A Southampton MP visited a start-up company that aims to change the way in which industry generates and stores heat.

Alan Whitehead toured the Fareham premises of Caldera, which has developed a new type of boiler that takes cheaper, off-peak electricity and stores it in heat cells made of scrap aluminum and volcanic rock.

The boiler enables low-carbon electricity to be stored as heat before being released as hot water or steam when required.

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

Daily Echo: Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead with Caldera employeesSouthampton Test MP Alan Whitehead with Caldera employees (Image: Caldera)

Caldera has been awarded £4.3m from the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero to build a full-scale demonstrator at their premises, where it can be displayed to potential customers.

It is also using some of the funds to design a heat cell "gigafactory" which could roll out hundreds of its patented heat cells in the years ahead.

Dr Whitehead, 73, is the Labour MP for Southampton Test and the shadow minister for energy security.

During his visit he met members of the Caldera team and was able to discover how the heat cells are made using molten scrap aluminum and volcanic rock.

Daily Echo: Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead is shown around the Caldera site by Guy Winstanley, left, and Daniel KirkSouthampton Test MP Alan Whitehead is shown around the Caldera site by Guy Winstanley, left, and Daniel Kirk (Image: Caldera)

Dr Whitehead 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 across the country so it is excellent to see a local start-up helping to tackle climate change while also supporting the local economy."

James Macnaghten, Caldera's co-founder and chief executive, added: "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.

"The grant from the government is enabling us to hire new staff and scale up our product for industry and the support of a local MP is extremely welcome."

As reported in the Daily Echo, Dr Whitehead is stepping down as an MP at the next general election.