Thermal storages are gaining popularity as a means of storing and transmitting heat energy generated from renewable sources as the world's attention to sustainability and renewable energy grows, with the utilisation of greener electricity for eco-friendly installation solutions. However, the real challenge for homeowners and landlords is to harness the green energy being created, store it effectively and then deliver it as and when required.
So, as we see an increase in demand for systems such as air source and ground source heat pumps, solar thermal or solar PV, the secret for the Heating and Plumbing industry will be to create a highly efficient solution that stores energy when it can be generated, and utilised when it is needed!
The perfect solution is a Thermal Store which can store energy from multiple fuel sources and safely store for when it is required. In addition, as the thermal store can hold the water at higher temperatures than a standard cylinder, the energy storage is increased by up to 150% compared to a cylinder held at 60 degrees.
Unlike traditional solutions such as unvented cylinders, which draw off the hot water stored in the cylinder, thermal stores use innovative heat exchanger technology which allows mains pressure cold water to be instantaneously heated from the stored water and then supplied to your taps and showers.
A significant additional benefit is that your heating can also be taken from the Thermal Store, maximising the benefit from the renewable technologies even further.
Advantages for Renewable Energy Applications
The highly efficient thermal store solution enables energy storage during the day when renewables are optimised, allowing hot water and heating to be delivered at night as required, for example, solar energy generated during the day can be stored and used to meet the hot water and heating demand in the evening.
Thermal stores can also enable energy demand to be met by renewable energy throughout the year by incorporating multiple sources and managing them seamlessly. For example, solar thermal can be harnessed during the summer months and wood burning stoves can provide the heat in the colder winter periods.
Traditional heat sources such as electric immersion heaters and gas or oil boilers can also be incorporated to top up the thermal store as and when required.
So How Does The Thermal Store Work?
The big tick in the box for end users, housing associations and landlords, is the thermal stores’ ability to provide mains pressure hot water, without the requirement for on-going annual maintenance making them a perfect alternative to the unvented unit.
This is achieved by reversing the traditional approach to hot water.
Instead of storing hot water in the cylinder under pressure, which is then used for taps and showers when required, the thermal store acts more like a battery storing the energy from any fuel source when it is cost effective, and then providing hot water and heating when it is needed in an inherently safe open vented store.
The mains pressure hot water is generated by passing the mains cold water through the highly efficient internal coil. As the hot water is produced instantaneously and not stored, there is zero risk of legionella.
A further benefit to the thermal store over unvented systems is that the domestic hot water is blended at the unit to achieve the optimum temperature of approximately 52 degrees Celsius to avoid scalding when supplied to the taps and showers.
The heating is provided by circulating the stored water around the underfloor heating system or wet central heating system.
Advantages for Heating & Plumbing Professionals
Being an open vented solution, a thermal store doesn’t require the installer to be G3 accredited, which is required to install an unvented cylinder. It also simplifies the installation significantly as it does not require discharge pipework and safety controls which can cause major challenges for the design and installation of the system, not to mention costs.
As it is open vented, the thermal store can also be located anywhere in the property, as long as the header tank is above the highest radiator. With thermal stores having the ability to be bespoke designed to suit virtually any installation requirement, it also proves to be the most versatile solution.
The risk of legionella is completely eliminated due to the fact that the hot water isn’t stored in the cylinder but fed from the mains through the coil and scalding is prevented thanks to temperature control valves at the hot water outlets.
Finally, thermal stores are crucial in the shift to renewable and sustainable energy sources. They provide a dependable and inexpensive way to lessen our reliance on fossil fuels due to their capacity to store surplus energy and transfer heat when it is required. Consider a thermal storage cylinder as an alternative when looking into sustainable energy options for your house or building.
For more information and more tips on using thermal stores, with renewable energy options, visit https://mcdonaldwaterstorage.com/products/thermal-store/
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