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MSIP: New tenant brings Dundee jobs and vision to bring clean energy to millions

Faisal Ghani is pictured with the SolarisKit flat-packable solar thermal collectors has been on the accelerator programme.
Faisal Ghani is pictured with the SolarisKit flat-packable solar thermal collectors has been on the accelerator programme.

A device made in Dundee could change the lives of millions of people living in some of the world’s poorest countries.

SolarisKit Limited is moving from Edinburgh to the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP) in Dundee to manufacture the world’s first flat-packable solar thermal collector.

The portable equipment could provide affordable hot water systems and clean energy for millions of people living in geographies termed ‘the global south’ – sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, Central America and SE Asia.

It will move to MSIP, based at the former Michelin tyre factory, in January and will initially employ eight staff.

Project in Rwanda

Faisal Ghani, founder and chief executive of SolarisKit, said: “Our plan is to setup a new manufacturing assembly line by the end of January to produce an initial run of 100 flat-packable solar thermal units.

“There will be destined for a trial project we are undertaking in Rwanda to demonstrate both the environmental and socio-economic impact achieved from the supply of affordable clean energy.

Faisal Ghani, founder and CEO of SolarisKit.

“To prepare for this, we are currently investing in equipment and production tooling.

“In our first year of manufacture, we aim to employ an initial eight staff, doubling the size of the workforce over the following two years.”

How does it work?

Assembled in 30 minutes, the SolarisKit solar collector can convert sunlight efficiently into hot water to meet the needs of most homes or businesses, with the potential to save energy costs of up to 70%.

In most standard weather conditions, the SolarisKit is capable of heating water to temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius, perfect for normal showering and laundry requirements.

SolarisKit’s flat-packable solar thermal collector. unknown. Supplied by Solariskit Date; Unknown

Sunlight enters the collector through its transparent side panels and strikes the black, internal coil, which is then heated through solar radiation.

Water is then circulated through the coil using a small pump, heated and stored in an insulated water tank for later use. Each solar collector can save approximately 300kgs of carbon emissions per year.

By 2025, SolarisKit aims to install over 90,000 collectors, annually saving over 27 million kilograms of carbon emissions.

Climate change impact

Greig Coull, chief executive at MSIP, said the new tenant fit in with the low carbon vision for the Parc. MSIP is a joint venture between Michelin, Dundee City Council, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government.

Mr Coull said: “SolarisKit is an exciting start-up company with huge growth potential.

“Its solar technology is another example of a new company contributing to and delivering towards ambitious climate change plans around the world, creating carbon neutral economic growth.

Greig Coull, chief executive of Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc.

“SolarisKit not only fits well with the scope of the ambition at MSIP, its ethos of creating inclusive places for people to live very much matches our own.

“We believe in its mission to deliver affordable hot water systems and clean energy for those living in developing nations, and will support SolarisKit as much as we can.

“We were excited to welcome SolarisKit onto our first Accelerator programme earlier this year and today are pleased to soon welcome them as a tenant at MSIP.”

Awards and support

SolarisKit recently won Start-Up of the Year at the 2020 Solar & Storage Live Awards.

Earlier this year, it secured around £250,000 of funding from Innovate UK, the United Kingdom’s innovation Agency through its Energy Catalyst 7 Programme and is a former winner of the Converge Impact Challenge.

REVEALED: First firms at Dundee’s Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc to create 100+ jobs

It has also received support from Royal Society of Edinburgh (Enterprise Fellowship), Scottish Enterprise and the EIT-Climate-KIC accelerator and is a recent winner of the Wild Card category of the Scottish Edge 16 Awards.

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