Home » Shadow minister gets first-hand look at Caldera heat ‘batteries’

Shadow minister gets first-hand look at Caldera heat ‘batteries’

by Mark Cantrell
Labour's shadow energy security minister, Dr Alan Whitegead (right) is shown around Caldera's facilities, with Guy Winstanley

Labour’s shadow minister for energy security paid a visit to a Hampshire start-up that aims to change the way industry generates and stores heat.

Dr Alan Whitehead MP visited industrial heat specialists Caldera last week to see for himself how the company is looking to deliver sustainable and scaleable heat ‘batteries’.

The company has developed a novel type of storage boiler which takes cheap, green off-peak electricity, and then stores it in heat cells made of scrap aluminium and rock – ready to be released as hot water or steam when required.

Whitehead, who is also the local MP, said: “Industry is at the heart of Labour’s plan to create good jobs and grow the economy by making the UK a clean energy superpower.

“It is heartening to see first-hand the innovation coming from companies like Caldera, and to hear the impact they are having in decarbonising industrial heating processes.

“The transition to net zero will create opportunities for businesses all across the country, so it is excellent to see a local start-up helping to tackle climate change while also supporting the local economy.”

Earlier this year Caldera was awarded £4.3m from the UK government’s Department for Energy Security & Net Zero to build a full-scale demonstrator at their Fareham factory, where they will showcase the technology to potential customers.

Future plans include a heat cell gigafactory to mass manufacture its low carbon heat storage system at scale.

The company’s ground-breaking electric boiler comprises multiple heat cells, each filled with a special aluminium-rock composite, a ‘thermal super material’ designed by Caldera to cheaply and effectively store low carbon electricity as heat.

Installation of the technology will allow green-minded businesses to turn off carbon-emitting gas and switch to cleaner forms of energy, the company claims.

During his visit, Whitehead met the Caldera team and was able to find out first hand how the heat cells are made using molten scrap aluminium and volcanic rock.

James Macnaghten, Caldera’s co-founder and chief executive, said: “It was great to be able to welcome Alan and show him around our facility.

“Industry is a major user of heat, and typically this is provided by steam boilers that burn gas or oil. Our product delivers process heat using green electricity, and with continuing pressure to decarbonise we believe there will be strong global demand for Caldera’s electric storage boiler.”

Read next: Sunak does the carbon dirty on green transition hopes

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