BATTERY technology pioneer Sunamp has won £50,000 Government funding to support the development of a mobile handwash unit that could be used in the fight against the coronavirus.

The company expects the units will be able to supply clean hot water when required to help people maintain the hand hygiene that can play a key role in slowing the spread of the virus.

It reckons they could be used in settings ranging from workplaces to fields to ensure that standards are maintained as lockdowns that were imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus are eased.

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“Stringent hand hygiene is key to limiting the spread of coronavirus,” said Sunamp chief executive Andrew Bissell.

He added: “Widespread access to hand washing facilities is essential, and as the country emerges from lockdown it will be vital that people continue to be diligent about cleanliness.”

Sunamp’s handwashing units are designed to be able to operate without a plumbed-in water supply or nearby energy source.

They will feature the heat battery technology developed by Sunamp.

The company’s batteries can be used to store heat generated from conventional and renewable sources for release when it is needed.

Sunamp said the units would be expected to be low maintenance.

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One of Scotland’s most successful technology entrepreneurs, Mr Bissell founded Sunamp after the Voxar medical imaging business he span out of Edinburgh university was sold to Belgium’s Barco for £23m in 2004.

Sunamp supplies batteries for residential, commercial and industrial heating and cooling. It employs more than 60 people.

The company said it has been awarded a £50,000 grant by the Innovate UK agency under a scheme intended to support the development of technology that could help tackle some of the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.