© Allan Devlin, Annandale Distillery
Scotland’s Annandale whisky distillery is set to trial a new thermal energy storage technology that could help replace fossil fuels, awarded £3.6m by the UK government.
The technology was developed by University of Edinburgh spinout Exergy3, invented by chief technology officer Adam Robinson. It is described as a “decarbonisation machine”, claimed to be capable of replacing up to 100% of the fossil fuels currently used in high temperature industrial processes.
A demonstration machine will be installed at the Annandale Distillery in Dumfries and Galloway, set to result in the production of a carbon-neutral whisky.
Exergy3’s modular energy storage system takes excess renewable energy from the National Grid and stores it at temperatures of up to 1200°C with minimal energy losses, the team said. Exergy3 added that the technology can store up to 36MWh of thermal energy on the footprint of a 40ft shipping container, and can be easily transported and installed on site.
The company was awarded funding from the UK government’s £55 million Industrial Fuel Switching Competition, as part of the £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP), for the distillery trial. It has also been supported by access funding from the University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation service, Edinburgh Innovations, and has received £400,000 investment from Scottish Enterprise in addition to £200,000 from the agency’s High Growth Spin Out Programme.
Co-owner of Annandale Distillery David Thomson commented: “Our distillery is on a journey towards net zero. Being able to raise all of the steam we need via green electricity would be a massive step forward for us, and for the Scotch whisky industry as a whole. We look forward to partnering with Exergy3 on delivering this really important project.”
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