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