Thermal stores, buffer tanks or accumulator tanks?

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Thermal stores (also known as accumulator or buffer tanks) are sealed cylinders used for storing large quantities of hot water at a constant and pre-defined temperature.

A biomass boiler heating system incorporating a correctly sized thermal store will deliver improved efficiency, performance and have a longer working life.

The thermal store collects heat energy as hot water for instant or later use, smoothing out peak demands on the system. This enables modulation on the Guntamatic range from 24% to 100% of capacity at 96% efficiency, reducing fuel consumption.

This also cuts down the amount of time that the boiler is on and reduces the associated heat pump 'cycling' – the amount of time the boiler fires up and down.

Water in the tanks stratifies as it heats up, so that the top layers of water are of a higher temperature than the lower. Heat energy can then be drawn from the top layer before the entire volume of water inside the thermal store is heated, making hot water available very soon after lighting the boiler.

Thermal stores feature high levels of thermal efficiency and very thick insulation in order to minimise heat loss. A selection of plumbing connections enable them to be linked to additional heat sources such under floor heating and a separate 'coil' containing water can be used to connect other renewables such as solar thermal for summer use.

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