fold from £200,000 in March 2020 to £55 million by the end of the year, with this mainly due to large scale, multi-year OEM and distribution partnerships in Asia, the UK and Europe.
"There are many exciting deals in the pipeline, including some that will see us become firmly established in commercial, industrial and automotive markets as well," Bissell said.
The company raised £4.5 million in Series A funding in 2020, with this also going to support its international expansion.
In 2019, Sunamp partnered Eco2Solar to deliver a solar PV-powered domestic heating pilot, with solar PV connected to Sunamp’s UniQ range of heat batteries at Taylor Wimpey’s 2020 housing project in Bishopton.