How to Store the Sun’s Heat to Last All Winter | Home Design Find

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How to Store the Sun’s Heat to Last All Winter

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Here is an interesting idea that comes from designers who experience the long dark winters of Scandinavia.

If you make them big enough, truly gigantic solar hot water storage tanks like these are able to provide radiant heat that can actually last all through the winter months.

In these Scandinavian countries, winter can mean months of darkness. So finding a way to store solar heat from the summer can make a huge dent in energy needs.
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These huge hot water storage tanks vary in size and you actually build your house around them. The heating system would be suitable for very cold climates.

They are two parts in the technology known there as the Sonnenhouse concept. On the roof, a large solar heating system that takes up 30 to 60 square meters (up to 650 sq feet!) of space on the roof…

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…and inside the house there is a gigantic heat storage tank – 6 000 to 40 000 liters (1,500 gallons to 10,600 gallons!) for domestic hot water and space heating.
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It starts with the storage tank. Here is a 10,000 gallon tank to store hot water…

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…then it is surrounded by insulation.
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Inside the tank, these pipes carry the solar heated water to heat the water in the tank which reaches over 90 degrees most summers, just like a regular much smaller solar thermal system will do in a much smaller 80 gallon tank where you are not trying to hold the heat for more than a day.
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The difference here is that this system will keep the haus warm for the dark winter months and months on end. Amazing.

Images: Sonnehaus Institute,  NASA and NASA

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