The performance of a multi-tank water storage was studied by experiment and computer simulation. The unit investigated consisted of three 270 L storage tanks connected in series and was charged through individual side-arm, natural convection heat exchangers. Laboratory tests were conducted on a specially instrumented prototype to characterize its performance in terms of temperature stratification, heat transfer and energy storage rates. Based on these tests, a computer model of a complete multi-tank solar thermal system was created. With this model, the performance of a multi-unit storage was compared to a single-tank system of equal total storage volume for a multi-family solar domestic hot water (SDHW) system application. Data were produced for two U.S. locations representative of differing climatic locations. Results show that a reasonably insulated multi-tank system can be used in place of a large single tank with only a small reduction in delivered solar energy.Copyright

Modeling, Solar energy, Stratification, Thermal storage
2007 Energy Sustainability Conference
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Cruickshank, C, & Harrison, S.J. (Stephen J.). (2007). Comparison of multi-tank and large single tank thermal storages for solar DHW applications. In Proceedings of the Energy Sustainability Conference 2007 (pp. 767–774). doi:10.1115/ES2007-36213