This paper presents the results of an experimental study conducted on a multi-tank thermal storage for solar hot water heating applications. The purpose of the study was to investigate the thermal behaviour of the stratified tank system when subjected to constant temperature charging and constant volume hourly draws. The experimental setup consisted of a charge loop to simulate a solar collector input, three commercially available 270. L domestic hot water tanks and three side-arm, natural convection heat exchangers. Tests were performed over 8. h periods for three different plumbing configurations and two different hourly draw volumes. Simulations were conducted using the TRNSYS simulation environment, and the results showed that the TRNSYS model was in good agreement with the experimental results, where the discrepancies between data were found mainly in the regions of high temperature gradients within the storage tanks. Preliminary simulations were also conducted using realistic charge and draw profiles to illustrate the thermal behaviour of the tanks under non-ideal operating conditions.

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Keywords Discharge strategies, Multi-tank systems, Sensible storage, Solar energy, Solar thermal, Thermal energy storage
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2012.11.032
Journal Applied Energy
Citation
Dickinson, R.M. (Ryan M.), Cruickshank, C, & Harrison, S.J. (Stephen J.). (2013). Charge and discharge strategies for a multi-tank thermal energy storage. Applied Energy, 109, 366–373. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2012.11.032