Put simply, a thermal store tank is a large, well insulated hot water tank and forms the heart of your home heating and hot water system. A thermal store (or accumulator or buffer tank) stores up heat from a boiler stove or solar panel that can then be used to heat the house and provide domestic hot water whenever it is needed, even if the stove isn't lit or the sun isn't out.
The thermal store also lets you easily link up different heat sources. A classic combination is a woodburning boiler stove (winter heating and hot water), solar panels (summer hot water) and a conventional boiler (to provide a back up). Other sources can also include a ground or air source heat pump, an electrical heating element or a wood pellet stove.
Because you are storing the heat it means that a stove only has to be lit once a day and it can be run efficiently, rather than being kept smouldering all day. The classic cycle is to light the boiler stove in the evening to heat the house and enjoy the fire. All the excess heat is stored in the thermal store. The stove goes out but the heat in the tank is used to warm the house in the morning and provide the domestic hot water. In the afternoon the central heating draws the rest of the heat from the store to warm the house before you return from work and light the stove again.
A good thermal store takes in the source energy efficiently and transfers it back out on demand quickly, maintains good stratification (hottest water at the top, coolest water at the bottom) and, most important of all, minimises heat loss. So the questions that you need to be asking when choosing a thermal store are:
If you are comparing one tank with another then compare the answers to these questions to see if you are really getting value for money.
EnergyStore Thermal Stores
EnergyStore thermal stores are specifically designed for use with biomass boilers such as wood boiler stoves and wood pellet boilers. An EnergyStore makes it easy to combine renewable inputs like a biomass boilers and solar thermal hot water systems with conventional inputs like an oil or gas boiler. As a result you end up with a properly integrated whole house heating and hot water system. The various tappings on the EnergyStore have been positioned so as to give flexibility and choice and to help you get the most from your energy sources.
Visit our EnergyStore Thermal Stores page, or click on the picture for more details
Akvaterm Thermal Stores
Akvaterm tanks are designed to be at the centre of your modern low carbon heating system which would typically incorporate a wood boiler stove and solar thermal panels for the summer. There are a number of different types of Akvaterm thermal store suited to different applications and situations, and they come in a range of sizes from 300l up to 10,000l.
Visit our Akvaterm Thermal Stores page, or click on the picture for more details