A heat accumulator is essentially a large, very well insulated, hot water tank. A heat accumulator usually has many tapping points and multiple coils - this allows you to use the accumulator as the central point in your heating system to which your appliances plug in. The appliances (say a wood boiler stove, some solar panels, and a backup gas boiler) all heat the water in the accumulator. Domestic hot water (for showers etc) and water for heating is then taken from the tank. The other usful thing about a heat accumulator is that it stores heat up when it is plentiful and then lets you use ot later on. For example your solar thermal panels will be producing a lot of hot water in the daytime when you are at work. This heat is then stored in the accumulator and ready for when you come home again. A wood boiler stove also operates most efficiently when running quite fast - the heat accumulator lets you run the stove like this and your house will not get too hot because any excess heat ends up in the accumulator.
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