World-leading thermal storage technology developed by Sunamp in the UK is to be installed in residential and commercial buildings in New York State as part of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s NextGen HVAC Innovation Challenges award. The $1.1m project was confirmed during COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Sunamp received a $668,000 award following a successful bid with Optimized Thermal Systems Inc., LaBella Associates, and James D Warren and Son Inc., in response to a competitive solicitation by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The project will demonstrate potential ways of lowering carbon emissions, lowering fuel costs, and improving energy resilience associated with heating and cooling.

Thermal batteries will be installed in up to eight archetype buildings and heating systems commonly found across the state to evaluate how Sunamp’s technology can be transferred to New York to help the state meet is ambitious carbon reduction target, improve grid resilience, and assist in lowering fuel bills for the end client.

It is envisaged that the integration of Sunamp’s ultra-compact storage with clean heating and cooling technologies and renewable energy sources, such as solar and geothermal, will enable electrification of heating loads while mitigating electricity supply issues.

Sunamp thermal batteries are based on the company’s patented Plentigrade phase change materials and have proven to lower carbon emissions and energy use in connection with heating and cooling in UK installations. They are up to four times smaller and will store up to four times more energy than the hot water tanks they replace and can be charged by a wide choice of energy sources. Thermal batteries can use cheaper night rate electricity or surplus renewable electricity generation during the day to reduce the peak heat driven electrical demands on the network.

In some projects, Sunamp heat batteries may be combined with a high temperature heat pump to provide space heating and hot water, allowing consumers to benefit from low-cost electricity periods. In others, solar PV electricity and solar thermal energy may be used to directly charge the thermal battery or run chillers to provide demand shifted cooling. Gas grid efficiency is anticipated to improve by using Sunamp thermal batteries to capture waste heat and pre heat coils within the forced air ducting and hydronic loop in gas powered systems.

Sunamp’s global head of commercial and industrial William Edrich said:
“It’s amazing to be working with New York State to help meet their aim of building a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. It’s particularly exciting because it marks Sunamp’s official launch into the US market. We are on the lookout for additional project sites and are actively building a talented team on the ground in New York to begin the roll out of Sunamp products across the country.

“Through these projects, we will demonstrate how our technology can improve the efficiency of the existing typical heating and cooling systems, help overcome network constraint issues and maximize the capture of renewable energy by demand shifting into thermal storage.”

Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO of NYSERDA said:
“Through support of solutions like Sunamp’s heating and cooling technology, we are advancing building electrification to lower carbon emissions as we progress toward New York’s State’s goal for economy-wide carbon neutrality. We welcome Sunamp to New York as part of our ongoing commitment to fostering innovation that delivers enhanced energy efficiency solutions while growing our clean energy economy.”

Seeking project sites
Sunamp is actively sourcing residential and commercial pilot sites across the state. To apply, please get in touch and mention “NYSERDA” in the comments box when filling in the contact form.

Published: 7 December 2021

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