Thermal energy storage, Scottish pioneer wins backing from international investors

Heat battery pioneer Sunamp Ltd., Macmerry, Scotland, has secured multi-million pound backing from international investors amid the challenges posed for energy sector businesses by the coronavirus crisis, reports.

East Lothian-based Sunamp raised £4.5 million in a funding round that will position the firm to capitalize on growth opportunities in global markets.

Led by technology entrepreneur Andrew Bissell, Sunamp produces heat storage batteries. These can be used to harness the potential of renewable energy generating sources.

The batteries store energy which can be released when needed to heat water. Sunamp says they can be used to cut energy consumption and carbon emissions

The funding round provides further evidence that energy sector specialists think Sunamp is on to something.

It has been led by a Chilean venture capital firm, Aurus Capital, which invested $4m (£3.2m).

Managing partner Victor Aguilera said Aurus had been impressed by what the Sunamp team has accomplished so far and looked forward to supporting their vision for a better planet. He added: “We believe that Sunamp has the opportunity to become a game-changer in the energy sector and contribute significantly to protect our environment by enabling more renewable energy to go into heating and cooling, and at the same time saving money in millions of homes and industries across the world.”

In 2018 Sumamp secured investment from Japanese utility Osaka Gas.

Mr Bissell said the money raised in the latest round would help Sunamp to capitalize on the interest it is receiving in its products from around the world.

Demand for power has fallen amid the lockdowns imposed to slow the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

However, Mr Bissell said: “Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been receiving new orders and forging new relationships with national and international partners. “

Sunamp said the fundraising will support the scaling up of sales in the UK and international expansion in Central Europe, Asia and North America.

The fund-raising could help the company to create more jobs in East Lothian, where it completes research and development work and makes its batteries.

The company noted it has begun to produce batteries for large scale industry cooling.

It has around 50 employees.

The latest funding round was supported by the Scottish Investment Bank and existing private investors.

Scottish Investment Bank director Kerry Sharp said Sunamp is leading the way in green power technology.”

Mr Bissell started developing Sunamp in 2005, a year after the Voxar medical imaging business he span out of Edinburgh University was sold to Belgium’s Barco for £23m.

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