Heat battery developer charges up growth plans with £6 million boost from Scottish National Investment Bank
Sunamp, the East Lothian-based thermal storage company, has received a £6 million boost from the Scottish National Investment Bank as it looks to scale up.
The company’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.
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. It recently opened new premises in Zurich and will open its first overseas manufacturing facility under licence, in Korea, in October.
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.
The bank’s investment will support the company to enhance its product line into container scale thermal batteries that improve efficiencies of heating and cooling for business and industry. The firm’s technology will also allow the automotive industry to drive up fuel economy while cutting carbon emissions.
Chief executive Andrew Bissell said: “The bank and Sunamp share a vision of a world powered by affordable and sustainable energy. The bank understands and supports the role our thermal storage technologies will play in accelerating the adoption of renewables in the transition to net zero.
“With this funding, we will continue to scale the market for our technology and will grow national operating teams in at least ten countries. There is enormous potential for our thermal storage technologies and products both under Sunamp and partner brands.”
He added: “Our order book grew 250-fold from £200,000 in March 2020 to £55 million by the end of the year, mainly due to large scale, multi-year OEM [original equipment manufacturer] 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.”
Eilidh Mactaggart, chief executive of the Scottish National Investment Bank, said: "This innovative Scottish business has developed technology which can make a significant positive impact on domestic and commercial heat provision.
“Sunamp’s thermal energy storage products have the potential to make a significant positive impact on domestic and commercial heat generation and energy efficiency
“It is reflective of the quality of Scotland’s research institutions that this technology has been developed in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh and is now being exported internationally.
“It is an exciting time for the bank to be supporting the team at Sunamp as they seek to further expand both domestically and internationally.”
Sunamp’s financial adviser was Fiona Dempster of Dempster Solutions, while Addleshaw Goddard provided legal counsel. Technical and commercial due diligence was carried out by DNV.
The Scottish Government has committed to capitalising the Scottish National Investment Bank with £2 billion in its first ten years. The bank was established in November 2020.