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Thermal Stores

Thermal stores


Thermal stores are becoming increasingly common in domestic renewable heating technologies. They can be:


  • used with a single renewable heating technology
  • used to combine a number of different renewable heating technologies
  • used as a renewable technology with a conventional boiler or immersion heater
  • used to store excess wind or solar energy that you have generated.


Thermal stores have proved to work particularly well with wood-fueled boilers, heat pumps, wind energy and solar water heating systems.


What is a thermal store?


A thermal store is a way of storing and managing renewable heat until it is needed. In a domestic setting, heated water is usually stored in a large well-insulated cylinder often called a buffer or accumulator tank. A thermal store may contain one or more heat exchangers, usually in the form of internal coiled pipes or external flat-plate heat exchangers. It may also include an electrical heating element, such as an immersion heater.


A purpose-built thermal store can take inputs from a number of different technologies, provided it has been designed and sized to work with them all. It might store heat from a wood-fuelled boiler, solar thermal water heating or from a heat pump, or any combination.


A thermal store can provide:


  • both space heating and mains pressure hot water
  • space heating only (which may be the case with a heat pump system)
  • hot water only (common in the case of a solar water heating system).


The full potential of a thermal store is realised when it is used to store and manage a number of different heat inputs and outputs. So for example, it lets you use your excess solar heat for space heating or to act as a heat pump pre-heat when this is used to supply hot water.


The benefits of a thermal store


Thermal stores provide a number of benefits including:


  • managing the difference in time between when heat is available and when it is needed - for example, hot water produced by a solar water heating system during the day can be stored for use later on when little or no solar energy is available
  • enabling warm water to be heated by a secondary heating source such as a conventional boiler or electric immersion heater
  • enabling a renewable heating system to work more efficiently - particularly relevant to wood-fuelled heating systems such as log boilers that operate much more efficiently if they are used at maximum output
  • allowing the use of a wood burning boiler or a stove with a back boiler at maximum efficiency without overheating the room
  • reducing the need to buy expensive fossil fuels to meet on-demand hot water or space heating.


Combining technologies


A thermal store also allows you to link a number of different heating systems, for example a wood burning boiler and a solar water heating system. This is a particularly beneficial combination as it means that you can have hot water in the summer without having to run the boiler.


Quite simply, a thermal store acts like the brain behind your heating and hot water system storing and supplying heat as required.




Contact our team on 0121 241 5250 or email: to discuss how KM Renewable Energy can meet your requirements

KM Renewable Energy UK

Renewable Energy, Prefab Construction,

Energy Efficiency & Finance

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0121 241 5250


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