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Know All About the Solar Storage Tank

A thermal or solar energy storage tank – called “puffer” in jargon or thermo-accumulator – represents the most effective and economical solution to optimize the operation of a heating system. The small investment cost of accumulation pays for itself quickly.

Furthermore, the puffer constitutes an excellent solution to overcome the problem of the mismatch between the availability of the heat source (e.g., the solar one) and the users’ requests for thermal energy. The optimization of the entire heating system from a cost point of view also allows determining the ideal size of the storage tank.

THE ADVANTAGES OF ACCUMULATION TANKS FOR GAS BOILERS

The storage tanks (boilers) allow improving the performance of a boiler as regards the ability to deliver large quantities of hot water, waiting times, and constant temperature. They allow facing very high withdrawal peaks, such as when there are several open taps or a whirlpool is used: for example, if a 28 kW boiler produces 13 litters/min of hot water continuously, with the addition of 50-liter storage tank can make 17 litters/min in the first 10 minutes. It is 40 litters more hot water.

 The same performance obtainable from a 30% more powerful boiler. In addition, the storage boilers allow a temperature of the very stable water – which can be appreciated especially during the shower, where they guarantee a high level of comfort – and unchanged even between summer and winter. The storage tanks can be wall or basement, cylindrical or horizontal, with plate heat exchangers for wall or basement boilers.  

In the case of pellet boilers with a power close to that of the heat emission system into the environment, the storage tank is not essential. It could prove useless since the pellet generators can use their power. The type of power they use does not guarantee absolute power control – especially for larger generators – so, to cope with “peaks,” it is necessary to use an accumulation tank that acts as they fly. Know the scopes of the solar storage tank.

In the case of gas boilers, using an accumulation tank is not essential. Still, it is without another useful for improving the performance of a boiler as regards the ability to deliver large quantities of hot water, waiting times, and constant temperature. Finally, the storage tank is indispensable – and the perfect “stratification” type – when combining heat from different sources (e.g., a boiler, a solar thermal system, and a thermal stove) is necessary.

STORAGE TANKS WITH NORMAL OR LARGER SURFACE COILS

The storage tanks can be essential of two types, as regards the internal coil in which the fluid that has the function of heating the water flows: regular or with a larger surface. The former has a coil with an average surface and is used when a boiler produces hot water, i.e., the temperature of the heating fluid is around 70-80 ° C.

 The larger surface storage tanks, on the other hand, are used when hot water is produced with solar collectors in a solar thermal system or with heat pumps. In both cases, the heating fluid is available at a lower temperature. Lower than in the previous point, equal to about 50-55 ° C.

If the storage tank is operated at a temperature below 0 ° C, the storage capacity is significantly reduced. An effect that you may have already seen on your Smartphone.

On a cold winter day, your phone switches itself off, even if it still has a sufficient charge. This is due to the device’s self-protection system. If the battery becomes too cold, the electrolyte can tear off when power is required. Essentially, this means total battery failure. To avoid such damage, the device switches off and thus protects the battery.

USE OF SOLAR POWER STORAGE AT EXCESSIVELY HIGH TEMPERATURES

On the other hand, a battery temperature that is too high essentially causes significantly accelerated aging. The effect is not as pronounced with lithium batteries as with lead batteries.

Electricity storage systems with independently learning algorithms use empirical values from the past few weeks and current weather data. An optimally set charge manager thus maximizes the service life of solar power storage systems.  

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