Cellular concrete & water as a new heat storage medium for underground installation improve all-seasonal effectiveness of solar thermal and other eco heat energies
Jul 20, 2006
Heat accumulator made of cellular concrete from BCCSystems - strong enough to be over-built, environmentally friendly, maintenance-free, storage efficient and cost effective, long-lasting, and corrosion resistant - for decentralised and independent “eco” heat storage beneath open land and buildings - a new concept of underground long- and short-time heat storage systems for modern district and single building heating and cooling.
Buildings today account for 40 percent of energy consumption in developed countries according to the OECD. In view of the energy shortage and desirability of reducing CO2-emissions, there is a need for means of heating and cooling buildings while conserving energy. The target of the World Council for Sustainable Development (WBSCD) is to be able to design and construct self-sufficient and environmentally sound buildings by 2050. These buildings will use zero net energy from external energy grids and produce carbon dioxide emissions as little as possible, while being economically viable to construct and operate. More information on that topic can be found at http://www.wbcsd.org.
Following the above concept, a heat storage system (as in Figures 1 and 2), which is similar to a gravel-water heat accumulator, is in the developing phase. The innovation is, that it contains a cellular concrete material in one solid block with a very special porous structure (after curing) instead of a heap of loose gravel. Therefore, this material needs no heavy-duty and expensive basin, tank or reservoir structure made of concrete or steel etc. No doubt, this reduces the installation costs considerably.
The installation is very simple. Before the building is erected, an appropriate large and special shaped pit has to be additionally dug up down from the building excavation bottom. The side walls of the pit have to be lined at least with a watertight foil and an appropriate insulation material. The bottom of the pit can be left without sealing, since the liquid bonding agent (cement mortar) penetrates into the peripheral area of the soil and seals the cellular concrete body against the surrounding ground (self-sealing-effect) after curing. The delivered or on-side mixed cellular concrete is poured into the pit and filled up nearly to the top while a heat pipe collector system is integrated and positioned in several horizontal levels.
- Cellular concrete can be simply produced in large quantities for a reasonable price.
- Cellular concrete is easy to install by minimum use of cement, and fills up the pit completely.
- Cellular concrete structures can take up a high volume of water after curing and hold it captured by capillary capacity, making use of the high heat storage capacity of water.
- Cellular concrete has a high bearing strength, and thus can be over-build without any supporting building elements.
- Cellular concrete has a self-sealing and reinforcing effect towards the surrounding soil.
- The cellular concrete storage system is environmentally friendly, maintenance-free, storage efficient and cost effective, long-lasting, and corrosion resistant.
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