Fluid Solar will bring renewable solar thermal energy and low impact living spaces to one third of the worlds population in thirty years.

 

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Thermal Heat Storage

 

The Fluid Solar Thermal CSP Panel substantially improves production of hot water throughout the year, by up to 300%. The collector reaches the required temperature more quickly, and more often during cloudy periods and cooler months so that useful temperature water is produced with better efficiency and at lower costs. To eliminate fossil fuel consumption altogether, a Fluid Solar Thermal Bank can be added to store sufficient energy to allow extended periods of operation while there is insufficient sunlight to meet building demands.

These systems are, traditionally, large holes usually filled with water and gravel (for structural support), and are low cost due to ease of construction. Impervious liners are used to prevent water leakage and a cover completes the storage unit. Early examples have been constructed in Ottrupgaard, Denmark (Heller, 2000) and in Chemnitz, Germany (Fisch et al., 1998)[2]. Systems are underground creating dual use of land.

Fluid Solar heat storage tanks can be retrofitted or included in the building infrastructure to provide massive cheap thermal storage of hot and cold energy to help smooth out energy demands over the diurnal cycle and assist in the move to “thin-grid” or no grid building operation.

The Fluid Solar Thermal Bank can cheaply store many MegaJoules of energy as warmed or chilled water, sufficient to power the HVAC system of a building for weeks of cloudy weather, if necessary.

 

Visible are the thermal storage banks underneath the carpark, part of the complete off grid energy solution.

Previous "District Heating" systems require an extensive network of pipes to transfer heat, adding to the cost of any such system and limiting this technology to "whole of district" developments.

The Fluid Solar Thermal Banks eliminate network of pipes, such as those used in borehole style thermal storage and closed geothermal heat pump systems (which also carry the risk of leaks and contamination of ground-water over time), to transfer heat creating energy storage for individual buildings as each system is self-contained.

Other benefits of the thermal banks include:

  • Elimination of water flow in and out of underground aquifers as used in open exchange large scale aquifer and open geothermal heat pump systems, with contamination of ground-water and build up of contaminants in the pipe system of the heat exchanger
  • Elimination of a secondary heat exchanger between the transfer fluid of the solar thermal system and the Thermal Bank, meaning lower cost and very high heat transfer rates
  • Capability for re-use of storm-water for secondary evaporative cooling of waste heat from thermal chiller devices, allowing discharge of excess heat in warmer climates, for summer-time operation of solar thermal driven air conditioning systems
  • High quality stratification of energy stored in the Thermal Bank, allowing storage of cool water to meet peak chilling demands during the hottest summer afternoons, thus reducing the plant size and costs of thermal chiller equipment; as well as facilitating long term storage of warm water to meet heating demands during long periods of cooler weather.