Recycled glass thermal storage

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This page is under construction. Details will come soon; for the time being, just an outline. You can do it yourself!

Make a hermetic heat resistant steel case, of whatever size and shape. For a better insulation result, make the shape close to a cube or a sphere.

Weld two outlets to the case, one at the bottom, one at the top.

Fill the steel case with glass beads. The normal ones played by children will do great; but to fill up the space as much as possible, a better solution is to mix beads of two or more different sizes.

Insulate the case with thick glasswool layers. And your thermal storage device is ready!

Now you have only to pump thermal oil into the case, to store or extract heat. To store heat coming from the solar collector, let oil enter from the top outlet and exit from the bottom; to extract the heat for energy consumption, let oil go the opposite direction.

The only weaknesses of this quick storage device is that the glass beads are too expensive, and that the internal space of the case is not well filled by the beads, so that oil consumption is too high.

Using recycled glass melted to bricks of carefully designed forms can solve these two problems.

Warning. Do not use pebbles to replace the glass beads. Pebbles contain inpurities who may contaminate the oil and encrust the tubes and pipes.

Operating at a temperature range of 150°C-350°C, the storage capacity is usually 50-100kWh/m3. A rule of thumb is to use 50L of thermal storage volume per m2 of collecting surface, to store energy for one night. For a two-day storage capacity, double the storage volume.

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