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How Does Thermal Store Central Heating Work

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  • 19-10-2021
How Does Thermal Store Central Heating Work

How does thermal store central heating work? It you are thinking pof updating your heating system, thermal store central heating might be the right option for you. Find out more about thermal stores.

Why Choose Thermal Stores?

Are you considering choosing Thermal Stores for your choice of central heating? There are a lot of reasons on why Thermal Stores might be the most ideal choice for you which you will find below, as well as a full explanation of what they are, how they work and where might be the best choice to install this for your home

Water Is Heated From Mains

Combine Fuel Sources

Thermal stores are vessels that can store and manage heat until it's needed. It is different from a regular hot was cylinder because, unlike a cylinder,  the tap water does not directly come from the thermal storage. 

The water is instead heated up by the heat exchanger, which itself receives its heat from the thermal store. One of the main benefits of heat exchangers is that they can transfer a significant amount of heat extremely quick, which makes turning on a hot tap work immediately. 

Some thermal stores will contain multiple heat exchangers. These extra exchangers come as either external flat-plate exchangers or internal coil pipes. 

Immersion heaters and other electrical heating elements are also common in thermal stores. Thermal stores are flexible as they can provide just hot water or hot water and space heating.

Thermal stores can reach their full potential when they utilise several different heat energy source inputs at once. 

Throughout a sunny day, the thermal store can take advantage of the highly efficient solar energy to heat the store's water. 

In the evening, a wood burner can be lit, which can quickly boost the water temperature of the earlier heated water, all of which is backed up by an immersion heater or conventional hot water boiler to keep the heating consistent. 

For even higher energy efficiency, renewable or low carbon energy sources can be connected to the thermal store to provide heat input for it through the immersion element, overall decreasing the need for the conventional fossil-fuel-based boiler, and reducing the system's running costs.

Combine Fuel Sources

Thermal stores can reach their full potential when they utilise several different heat energy source inputs at once. Throughout a sunny day, the thermal store can take advantage of the highly efficient solar energy to heat the store's water. 

In the evening, a wood burner can be lit, which can quickly boost the water temperature of the earlier heated water, all of which is backed up by an immersion heater or conventional hot water boiler to keep the heating consistent. 

For even higher energy efficiency, renewable or low carbon energy sources can be connected to the thermal store to provide heat input for it through the immersion element, overall decreasing the need for the conventional fossil-fuel-based boiler, and reducing the system's running costs.

Minimal Maintenance

Easy To Install

Thermal stores, despite their perceived complexity, are very simple to maintain. 

No discharge pipework is needed, and they do not use standing water, so there is no risk of contamination or Legionella. For these reasons, thermal stores are a great option for retirement living and flats.

Provided the header tank is taller than the radiators, a thermal store can be installed essentially anywhere in your house. 

Also, the engineer installing your thermal store does not need a G3 qualification, unlike alternative options.

Different Fuel Sources Can Be Used

Specialised thermal stores are capable of taking inputs from several different sources of heat. For example, it could receive heat from solar thermal, a gas or oil boiler, heat pump, or wood-fuelled boiler. One downside of these specialised thermal stores is that homeowners must specify any heat sources they intend to use in the future before it is installed.

Solid fuel: Thermal stores can accept solid fuels to burn, such as biomass (commonly straw, nut, shells, and wheat) and wood pellets. 

One unfortunate disadvantage of biomass is the fact that it is unpredictable due to the range and size of the fuel. However, as it is widely available, you will likely be able to choose which biofuel, in particular, to use for your thermal store. 

By using solid fuel, you can manage the time difference between when heat energy is needed and when it is available. You'll have easier access to heating and hot water whenever you need it due to the convenience of your thermal store.

The energy that is fed into the thermal store provides water that constantly circulates the system meaning that the thermal store itself powers the heating circuit, decreasing the need for traditional fossil fuel burning boilers. This advantage will also significantly reduce the running costs of your heating.

 Solid Fuel

Thermal stores can accept solid fuels to burn, such as biomass (commonly straw, nut, shells, and wheat) and wood pellets. One unfortunate disadvantage of biomass is the fact that it is unpredictable due to the range and size of the fuel.

However, as it is widely available, you will likely be able to choose which biofuel, in particular, to use for your thermal store. By using solid fuel, you can manage the time difference between when heat energy is needed and when it is available.

You'll have easier access to heating and hot water whenever you need it due to the convenience of your thermal store.

wood pellets

Open-vented thermal stores are useful as they provide the homeowner with an easy to use pressure system that is not only high-performance but very safe too.

It is difficult and unsafe to connect an uncontrolled heat source such as a wood-burning stove to an unvented cylinder. Additionally, it is incredibly complicated to combine multiple energy sources to power a heating circuit, which is why a thermal store is so advantageous.

solar-thermal-panel

Solar Thermal

A renewable energy source such as solar thermal is a great addition to a thermal store. By using a high-grade solar coil, the homeowner can benefit from a significant amount of natural energy produced whenever the sun is out. 

At times when the solar power alone is not enough to heat the thermal store, it can easily revert the power source to traditional methods, such as a traditional boiler.

A sealed system boiler can be used to supply the central heating circuit directly. Alternatively, you can use an auxiliary circuit to connect to the thermal store so that the solar can provide input for it.

What Is A Thermal Store?

A thermal store is an alternate form of storing heated water. Similar to hot water cylinders, they can save up any energy that is generated by an electric heater or gas boiler. 

Because of this, energy is always available in the household whenever it's needed, removing the inconvenience of waiting for the water from taps to heat up.

Thermal stores offer opportunities in households that were previously unavailable. For example, you can run a pressure shower from the mains and a hot tap simultaneously, at opposite ends of the house, without a worry of any reduced pressure or running out of water. 

Traditional boilers without the use of thermal stores, such as a regular combination boiler, can only run a single outlet at one time.

How do Thermal Stores Work?

The water inside the thermal store's cylinder is used as a heat battery and stays in one place. Instead of transporting this water, it is circulated through a device known as a heat exchanger, which transfers the heat of the store's water to the mains water. 

The two water storages never mix and are kept completely separate by using steel metal pates inside the heat exchanger, which handle the heat transfer. 

A permanent connection for the store is not required as it is only filled up once. Because of this, there is no need for a discharge pipe or overflow. This simple design makes thermal stores easy to install and maintain.

Combining Thermal Stores With Renewable Energy Products

Thermal stores are capable of accepting multiple different energy inputs. The flexibility of the system allows it to become incredibly useful in areas with access to a range of fuel sources. 

A traditional boiler can be used as a backup so that if the alternative fuel types aren't producing enough, the heating and hot water continues at normal. 

A popular example of an external thermal store input is solar panels. The panels can collect heat energy throughout the day and reduce the need for the carbon-emitting gas or oil boiler. Different forms of wood such as logs, pellets and chips can be used in a biomass boiler to further decrease the environmental impact of your heating system.

What's The Best Place To Put A Thermal Store?

Provided you can get the proper pipework installed and you have the available space, you can have your thermal store set up almost anywhere in your house. 

Some aspects of the thermal store may be affected by the placement, such as certain biomass boilers. For example, wood burners rely on heat leaking gravity circuits to function properly.

Additionally, if you install a thermal store out of easy reach, you may struggle to operate its controls. If you plan to install the thermal store cylinder over 20m away from your boiler, you will need to use a large pipe or higher head primary pump to accommodate.

If you install your unit in a cellar or cold logy where the pipework is potentially lagged, you should box in the thermal store to minimise heat loss. 

What's The Best Place To Put A Thermal Store?

How To Size A Thermal Store

An engineer can size your thermal store for you. The main factor to consider when sizing your thermal store is which heat inputs you will use and where they will be located. 

As an example, Solar Thermal systems often require around 50 litres per square meter of a fully exposed panel. The available space in your home is also an important factor when sizing a thermal store. However, this won't usually be an issue as thermal storage solutions are very flexible and can be installed easily in most homes. 

Some vessels are short and fat, whereas others are thin and tall. If the room you want to install the thermal store in has a particularly low ceiling, you can have a horizontal tank installed.


Are you considering thermal store installation in Essex, Suffolk and the surrounding areas? We have years of experience in providing tailored energy-efficient and affordable home heating solutions. So if you need any further assistance  with thermal store, follow the link below.