What is it?
A Thermal Store is where your hot water is stored. The heat from this hot water can then be used to heat your central heating system.
How it works?
The water inside the Thermal Store can be heated by a number of different sources, be it solar panels, ground source or air source heat pumps, gas or oil or even electric.
Thermal Stores work on the principles of stratification. Cooler water is at the bottom of the store, as this water gets hotter, it rises to the top of the store. Once the energy has been used and the water cooled, it sinks back down to the bottom to be warmed again.
Depending on the energy source being inputted to the store depends on the height it enters and leaves the store. For instance, Solar Thermal input would be near the bottom as this runs at relatively low temperatures. Underfloor heating would also been taken off at a lower point in the store. Hot water for showering and bathing is usually taken from the highest point of the store.
There are two types of thermal store:
- Vented Thermal Store
- Unvented Thermal Store
What are the benefits?
- A number of technologies and energy sources can be utilised at once
- Allows condensing boilers to run in condensing mode – being more efficient
- Hot Water available at mains pressure level
How much does it cost?
This depends on the size of Thermal Store you require and how many energy sources you want to utilise.
What are the next steps?
You need to think if you have the room for a thermal store and where you can position it to get the best from the sources you are using.