Dundee based startup, SolarisKit, creator of the world’s first flat-pack, self-assembled solar water heater, has secured a £150k investment from the British Design Fund.
The company’s founder, Dr. Faisal Ghani, is a seasoned mechanical engineer with 20 years’ experience in solar heating. He was struck with the idea for his heating product while working as an academic at Heriot-Watt University, where he was lecturing on renewable energy and engineering.
He came across a paper that stated that some households in Rwanda are forced to spend up to 40% of their income on energy, with 70% of that going on heating. Believing that solar heating could offer an easy and affordable solution on a large scale, while also being low carbon and sustainable, Faisal went on to found SolarisKit.
Faisal explains: “When I saw the statistic I was shocked and the more I looked into it the more I saw the potential for solar heating to solve the problem. But there were many design challenges to overcome, if we were to make a solution that was both accessible and affordable. We knew that any technology we produced had to not only work successfully in different climates but also be very easy to transport and fit.”
SolarisKit’s completely self-assembled solar water heater doesn’t require a pump or electricity and can be fitted in around 20 minutes without the need for tools or an installer. It can be easily transported and works in geographies where sunlight levels are low, meaning it is uniquely positioned to respond to the needs of a global consumer base with diverse climates and infrastructure.
As well as its potential to support those in African and South American nations, spiralling gas prices have also seen interest continuing to grow in the UK and across Europe, including for broader recreational uses, such as camping.
Faisal added: “Less than 2% of global heating needs are currently met by solar energy, we are aiming to change the landscape with our affordable and efficient technology. It’s fantastic to have the backing of British Design Fund as we embark on the next stage of our growth and bringing our solutions to people across the world.
“This funding will support us to expand our reach, accelerate product development, enhance our manufacturing capabilities and enter new markets.”
Damon Bonser, CEO, British Design Fund, said: “SolarisKit’s flat-packed solar collector is a breakthrough in the field of solar thermal energy. The investment committee were really impressed by the team at SolarisKit, their vision and the technology, which provides an affordable and eco-friendly solution.”
British Design Fund is a leading early-stage British manufacturing investor. The Fund works with ambitious product start-up enterprises who are ready to scale-up and build thriving stand-out businesses. Alongside capital investment, BDF provides expert mentoring to support such companies to accelerate their growth plans. The fifth British Design Fund closed in May 2023, with SolarisKit one of the start-ups supported by the fund.
For more information visit www.SolarisKit.com
We recently caught up with Faisal to find out more about the company and its ambitions for the future. You can watch it by clicking here.