SME Stories: Sunamp with William Edrich, Global Head of C&I

Published: 13 May 2020

The Sunamp vision originated from the basic understanding that energy storage is at the very heart of making renewables and energy efficiency work. Yet, with over twice as much heat and cooling energy consumed in the world economy as electricity, so why wasn’t thermal energy storage a major topic of interest or development?

An inspirational team of scientists, researchers, business professionals and engineers, developed a patented and unrivalled Sunamp Heat Battery energy storage technology.

William Edrich joined Sunamp in January 2019 as the Global Head of Commercial and Industrial to lead the company’s ambitious growth plans. With over 25 years’ experience in the energy sector and over 12 years at Board level, Mr Edrich explains how the Energy Launchpad is helping Sunamp take their technology to a new markets such as demand side response.

Business Name: Sunamp

Founder(s): Andrew Bissell, CEO and founder of Sunamp

Location: East Lothian, EH33 1RY, Scotland

Year established: 2006

Number of employees: 42

Tell us about your energy innovation and challenges?

The founders formed Sunamp with the goal of decarbonising thermal energy demand, (accounting for 50% of final global energy demand) using super compact thermal phase change material storage harnessed to renewable energy, captured waste heat and improve energy system cross vector efficiency. In collaboration with Edinburgh University’s Chemical Engineering department they solved the known two inherent difficulties with phase change material, these being:

  • the ability to transfer high power in and out of the material quickly.
  • the prevention of sub-cooling and material degradation to a point that it no longer performs as required.

Between 2012 to 2018, Sunamp prototyped and improved the design of the heat storage unit with full commercial production and sale occurring in 2019. The challenges that Sunamp face are responding to the level of enquiries and interest and scaling production capacity globally.

How did Energy Systems Catapult help you?

One area of lots of interest has been the utilisation of our products in electrification of heat, especially linked to demand side response and management.

Sunamp applied for and were successfully selected for Energy Systems Catapult’s Innovator Support Platform (Smart Heating and Cooling innovator challenge) cohort starting in Autumn 2019. Since then the Catapult has been providing support across four work areas these being; market landscape analysis, energy modelling against various residential archetypes, and consumer insight to enable the fourth work area of customer value and business model propositions to be developed for demand side response products for the UK residential market.

What does the future of Sunamp look like now?

In terms of the demand side response UK heating and hot water residential product, with the assistance of the Catapult, Sunamp is well on the way of having commercial products available for sale in the autumn of 2020. At a global level by the end of 2020 beginning of 2021, Sunamp will have manufacturing capability and sales in the far East and north America. While the range of applications and solutions will have expanded across our temperature range.

Find out how our Energy Launchpad could accelerate your energy innovation.