The generation and availability of heat does not always run in line with the desired offtake. You solve this with a buffer tank. This allows you to store heat from a solar collector or wood boiler, for example, in order to use this heat when needed.
In basic terms, buffer vessels are storage tanks. A large amount of water, say 500 or 1000 litres, is stored in buffer tanks. This water can be heated or, conversely, cooled, allowing a large amount of energy, in the form of hot or cold water, to be stored. This energy can then be drawn from the storage tanks at a desired time.
A buffer tank and boiler tank are both filled with water. A buffer tank is connected through a closed system to generators such as central heating and pellet boilers and then to radiators and underfloor heating. A cylinder or storage tank contains water that can be used for showering and cooking, this is drinking water and should be stored and heated safely and hygienically.
Aparticularly with wood or pellet boilers, it is more efficient and cleaner to complete combustion completely. Then the combustion may release more heat than is needed at the time. With solar collectors, when the sun shines, the moment of heating water is not the same as the moment of off-take. By connecting a boiler or solar collector to a buffer tank and thereby heating the tank, heat can be taken off at the requested time.
A variety of appliances can be connected to a buffer tank, such as wood and pellet boilers, central heating boilers, solar collectors, heat pipes and heat pumps. Radiators, underfloor heating, air heaters and domestic hot water boilers can then be connected to take heat. A buffer tank can also be used for cooling.
A buffer tank can be fitted with several connections. For example, a boiler and heat pump can be connected to one vessel. Multiple consumers such as underfloor heating and radiators can also be connected. In a buffer tank, temperature stratification can be deliberately created, with the water at the top of the tank being warmer than at the bottom of the tank. The correct operation of the buffer tank and the entire system depends on correct hydraulic connection.
Buffer tanks can be bought in all sizes, with 500 and 1,000 litres being common sizes for a residential home. The size depends on consumption and the heat generation chosen. For example, a heat pump is more efficient and lasts longer when it has fewer start/stops and is on for longer at a time.
Do you want more information about our Cipex HT Buffer Tanks, in Anti-Rust (galvanised), Stainless Steel (RVS), Galvanised (galvanised/thermal galvanised) and Insulation Jacket (insulated) versions? The Cipex HT Buffer Tanks can be customised with the desired number and size of connections. Please contact us for this, for advice or a quotation.
FAQ – Frequently asked questions
A buffer tank stores heat or cold in the form of water so that it can be withdrawn later. This allows heat from solar collectors to be stored, a wood or pellet stove to complete its combustion and, in the case of a heat pump, to reduce the number of start/stops. With a buffer tank, an installation becomes more efficient and the components last longer.
The size of a buffer tank depends on the consumption, the type of generation and the number of customers. For a residential house, a 500 or 1,000 litre vessel is often used. The vessels are available from 300 to 50,000 litres.An indispensable part of an installation is the heat exchanger. Whether it is for cooling, heating, hot tap water or any other form of heat or cold, a heat exchanger conveys the energy from the source or generation to the off-take points, in the right temperature.