Thermal storage trade association launches

A new trade body which aims to promote the use of thermal storage in buildings has launched today (29 March).

Founded by Tom Lowe, former head of industry operations at Bulb, Thermal Storage UK has three founding members developing products to electrify space heating and hot water.

When paired with smart time of use tariffs, thermal storage heaters produce heat during off-peak times which can then be stored and released when required. This then reduces the demand for heating and hot water when gas power plants are running, therefore maximising the use of renewable generation.

In National Grid’s future energy scenario ‘Leading the Way’ up to 60% of homes may have thermal storage by 2050. Elsewhere National Grid estimates in its ‘System Transformation’ and ‘Consumer Transformation’ scenarios that thermal storage will provide up to 11GW of flexibility to the wider energy system.

The three founding members of the new trade body include climate tech start-up Caldera, a company which makes the Warmstone heat battery which uses low carbon electricity whenever it is available to warm a solid core, storing energy until the heat is needed.

The second founding member is Sunamp, a developer of heat batteries which use phase change materials to store large amounts of energy in a small volume.

Tepeo meanwhile uses Zero Emission Boiler technology which combines electric heating with ultra-high-density dry core thermal storage.

Speaking on the launch of the trade body, Lowe said: “The UK needs to speed up the removal of carbon from the heating of buildings.

“Thermal storage can support renewables, lower carbon emissions and reduce bills. Great British companies are leading the world on thermal storage. Now is the time to electrify heating and reduce fossil fuel imports.”

James Macnaghten, Caldera chief executive, said: “We are excited about the launch of Thermal Storage UK. Thermal storage has a major role to play in taking the carbon out of heating buildings, not least for those using expensive heating oil and LPG.”

Andrew Bissell, chief executive of Sunamp, said: “This will strengthen the UK’s already leading role in this fast growing global market, in which we are aiming to sell more than 1 million units per year later this decade. We expect the UK government to respond by working with us towards a strong policy framework for the technology helping set global standards.”