US20090173336A1 - Active thermal energy storage system and tank for use therein - Google Patents

Active thermal energy storage system and tank for use therein Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20090173336A1
US20090173336A1 US12404802 US40480209A US2009173336A1 US 20090173336 A1 US20090173336 A1 US 20090173336A1 US 12404802 US12404802 US 12404802 US 40480209 A US40480209 A US 40480209A US 2009173336 A1 US2009173336 A1 US 2009173336A1
Authority
US
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
tank
system
energy storage
heat
thermal energy
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US12404802
Inventor
Leslie Leifer
Jay D. Rowe
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
ELCAL RESEARCH LLC
ELCAL Res LLC
Original Assignee
ELCAL Res LLC
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Images

Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24DDOMESTIC- OR SPACE-HEATING SYSTEMS, e.g. CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS; DOMESTIC HOT-WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS; ELEMENTS OR COMPONENTS THEREFOR
    • F24D11/00Central heating systems using heat accumulated in storage masses
    • F24D11/02Central heating systems using heat accumulated in storage masses using heat pumps using heat-pumps
    • F24D11/0257Central heating systems using heat accumulated in storage masses using heat pumps using heat-pumps air heating system
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24FAIR-CONDITIONING; AIR-HUMIDIFICATION; VENTILATION; USE OF AIR CURRENTS FOR SCREENING
    • F24F5/00Air-conditioning systems or apparatus not covered by F24F1/00 or F24F3/00, e.g. using solar heat or combined with household units such as an oven or water heater
    • F24F5/0007Air-conditioning systems or apparatus not covered by F24F1/00 or F24F3/00, e.g. using solar heat or combined with household units such as an oven or water heater cooling apparatus specially adapted for use in air-conditioning
    • F24F5/0017Air-conditioning systems or apparatus not covered by F24F1/00 or F24F3/00, e.g. using solar heat or combined with household units such as an oven or water heater cooling apparatus specially adapted for use in air-conditioning using cold storage bodies, e.g. ice
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24FAIR-CONDITIONING; AIR-HUMIDIFICATION; VENTILATION; USE OF AIR CURRENTS FOR SCREENING
    • F24F5/00Air-conditioning systems or apparatus not covered by F24F1/00 or F24F3/00, e.g. using solar heat or combined with household units such as an oven or water heater
    • F24F5/0046Air-conditioning systems or apparatus not covered by F24F1/00 or F24F3/00, e.g. using solar heat or combined with household units such as an oven or water heater using natural energy, e.g. solar energy, energy from the ground
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24FAIR-CONDITIONING; AIR-HUMIDIFICATION; VENTILATION; USE OF AIR CURRENTS FOR SCREENING
    • F24F5/00Air-conditioning systems or apparatus not covered by F24F1/00 or F24F3/00, e.g. using solar heat or combined with household units such as an oven or water heater
    • F24F5/0096Air-conditioning systems or apparatus not covered by F24F1/00 or F24F3/00, e.g. using solar heat or combined with household units such as an oven or water heater combined with domestic apparatus
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24HFLUID HEATERS, e.g. WATER OR AIR HEATERS, HAVING HEAT GENERATING MEANS, IN GENERAL
    • F24H7/00Storage heaters, i.e. heaters in which energy is stored as heat in masses for subsequent release
    • F24H7/02Storage heaters, i.e. heaters in which energy is stored as heat in masses for subsequent release the released heat being conveyed to a transfer fluid, e.g. air, water
    • F24H7/04Storage heaters, i.e. heaters in which energy is stored as heat in masses for subsequent release the released heat being conveyed to a transfer fluid, e.g. air, water with forced circulation of the transfer fluid
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F28HEAT EXCHANGE IN GENERAL
    • F28DHEAT-EXCHANGE APPARATUS, NOT PROVIDED FOR IN ANOTHER SUBCLASS, IN WHICH THE HEAT-EXCHANGE MEDIA DO NOT COME INTO DIRECT CONTACT
    • F28D20/00Heat storage plants or apparatus in general; Regenerative heat-exchange apparatus not covered by groups F28D17/00 or F28D19/00
    • F28D20/0034Heat storage plants or apparatus in general; Regenerative heat-exchange apparatus not covered by groups F28D17/00 or F28D19/00 using liquid heat storage material
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F28HEAT EXCHANGE IN GENERAL
    • F28DHEAT-EXCHANGE APPARATUS, NOT PROVIDED FOR IN ANOTHER SUBCLASS, IN WHICH THE HEAT-EXCHANGE MEDIA DO NOT COME INTO DIRECT CONTACT
    • F28D20/00Heat storage plants or apparatus in general; Regenerative heat-exchange apparatus not covered by groups F28D17/00 or F28D19/00
    • F28D20/02Heat storage plants or apparatus in general; Regenerative heat-exchange apparatus not covered by groups F28D17/00 or F28D19/00 using latent heat
    • F28D20/021Heat storage plants or apparatus in general; Regenerative heat-exchange apparatus not covered by groups F28D17/00 or F28D19/00 using latent heat the latent heat storage material and the heat-exchanging means being enclosed in one container
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24DDOMESTIC- OR SPACE-HEATING SYSTEMS, e.g. CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS; DOMESTIC HOT-WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS; ELEMENTS OR COMPONENTS THEREFOR
    • F24D2200/00Heat sources or energy sources
    • F24D2200/08Electric heater
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24DDOMESTIC- OR SPACE-HEATING SYSTEMS, e.g. CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS; DOMESTIC HOT-WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS; ELEMENTS OR COMPONENTS THEREFOR
    • F24D2200/00Heat sources or energy sources
    • F24D2200/12Heat pump
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24DDOMESTIC- OR SPACE-HEATING SYSTEMS, e.g. CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS; DOMESTIC HOT-WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS; ELEMENTS OR COMPONENTS THEREFOR
    • F24D2200/00Heat sources or energy sources
    • F24D2200/14Solar energy
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24DDOMESTIC- OR SPACE-HEATING SYSTEMS, e.g. CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS; DOMESTIC HOT-WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS; ELEMENTS OR COMPONENTS THEREFOR
    • F24D3/00Hot-water central heating systems
    • F24D3/08Hot-water central heating systems in combination with systems for domestic hot-water supply
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24FAIR-CONDITIONING; AIR-HUMIDIFICATION; VENTILATION; USE OF AIR CURRENTS FOR SCREENING
    • F24F5/00Air-conditioning systems or apparatus not covered by F24F1/00 or F24F3/00, e.g. using solar heat or combined with household units such as an oven or water heater
    • F24F5/0046Air-conditioning systems or apparatus not covered by F24F1/00 or F24F3/00, e.g. using solar heat or combined with household units such as an oven or water heater using natural energy, e.g. solar energy, energy from the ground
    • F24F2005/0064Air-conditioning systems or apparatus not covered by F24F1/00 or F24F3/00, e.g. using solar heat or combined with household units such as an oven or water heater using natural energy, e.g. solar energy, energy from the ground using solar energy
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F28HEAT EXCHANGE IN GENERAL
    • F28DHEAT-EXCHANGE APPARATUS, NOT PROVIDED FOR IN ANOTHER SUBCLASS, IN WHICH THE HEAT-EXCHANGE MEDIA DO NOT COME INTO DIRECT CONTACT
    • F28D21/00Heat-exchange apparatus not covered by any of the groups F28D1/00 - F28D20/00
    • F28D2021/0019Other heat exchangers for particular applications; Heat exchange systems not otherwise provided for
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02ATECHNOLOGIES FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02A30/00Adapting or protecting infrastructure or their operation
    • Y02A30/20Adapting or protecting infrastructure or their operation in buildings, dwellings or related infrastructures
    • Y02A30/27Relating to heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC] technologies
    • Y02A30/272Relating to heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC] technologies using solar thermal energy
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B10/00Integration of renewable energy sources in buildings
    • Y02B10/20Solar thermal
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B10/00Integration of renewable energy sources in buildings
    • Y02B10/20Solar thermal
    • Y02B10/24Air conditioning or refrigeration systems
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B10/00Integration of renewable energy sources in buildings
    • Y02B10/70Hybrid systems
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B30/00Energy efficient heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC]
    • Y02B30/08Energy efficient heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC] relating to domestic heating, space heating, domestic hot water heating [DHW] or supply systems
    • Y02B30/12Hot water central heating systems using heat pumps
    • Y02B30/125Hot water central heating systems using heat pumps combined with the use of heat accumulated in storage masses
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B30/00Energy efficient heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC]
    • Y02B30/08Energy efficient heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC] relating to domestic heating, space heating, domestic hot water heating [DHW] or supply systems
    • Y02B30/13Hot air central heating systems using heat pumps
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02EREDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
    • Y02E60/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02E60/10Energy storage
    • Y02E60/14Thermal storage
    • Y02E60/142Sensible heat storage
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02EREDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
    • Y02E60/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02E60/10Energy storage
    • Y02E60/14Thermal storage
    • Y02E60/145Latent heat storage
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02EREDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
    • Y02E60/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02E60/10Energy storage
    • Y02E60/14Thermal storage
    • Y02E60/147Cold storage
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02EREDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
    • Y02E70/00Other energy conversion or management systems reducing GHG emissions
    • Y02E70/30Systems combining energy storage with energy generation of non-fossil origin

Abstract

An active thermal energy storage system is disclosed which uses an energy storage material that is stable at atmospheric pressure and temperature and has a melting point higher than 32 degrees F. This energy storage material is held within a storage tank and used as an energy storage source, from which a heat transfer system (e.g., a heat pump) can draw to provide heating of residential or commercial buildings and associated hot water. The energy storage material may also accept waste heat from a conventional air conditioning loop, and may store such heat until needed. The system may be supplemented by a solar panel system that can be used to collect energy during daylight hours, storing the collected energy in the energy storage material. The stored energy may then be used during the evening hours to heat recirculation air for a building in which the system is installed.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application is a continuation-in-part of co-pending U.S. non-provisional patent application Ser. No. 12/212,822, filed Sep. 18, 2008, which is a continuation of U.S. non-provisional patent application Ser. No. 11/818,401, filed Jun. 13, 2007, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,441,558, which is a non-provisional of U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/852,844, filed Oct. 19, 2006, the entirety of which applications are incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention relates to a system for heating and cooling of residential and commercial building spaces and hot water systems, and more particularly to an active heat transfer system used for use in efficiently controlling air and water temperature in commercial buildings and residences.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The electrical energy generation and distribution networks in the United States are currently stressed to the limit by peak demands during daytime hours. Quite expectedly, the demands of the industrial sector, commercial and residential air conditioning and water heating are highest during the daytime hours. During the off peak, late evening and night time hours, the opposite is true, and there normally is excess electrical power available which is not needed in the local power grid.
  • Using nationwide transmission power lines, the power generation and distribution grid is used to transfer excess power to other grids that require it. This is a form of load leveling that is aimed at maintaining the coal, oil or nuclear power generation plants at a level, constant, load. The problem with such a load leveling scheme is that costs are high, due to the costs of transmission and line losses inherent in cross-country transmission to other power grids.
  • Further, large coal, oil and nuclear power generation plants operate most efficiently when running at full capacity. Due to the short time of peak demand large generation facilities are not scaled to peak demand. Smaller generation units are started up to meet the extra needs of peak demand. This allows the large generation units to run at full capacity for most of the day. These smaller generation units are significantly more costly and polluting than their larger counterparts.
  • It would be advantageous to provide a system that enables local off-peak utilization of the excess power from the local grid, thus reducing costs associated with peak production, pollution associated with that peak production, and also reducing costs associated with transmission of excess power over long distances.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • A system is disclosed for storing excess local grid power produced during off peak hours (e.g., night, holidays, etc.), for use in heating/cooling systems in residential and commercial buildings during peak (e.g., daytime) periods. An active thermal energy storage system (hereinafter referred to as “ATESS”) is disclosed for storing this excess local grid off peak power in a thermal energy storage material, such as that described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,976,584 to Leifer, and for using the stored energy to control air and water temperatures in residential dwelling and/or commercial buildings during peak energy periods. It will be appreciated, however, that the ATESS may be used to provide energy for heating/cooling at any time during a 24 hour day, and not just during the peak energy periods.
  • The ATESS facilitates the use of off peak excess electrical energy, thus reducing the need for oil and natural gas systems that are typically used for air and hot water heating in residential dwellings or commercial buildings. Thus, the invention relates to the active transfer of thermal heat energy obtained from any of a variety of natural energy sources (e.g., solar, electrical, wind, gas, oil, etc.) to a thermal energy storage material, such as one of the materials described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,976,584 to Leifer, the entire contents of which patent is incorporated herein. The thermal energy storage material may be contained in an appropriate tank or storage vessel (which will be described in greater detail below). The energy stored in the thermal energy storage material may be transferred by an active heat transfer system (e.g., a heat pump) to any of a variety of locations within a residential home or commercial building as needed for air and/or water heating at any time during a 24 hour day.
  • The ATESS operates on the principal of collecting limited available input energy from any and all sources (e.g., solar, electricity, wind, oil, gas) and storing that energy in a thermal energy storage material until needed later. The energy stored in the thermal energy storage material may be removed by a heat transfer system (e.g., heat pump) to control the temperature of residential homes or commercial buildings, thus providing the heat energy requirements at any time during a 24 hour day. Hot water or other liquid heating needs can be met by use of a dual integrated or separate heat transfer (e.g., heat pump) system which can transfer the stored energy from the energy storage material as needed for such purpose.
  • In one example, systems exist for collecting solar energy from the sun's radiation only during the limited day time hours for use in home air or water heating needs. However, such systems can only provide this energy when the sun is available. During the evening hours or on cloudy days the residential dwelling and/or commercial building air and/or water heating energy needs must be obtained from or supplemented by other available sources of energy, such as oil, natural gas, wind or electrical energy. Thus, alternative sources of energy are required in order to satisfy the full 24 hours of energy needs. The ATESS functions to receive solar energy during daylight hours, and to store that energy in a thermal energy storage material for use at any time during a 24 hour period. Stored energy is then transferred to the area of need by an active heat transfer (e.g., heat pump) system. In this way, the ATESS can make solar energy available 24 hours a day, thus reducing the need for oil or natural gas for residential dwelling and/or commercial building heating and/or water heating energy needs.
  • Currently residential dwellings and/or commercial buildings use air-conditioning powered by electricity to remove heat from the air inside the dwellings and\or buildings. Electrical energy is required to remove the heat energy from the inside air to make it comfortable for human occupancy during hot humid days and nights. The ATESS can be configured so that the active heat transfer system (e.g., heat pump) removes heat from the air inside a building, and stores it in the thermal energy storage material. This stored waste heat, which is normally rejected to the outside atmosphere by typical air conditioning units, can then be used to heat the water used in the residential dwellings and/or commercial buildings. It can also be used to provide night time heating needs, as appropriate.
  • The ATESS will reduce markedly the daytime peak power electric demands on the electrical power grid and the electric generating equipment of the local power companies. The ATESS enables more efficient local use of energy from the local power grid, thus reducing or eliminating the need for oil and natural gas. Concurrent reductions in the emission of carbon dioxide and other pollutants, normally associated with energy production from oil or natural gas, would also be achieved from residences.
  • A thermal energy storage system is disclosed, comprising a first tank for holding a quantity of water, a second tank having a quantity of thermal energy storage material disposed therein, the thermal energy storage material comprising a substantially solid clathrate having a melting point above 32 degrees Fahrenheit (F), and a latent heat of fusion approaching that of water, and recirculation piping connecting the first and second tanks. The recirculation piping may be in fluid communication with an inner volume of said first tank, the recirculation piping further comprising a heating coil disposed within the second tank. Thusly arranged, heated water disposed in said first tank at a first time may be movable within said recirculation piping, and through said heating coil, to transfer heat from the heated water to the thermal energy storage material disposed within the second tank. Furthermore, cool water disposed in said first tank at a second time is movable within said recirculation piping, and through said heating coil, to transfer heat from said thermal energy storage material disposed within the second tank to the cool water.
  • A thermal energy storage system is disclosed, comprising a hot water tank for holding a quantity of water, a storage tank having a quantity of thermal energy storage material disposed therein, the thermal energy storage material comprising a substantially solid clathrate having a melting point above 32 degrees Fahrenheit (F), and a piping loop connecting the hot water tank and the storage tank. The piping loop may be in fluid communication with an inner volume of said hot water tank, the piping loop further comprising a heating coil disposed within the storage tank. When a quantity of water in said hot water tank has a temperature greater than a temperature of said thermal energy storage material, said water is movable within said piping loop and heating coil to transfer heat from the water to the thermal energy storage material. When said quantity of water in said hot water tank has a temperature less than a temperature of said thermal energy storage material, said water is movable within said piping loop and heating coil to transfer heat from the thermal energy storage material to the water.
  • A thermal energy storage system, comprising a first tank, a second tank, and an air distribution system. The first tank may have a quantity of water disposed therein. The second tank may have a quantity of thermal energy storage material disposed therein. The thermal energy storage material may comprise a phase change material having a melting point above 32 degrees Fahrenheit (F), and a latent heat of fusion approaching that of water. The first and second tanks may be connected by a recirculation loop for moving said water from said first tank through a first coil disposed within said second tank to transfer energy between said water and said thermal energy storage material. Said second tank and said air distribution system may be connected by an air conditioning loop for moving a first heat transfer fluid from a second coil disposed in said second tank to a third coil disposed in said air conditioning system to transfer energy between said thermal energy storage material and air passed over said third coil.
  • A thermal energy storage system is disclosed, comprising a first tank, a second tank, and a hot water radiator circulation system. The first tank may have a quantity of water disposed therein. The second tank may have a quantity of thermal energy storage material disposed therein, the thermal energy storage material comprising a phase change material having a melting point above 32 degrees Fahrenheit (F), and a latent heat of fusion approaching that of water. The first and second tanks may be connected by a recirculation loop for moving said water from said first tank through a first coil disposed within said second tank to transfer energy between said water and said thermal energy storage material. The second tank and the hot water radiator circulation system may be connected by loop for moving a first heat transfer fluid from a second coil disposed in said second tank to a water coil disposed in said hot water radiator circulation system to transfer energy between said thermal energy storage material and water passed over said water coil.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 shows the ATESS installed in a dwelling that has an oil or natural gas hot air furnace system;
  • FIG. 2 shows the ATESS installed in a dwelling having an oil or natural gas hot air furnace system supplemented with solar water heating collector panels;
  • FIG. 3 shows the ATESS installed in a dwelling having an oil or natural gas hot air furnace system and has a separate water heating system (heat pump);
  • FIG. 4 shows the ATESS installed in a dwelling having an oil or natural gas hot air furnace system and has a separate water heating system (heat pump), and which further comprises a dual control system for use as an air conditioner;
  • FIG. 5 shows the ATESS described in FIG. 3 with photovoltaic solar collection panels for cold winter weather operation; and
  • FIG. 6 shows the ATESS described in FIG. 4 with photovoltaic solar collection panels for hot summer weather operation;
  • FIG. 7 is a schematic an arrangement of an ATESS test facility used to test system and thermal energy storage material efficacy;
  • FIG. 8 is a tabular representation of the results of a 14 day test of the ATESS;
  • FIG. 9 is a tabular representation of the performance of the ATESS on an hourly basis throughout a 24-hour day;
  • FIGS. 10A-C are tabular representations of daily fuel oil and LPG (liquid propane gas) consumption for a residential home, including a comparison of the annual winter heating costs for fuel oil, LPG, and the ATESS heating system using off peak electric and daytime solar, all off peak electricity, and all daytime solar;
  • FIG. 11 shows an alternative arrangement of the ATESS installed in a dwelling having an oil or natural gas hot air furnace system; and
  • FIGS. 12-15 illustrate four exemplary modes of operation of the ATESS of FIG. 11.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • As previously noted, there are many sources of energy (e.g., solar, electrical, oil, gas, wind, etc.) which may be available for collection only during limited time periods during a 24 hour day. This is in contrast to the electrical, heating or cooling power needs associated with a residential or commercial building, which may vary during any given 24 hour period. The disclosed ATESS accommodates such limited availability of these energy sources and provides a steady source of energy, as needed, throughout a 24 hour period.
  • Referring to FIG. 1, the ATESS 1 is shown installed in the basement area 2 of a dwelling having an oil or natural gas hot air furnace system 4. The ATESS 1 may comprise a storage tank 6 containing a quantity of thermal energy storage material 8, a hot water storage tank 10 for heating and distribution of hot water through the residence, and a connection 12 between the storage tank 6 and the furnace system 4 to allow the transfer of heat between the thermal energy storage material 8 and the furnace system 4. A connection 14 will also be provided between the hot water tank 10 and the storage tank 6 to allow the transfer of heat between the thermal energy storage material 8 contained in the storage tank 6 and the hot water from the hot water tank 10.
  • The connection 12 between the storage tank 6 and the furnace system 4 may comprise fluid supply and return piping 16, 18 which connect to opposite ends of a condenser coil 20 located within the furnace system 4. Likewise, the supply and return piping 16, 18 connect to opposite ends of an evaporator coil 22 located within the storage tank 6. The supply and return piping 16, 18 and condenser and evaporator coils 20, 22 thus form a closed loop for the movement of a heat transfer fluid between the furnace system 4 and the thermal energy storage material tank 6. The flow rate of the heat transfer fluid may be controlled by operation of a compressor 24 located in the return piping 18, and a control valve 26 located in the supply piping 16.
  • Likewise, the connection 14 between the thermal energy storage material tank 6 and the hot water tank 10 may comprise supply 28 and return 30 piping connected to a heating coil 32 disposed within the storage tank 6. Water is pumped through the supply and return piping 28, 30 by a circulation pump 34 located in the supply piping line. A check valve 36 disposed within the discharge piping protects against backflow of water through the return piping when the pump 34 is turned off. The hot water tank 10 may further have a cold water supply line 38 for providing a constant source of water to the tank 10 for heating, and a hot water discharge line 40 for distributing the heated water throughout the residence.
  • The hot water tank 10 may further have one or more electrical resistance heaters 52, 54 to heat the water in the tank to a desired temperature using building electricity.
  • In operation, the water in the hot water tank 10 is heated to a desired temperature using one or more of the resistance heaters 52, 54. The heated water may then be pumped through the supply and return piping 28, 30 to heat the thermal energy storage material 8 contained in the thermal energy storage material tank 6. This heat transfer can occur until a desired amount of energy is contained in the thermal energy storage material 8.
  • Thereafter, the energy contained in the thermal energy storage material 8 can be transferred to the air 46 of the furnace system 4 via the fluid supply and return lines 16, 18. The heat transfer fluid contained in these lines may be warmed as it passes through the evaporator coil 22 and compressor 24. Energy contained in the heat transfer fluid is then transferred to the recirculating air 46 via the condenser coil 20, providing warm air 50 to be returned to the living space.
  • The energy in the thermal energy storage material 8 can also be used to transfer energy back to the water in the hot water tank 10, via the supply and return piping 28, 30 and recirculation pump 24. Thus, during off-peak periods (e.g., night time) the hot water system is used to transfer heat to the thermal energy storage material 8, allowing the storage of large quantities of heat during an otherwise light energy loading period. Thereafter, during peak loading periods (e.g., daytime), the heat can be transferred back to the hot water tank or to the furnace, as needed to heat the building air and/or water.
  • In addition to the condenser coil 20 arrangement, the furnace system 4 may comprises a traditional fuel supply 42, and a furnace air circulation fan 44 for drawing cold air 46 from the living space 48. The fan 44 causes the cold air 46 to flow over the condensing coil 20, and then circulates the heated air 50 throughout the living space 48. In one embodiment, where the living space thermostat is set to about 70 degrees F., the cold air 46 is at a temperature of about 65 degrees F., and the hot air 50 is at a temperature of about 75 degrees F.
  • One appropriate thermal energy storage material is that described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,976,584 to Leifer, the entire contents of which is incorporated by reference herein. The Leifer patent describes a clathrate material that is stable at atmospheric temperature and pressure, has a melting point higher than 32 degrees F., and has a relatively high specific heat and heat of fusion. Such a material absorbs heat until its temperature rises to its melting point. Because of its high heat of fusion, the thermal storage material can absorb a large quantity of heat per unit mass, making it a highly efficient means of energy storage. This is but one possible material that may be used as the thermal energy storage material 8, and other materials have properties that are expected to make them desirable for use as the thermal energy storage material 8. For example, materials such as imidazole, imidazolium chloride, derivatives of pyrrole, such as 2-acetyl pyrrole or tetra methylpyrrole, or other like compounds may be suitable for use as thermal energy storage material 8. The results of testing of certain of these thermal energy storage materials are discussed in relation to FIGS. 8-10C. Materials other than those specifically tested and/or identified may be suitable as well, as will be appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art.
  • The tank 6 employed to hold the thermal energy storage material will preferably be made of a material that is non-reacting when exposed to the particular thermal energy storage material 8 used in the ATESS. Thus, in one embodiment the tank 6 may be made from polyethylene material. Alternatively, the tank 6 may be made from glass or non-reacting material or may be provided with a glass or other non-reacting material lining such as polypropylene, fiberglass or Teflon.
  • Like the tank interior, the external surfaces of lines 22, 32 that run within the tank should also be non-reactive when exposed to the particular thermal energy storage material 8 contained in the tank 6. For embodiments in which lines 22, 32 comprise copper piping or tubing, the external surfaces may be coated with an acrylic paint and wrapped with a polymer wrap to prevent reaction between the thermal energy storage material 8 and the copper material. As an alternative to the polymer wrap, a paraffin material may be used as a coating over the acrylic coat. Paraffin is expected to work well where the operating temperature of the thermal energy storage material 8 is less than about 140 degrees F., since the melting point of paraffin is about 162-177 degrees F. As a further alternative, lines 22, 32 could be made from a polymer material, such as polyethylene (e.g., PEX tubing), polypropylene, fiberglass or Teflon. Additionally, polymer coated metal tubing may be used.
  • The tank 6 and its connections should be sealed from the atmosphere to prevent the evaporation of water from the thermal energy storage material 8 during operation. Large-scale evaporation may cause undesirable changes in the thermal properties. Alternatively, evaporation may be compensated for by providing a level measurement scheme for the tank 6 so that additional water can be added to the thermal energy storage material 8 when a minimum acceptable tank level is detected. Examples of suitable level measurement schemes may comprise a visual line-type indicator, as well as automated level detection systems. Additionally, in response to a low-level indication, supplemental water may be added manually by the user, or via an automated load leveling system.
  • Lines 22, 32 should be arranged within the tank 6 to serve the entire height of the tank (i.e., they should run almost to the bottom of the tank 6) to avoid solid spots within the material during operation. The lines 22, 32 can have a U-shaped configuration, or they may be coiled. It will be appreciated that the tubing configuration within the tank is not limited to U-shapes and coils, and that other appropriate shapes for lines 23, 32 may also be used.
  • In one embodiment, the surplus 220 Volt [V] off-peak electrical energy, which is only available for about eleven hours in the evening, provides the thermal energy for heating the home and hot water needs over a 24 hour day by maintaining all of the water in the hot water tank 10 at about 120 degrees F. The 120 F hot water is circulated into a tube heating coil 32 installed in the tank 6 used for storing the thermal energy storage material 8, thus transferring heat energy to the material 8 (solid to liquid) at a constant 77 degrees F. melting point for storage. When the dwelling thermostat demands more heat, the ATESS compressor 24 and the furnace air circulation fan 44 starts. The refrigerant control valve 26 provides a 40 degrees F. vaporized refrigerant to the evaporator coil 22 which absorbs heat from the 77 degrees F. thermal energy storage material. The compressor 24 elevates the refrigerant temperature to 120 degrees F. to the condensing coil 20, which transfers the heat required at all times during a 24 hour day to the circulating furnace air 46 for home heating. It is noted that this temperature scenario applies where the living space temperature (i.e., the thermostat set temperature) is 70 degrees F. Thus, where cooler or warmer living space temperatures are desired, the system operating temperatures will adjust accordingly.
  • Referring to FIG. 2, an ATESS 55 is shown installed in a dwelling having an oil or natural gas hot air furnace system 4 similar to that described in relation to FIG. 1. In the FIG. 2 system, the energy from the furnace system 4 is supplemented with energy provided by one or more solar water heating collector panels 56. In the illustrated embodiment, a solar panel circulating water loop 58 is integrated into the hot water return piping 30 so that water from the hot water tank 10 can be circulated through the solar energy collector panel 56. A solar panel supply line 60 connects to the hot water return piping 30 between the check valve 36 and the hot water tank 10 to draw water from the tank 10 and/or the output from the heating coil 32. A solar panel circulation pump 62 is disposed in the supply line 60 to provide the motive circulation force for the water. The pumped water passes through the internal passages (not shown) within the solar panel 56, and is heated by the direct energy of the sun. The energy produced by a photovoltaic collector portion 64 of the solar panel 56 is used to power pump 62. The heated water then passes to a return line 66 which directs the water back to the hot water tank 10. The heated water can then be passed through the supply and return piping 28, 30 using recirculation pump 34 so that the heat from the water is transferred to the thermal energy storage material 8 in the tank 6. It will be appreciated that the solar panel 56 may be used to supplement the heat provided by the electrical resistance heaters 52, 54, or on days of particularly direct sunlight, may be used alone to heat the water in the hot water tank.
  • The energy provided to the thermal energy storage material 8 is thereafter available for use to heat the recirculated air 46 of the furnace, or to heat the hot water contained in the hot water tank 10.
  • The remainder of the system 55, including the storage tank 6, thermal energy storage material 8, and the connections between the storage tank 6, the hot water tank 10 and the furnace system 4 may all be the same as described in relation to the system 1 of FIG. 1.
  • In one embodiment, solar energy collected during sunny days as well as surplus off-peak electrical energy provided to the electrical resistance heaters 52, 54 (which, again, may only be available for about eleven hours in the evenings,) provides the thermal energy to heat the home and hot water needs throughout a 24 hour day by maintaining all the water in the hot water tank 10 at about 120 degrees F. The 120 degree F. hot water is circulated into the tube heating coil 32 installed in the thermal energy storage material tank 6, transferring heat energy to the thermal energy storage material 8 (solid to liquid) at a constant 77 degree F. melting point for storage. When the dwelling thermostat demands more heat, the ATESS compressor 24 and the furnace air circulation fan 44 start. The refrigerant control valve 26 provides a 40 degree F. vaporized refrigerant to the evaporator coil 22 which absorbs heat from the 77 degree F. thermal energy storage material 8. The compressor 24 elevates the refrigerant temperature to 120 degrees F. to the condensing coil 20, which transfers the heat required at any time during a 24 hour day, to the circulating furnace air 46 for home heating.
  • Referring to FIG. 3, an ATESS 68 is installed in a dwelling having an oil or natural gas hot air furnace system 4 as well as a separate water heating system (i.e., a heat pump), 72. The system of FIG. 3 has substantially the same piping, components, and interconnections as described in relation to the system of FIG. 1, but also includes a heat pump system 72 that enables supplemental heating of the water in the hot water tank 10 to accommodate high volume hot water needs during the day and/or night.
  • Thus, the ATESS 68 of FIG. 3 comprises a furnace system 4, thermal energy storage material tank 6, hot water tank 10, and all related piping and fluid management components described in relation to FIG. 1. As with the systems described in relation to FIGS. 1 and 2, the ATESS 68 heats the thermal energy storage material 8 during off-peak hours by circulating hot water from the hot water tank 10 through the heating coil 32 in the storage tank 6.
  • The ATESS 68 further comprises an additional closed heating loop 72 having fluid supply 74 and return 76 piping in communication with respective evaporator and condenser coils 78, 80 located within the thermal energy storage material tank 6 and the hot water tank 10. A compressor 82 is located in the supply line 74 and provides the motive force for moving the heat transfer fluid (contained within the piping 74, 76) between the heat transfer coils 78, 80 in the respective tanks 6, 10, thereby transferring heat from the thermal energy storage material 8 to the hot water located in the hot water tank 10. A control valve 84 is located within the return piping 76 to control the flow rate of the heat transfer fluid, thus controlling the amount of heat transferred between the thermal energy storage material 8 and the water in the hot water tank 10.
  • As with the previously described embodiments, the surplus 220 V off-peak electrical energy, which is only available for about eleven hours during the evening, provides the thermal energy to heat the home and hot water over a 24 hour day by maintaining all the water in the hot water tank 10 at about 120 degrees F. The 120 degree F. hot water (heated by the resistance heaters 52, 54) is circulated into a heating coil 32 installed in the thermal energy storage material tank 6, thus transferring heat energy to the thermal energy storage material (changing it from solid to liquid) at a constant 77 degrees F. melting point for storage. When the dwelling thermostat demands more heat, the ATESS compressor 24 and the furnace air circulation fan 44 starts. The refrigerant control valve 26 provides a 40 degrees F. vaporized refrigerant to the evaporator coil 22 which absorbs heat from the 77 degree F. thermal energy storage material 8. The compressor 24 elevates the refrigerant temperature to 120 degrees F. to the condensing coil 20, which transfers the heat required at all times of a 24 hour day, to the circulating furnace air for home heating. The heat pump system 72 is operable to heat water in the hot water tank 10 at any time of the day, using the stored heat in the thermal energy storage material 8.
  • Referring to FIG. 4, ATESS system 86 is installed in a dwelling having an oil or natural gas hot air furnace system 4, and which has a separate water heating system (i.e., a heat pump) 78 similar to that described in relation to the ATESS of FIG. 3. In the embodiment of FIG. 4, however, the ATESS 86 is configured with a control system 87 that may reverse the functions of the components to enable the ATESS 86 to heat or cool the house as desired. Thus, on hot, humid summer days, the ATESS 86 removes heat from the house circulating air 88, and stores that heat in the thermal energy storage material 8 for heating water for home use or home heating. The cooled air 90 is then recirculated through the dwelling.
  • The ATESS 86 of FIG. 4 comprises a furnace system 4, thermal energy storage material tank 6, hot water tank 10, as well as all related piping and fluid management components described in relation to FIG. 3. As noted, the ATESS 86 further comprises a control system 87 operable to reverse the flow of heat transfer fluid between the storage tank 6 and the coil 20 of the furnace system 4. This flow reversal may be implemented by providing an appropriate piping arrangement for redirecting the flow of the heat transfer fluid according to a desired series of valve settings. Thus, in a “heating” setting, the flow of heat transfer fluid would be through lines 16 and 18 in the direction of arrows “A,” and would be functional for heating the dwelling air 88. In the “cooling” setting, the flow of heat transfer fluid would be through lines 16 and 18 in the direction of arrows “B,” and would be functional for cooling the dwelling air 88. Suitable electronics may be provided to automatically actuate and control the direction and flow rate of the heat transfer fluid through lines 16 and 18.
  • Where the system 86 is used for cooling the dwelling air 88, particularly during the hot summer months in southern portions of the northern hemisphere, an outdoor evaporator coil and fan may be provided in communication with the heat transfer storage material 8. This arrangement may be of advantage where the thermal energy storage material 8 has met its maximum capacity for storage of rejected air conditioning heat, since it provides a path for rejecting excess heat to the outdoors.
  • In an alternative embodiment, in lieu of a special piping arrangement for redirecting flow, compressor 24 could be a reversible compressor, and control valve 26 could be of a design that provides a desired degree of flow control regardless of the direction of flow past the seat. Additionally, in lieu of control valve 26 a pair of control valves could be provided, one for controlling refrigerant flow rate when heat is needed in winter or on cool summer evenings, and a second to control refrigerant flow if heat needs to be removed from the dwelling in the summer. Suitable known control electronics may be provided to enable automatic selection of a flow direction.
  • As with the previously-described embodiments, the ATESS 86 of FIG. 4 operates to store energy in the thermal energy storage material 8 during periods in which such storage is most efficient. In one embodiment, energy removed from the hot air 88 of the living space is transferred to the storage material 8 via the compressor 24, control valve 26 and piping 16, 18 arrangement previously described. The stored energy may then be used to heat water (in a manner previously described) immediately or at a later time, or to heat the air circulated through the furnace system 4 at a later time, as needed.
  • Referring to FIG. 5, ATESS system 92 has substantially the same piping and components as the system 68 described in relation to FIG. 3, and further comprises one or more photovoltaic solar collection panels 94 to provide additional water and air heating for cold weather operation, such as in winter. The one or more solar collection panels 94, employing known photovoltaic principles, may produce direct current (DC) electricity, which may then converted to alternating current (AC) electricity by a suitable AC/DC converter 96. The resulting AC electricity may then be connected to the appropriate home or building power supply circuits. A step-up or step down converter (not shown) may also be required to match the home or building power supply circuit. The electricity from the solar panels 94 may be provided directly to the resistance heaters 52, 54 that provide thermal energy to the water contained in the hot water tank 10. This energy may then be transferred to the thermal energy storage material via lines 28, 30 and heating coil 32, in a manner previously described in relation to the systems of FIGS. 1-4.
  • The system of FIG. 5 is particularly well suited to use in cold weather regions. Thus, when the cold weather season arrives, the available daytime solar power generated by the solar collection panels 94 may be used to heat water in the hot water tank for house use, and also to store the (now converted) electrical energy in the thermal energy storage material 8 using ATESS 92. The ATESS 92, in a manner similar or identical to that described in relation to FIG. 3, may then be used to heat the home and to meet hot water needs during any portion of a 24 hour day. The off-peak surplus electric power would be back-up energy during cloudy or limited sunny days for the net thermal energy needed to heat the residential dwelling or commercial building and/or water.
  • Referring to FIG. 6, ATESS system 98 has substantially the same piping and components as the ATESS 86 described in relation to FIG. 4, and further comprises one or more photovoltaic solar collection panels 100 for hot summer weather operation. The one or more solar collecting panels 100 using known photovoltaic principals, may generate direct current (DC) electricity, which may then be converted to alternating current (AC) using a voltage converter 102, thus enabling connection with the home or building electric power supply. When the hot, humid, weather season arrives, the electric power generated by the solar collection panels 100 may be used to operate the conventional air conditioning system, which operates in conjunction with the reversible ATESS 86 system described in relation to FIG. 4 to cool the air 88 in the living space.
  • A storage tank 6 for use in a typical dwelling may be approximately 400 gallons in volume, and may contain an energy storage material such as that described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,976,584 to Leifer. Other appropriate thermal energy storage materials may be tetra iso-amyl ammonium fluoride. 38H20, tetra n-butyl ammonium fluoride. 18H20 (Clathrate Materials). Additionally, the following Non-Clathrate Materials may also be used: imidazole, imidazolium chloride, derivatives of pyrrole, such as 2-acetyl pyrrole or tetra methylpyrrole, or other like compounds. The heating coils 22, 32, 78 may be made of corrosion resistant materials suitable for carrying approximately 120 degree F. water in operation. The total heat stored in the approximate 400 gallons of thermal heat storage material would heat a home of approximately 1600 square feet of living space maintaining a temperature of approximately 70 degrees F. in the most northern latitudes of the United States daily throughout the year. The heat stored in the approximate 400 gallon tank 6 of thermal energy storage material 8 for heating the home would also heat water in an approximate 60 gallon insulated hot water tank 10 to a desired 115 degrees F. to 120 degrees P temperature for normal family hot water usage.
  • The ATESS may be provided with an appropriate computer control system for controlling the heat pump system 72, furnace system 4, recirculation pumps 34, 62 compressor 24, control valve 26, and resistance beaters 52, 54 to enable the ATESS to perform as desired to compliment the oil or natural gas heating system and/or water heating system needs of a commercial or residential building. The control system would also control the dwelling heat transfer (i.e., heat pump) system as a dual system to remove heat from the air circulating in the furnace duct system during the hot and humid summer days, and to that heat in the thermal energy storage material stored in the storage tank 6. The system may be used in conjunction with a conventional electric powered air conditioning system during the hot-humid summer months.
  • It will also be appreciated that the ATESS may be integrated into a mobile platform to aid in the transport of perishable commodities such as orange juice and the like. Thus, the ATESS may be sized and configured for installation in railroad cars, trucks, planes, container/cargo ships or other transportation platforms. In one example, the ATESS may be combined with solar panels or fuel oil to reduce oil consumption in ocean going passenger ships.
  • Further, the ATESS may be used as part of a system for reducing the energy consumption required for any of a variety of industrial processes that require substantial energy, such as soup making, and the like.
  • In yet another embodiment, the ATESS may be used to advantage in applications such as commercial/personal ice skating or hockey rinks.
  • Advantages
  • The Northeast area of the United States has the larger number of homes and commercial buildings heated by oil and liquefied natural gas (LPG). Due to the lack of major natural gas pipelines serving the area, liquefied natural gas is imported through major seaports in the Northeast by huge tankers from foreign countries, which could be a terrorist threat to the security of our seaports. The conversion to ATESS of homes and commercial buildings to electric off peak power or solar energy would eliminate these shipments and the associated threats to our seaports.
  • The United States currently imports approximately 40% of its domestic oil needs from foreign countries. The ATESS system can substantially reduce or eliminate the need for foreign oil.
  • ATESS can also reduce the need to heat residential dwellings or commercial buildings with oil and natural gas. ATESS can reduce daytime peak electric power demands during hot and humid weather.
  • ATESS can store solar thermal energy available during the daytime for use during day or night for energy needs of residential dwellings or commercial buildings.
  • ATESS, if widely used in residential dwellings and commercial buildings, will allow electric power generation networks to practice load leveling between peak daytime and surplus off-peak night time electric power demands.
  • Laboratory Test Results for Various Thermal Energy Storage Materials
  • The inventors have conducted laboratory tests to determine the melting point, heat of fusion and safe operating temperature range of several materials considered suitable for use as thermal energy storage material 8. The results of the inventors' tests are shown in Table 1 below. In addition to the specific clathrate material the inventors used in their tests, other potentially useful clathrate materials exist and are noted herein. These materials include: tetra iso-amyl ammonium fluoride 38H2O, which has a melting point of 88 degrees F., and tetra n-butyl ammonium fluoride 18H2O, which has a melting point of 98.6 degrees F. It should be noted that some of the other thermal energy storage materials identified in Table 1 below have melting points much greater than 77 degrees F. The use of these higher melting point materials in any one of the previously described ATMSS systems may preclude the need for a heat pump system 72.
  • TABLE 1
    Physico-Chemical Results of Potential Tested
    Thermal Energy Storage Materials
    Heat of % Heat of Safe Operating
    Melting Point Fusion Fusion of Range
    Materials (degrees F.) (BTU/lbs) Water (%) (degrees F.)
    TESM 11 77 108 75%  77-140
    Imidazole 194 75 52% 194-320
    Imidazolium 320 60 42% 320-375
    Chloride
    2-Acetylpyrrole 195 77 54% 195-260
    Note that the “Safe Operating Range” indicated in Table 1 represents, for each TESM, a temperature range between the melting point of the TESM and a point approximately 5-20 degrees F. below the decomposition temperature of the particular TESM.
    1“TESM 1” was (n-C4H9)4NF32.8H2O
  • Test Site Results
  • Referring to FIG. 7, a test site building was constructed as a horizontal duplex, with each room (Rooms #1 and #2) being approximately 32 square feet. Room #1 was heated conventionally, while Room #2 was heated using the ATESS. The inventors used 40 lbs of Thermal Energy Storage Material (TESM) 8, which in this case was (n-C4H9) 4NF 32.8H2O, and which will be referred to hereinafter as “TESM 1.” The TESM 1 was contained in TESM 1 tank 6. For the purposes of the test, the tank 6 was a 5 gallon polyethylene tank. Internal piping was copper, coated with acrylic coating and wrapped with a polymer film. The tank 6 connections were sealed from the atmosphere using tape to prevent evaporation. The 40 lbs. of TESM 1 stored heat energy from two (2) limited sources in these tests. Source 1 was evening off peak electricity and Source 2 was daytime solar energy. The solar heat collection system worked well, but due to the lack of sunny days during, the test, the inventors simulated the daytime solar heat by using metered daytime electric power. Both sources were limited to four (4) hours per cycle for the tests. The ATESS in Room #2 was a scaled down version of the ATESS previously described in relation to FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 8 shows the results of 14 days of testing. Days 1, 2, and 3 were conducted to determine the heat required to maintain a consistent temperature in Rooms #1 and #2. The results of these tests show the heat required to maintain the same temperature in Rooms #1 and #2 are essentially the same.
  • FIG. 8 also shows test days #4 through #14 which were conducted using only the ATESS heating system as a primary heat source for Room #2. Test days #4 and #5 were not considered in the results because those days used 3.0 and 3.5 hour heating cycles to transfer heat to the TESM, and these shorter cycle times were deemed not to be long enough for transfer of an adequate amount of heat to TESM 1 for storage during the tests. The remaining test days (#6 to #14) used four (4) hour TESM heating cycles. The results show that ATESS heating system works very well to maintain the temperature in Room #2 at a nominal 70 degrees F. (temperature actually ranged from about 68-71 degrees F.) without the use of any conventional additional heat from fuel oil or gas. During the December and January tests, the outside air temperature fluctuated from a low of 12 degrees F. to a high of 47 degrees F.
  • FIG. 9 shows the performance of the ATESS heating system hour by hour during a 24-hour day. The results in FIG. 9 were compiled for an optimum day (i.e., one close to the mean of test days 6-14) using the ATESS. The results show energy from two (2), limited sources (i.e., evening off peak electricity and daytime solar) being distributed as needed to test Room #2 in order to maintain a desired temperature. Some heat from the ATESS control system, compressor motor losses, and heat of compression from the compressor were also added to Room #2. The limited source energy from non-peak electric and solar was stored in the TESM 1 during the limited 4 hour cycles and then distributed to Room 2 by the ATESS heat pump system. The heat needed to maintain 70 degrees F. in Room 2 was controlled by the thermostat of the ATESS system.
  • The results tabulated in FIGS. 8 and 9 show heat pump inefficiencies of our system design which can be substantially improved by an experienced heating and ventilation equipment manufacturer. For example, the ATESS system prototype heat pump evaporator coil comprised single diameter copper tubing. An experienced HVAC engineer could design an evaporator coil having a varied diameter in order to maintain a constant evaporator refrigerant temperature of approximately 40 degrees F. across the entire coil. Additionally, the prototype heat pump system had less than optimal electric compressor motor efficiency, which may be improved greatly in large system designs using either AC or DC electric power. Additionally, modern control systems applied to a large-scale ATESS would use little electric power as compared to the prototype system. The ATESS heating system inefficiency is indicated in FIGS. 8 and 9 as extra heat added to room #2 (“Motor Loss and Extra Room Heat Demand”) to maintain the desired temperature.
  • The inventors consider that to install an operational. ATESS into a full size residential home having 1600 sq ft. of living area would require a 50:1 scale up to replicate the results shown at the test site. FIGS. 10A-C show the daily fuel oil and LPG (liquid propane gas) consumption for such a residential home. In addition, FIGS. 10A-C shows a comparison of the annual winter heating costs for: a) fuel oil, b) LPG, and c) the ATESS heating system using: 1) off peak electric and daytime solar, 2) all off peak electricity, and 3) all daytime solar.
  • The results indicate a substantial cost savings can be achieved through use of the ATESS. For example, the annual cost for fuel oil using a 125 day annual winter heating cycle is estimated to be about $1,813, while the annual cost for LPG also using a 125 day annual winter heating cycle is estimated to be $1,932. (These estimated costs where calculated using estimates of $2.55/gallon of fuel oil and $1.86/gallon of LPG.) By comparison, the annual heating cost using the ATESS for the 125 day annual winter heating cycle with: 1) off peak electric and daytime solar is estimated to be about $1,048; 2) all off peak electric is estimated to be about $1,348; and 3) all daytime solar is estimated to be about $748. Thus, it can be seen that there would be a considerable savings with the use of the ATESS as compared to conventional heating methods. This savings can be increased by adding accessories to heat water.
  • For example, during hot summer months, heat may be removed from the dwelling space (via air conditioning) and stored in the TESM. Appropriate piping and pumping equipment (e.g., items 72, 83 in FIG. 4) may be added to the ATESS to allow transfer of this stored heat from the TESM 8 to the hot water in the hot water tank 10 to maintain a desired temperature (e.g., 125 degrees F.). Heating the hot water in this manner may eliminate or reduce the need to use expensive daytime electric, fuel oil or LPG.
  • FIGS. 10A-C further show the gallons per day of fuel oil and LPG as well as the total annual costs for a 125 day winter heating season.
  • In addition to the aforementioned cost savings, the use of the ATESS may also result in substantial reductions in pollutants emitted to the atmosphere as compared to conventional heating systems. For example, the burning of fuel oil (for the annual heating season) emits to the atmosphere 3,831 lbs of carbon and 14,060 lbs of CO2 per residence (again assuming a 1600 square foot living space). The burning of LPG emits 2,927 lbs of carbon and 10,742 lbs of CO2, for the same size living space. The ATESS, by contrast, emits no carbon or CO2 to the atmosphere from the residences. These results are clearly shown at the bottom of FIG. 10C.
  • Referring now to FIG. 11, an alternative arrangement for the ATESS 200 is shown installed in dwelling having a heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system 202. As with the previous embodiments, the ATESS 200 may comprise a storage tank 204 containing a quantity of thermal energy storage material 206, a hot water storage tank 208 for heating and distribution of hot water through the residence, and connections between the storage tank 204 and the HVAC system 202 to allow the transfer of heat between the thermal energy storage material 206 and the HVAC system 202. Connections may also be provided between the hot water tank 208 and the storage tank 204 to allow the transfer of heat between the thermal energy storage material 206 contained in the storage tank 204 and the water in the hot water tank 208.
  • The storage tank 204 and the thermal energy storage material 206 used with the ATESS 200 of FIG. 11 may be the same as the storage tank 6 and the thermal energy storage material 8 described in relation to the ATESS 1 of FIGS. 1-10.
  • As can be seen in FIG. 11, one difference between the ATESS 200 of FIG. 11 and the ATESS 1 of FIGS. 1-10 is that the storage tank 204 does not have an evaporator coil (i.e., coil 22 in FIG. 1) disposed inside the tank This arrangement protects the TESM from overheating by assure that the 140 F deterioration limit of the TESM will not be reached during normal operation of the system.
  • The storage tank 204 does have a connection to the HVAC system 202, comprising a fluid loop 210 located within the tank 204, fluid supply and return piping 212, 214 which connect to opposite ends of a first coil 216 located within the HVAC system 202. A first pump 218 located within the supply piping 212 is controllable to circulate fluid within the loop to transfer energy between the thermal energy storage material 206 and the HVAC system 202. The first pump 218 may be a variable speed pump that enables precise control of the flow rate of the fluid within the loop. Although the system has been described as using water as the circulated “fluid,” it will be appreciated that other fluids may be used depending upon the application of the system. For example, ethylene glycol, mineral oil, Dow-Therm and the like can be used as the circulated fluid where the ATESS 200 will not be used for providing hot water service (e.g., tap, cooking, or cleaning uses) to the building in which the system is installed.
  • As an additional measure of protection against exceeding the deterioration limit of the thermal energy storage material 206, the storage tank 204 may have a temperature sensor. This temperature sensor may be operable to signal the shutdown of the first pump 218, and to signal the HVAC system 202 to remove heat from the dwelling air and to exhaust the heat to the outside of the dwelling. It will be appreciated that one or more temperature sensors may also be provided to measure the temperature of the fluid within the supply piping 212.
  • The hot water tank 208 may have an inlet connection 220 for receiving fill water from a city water or other appropriate water supply connection, and an outlet connection 222 for providing heated water for home hot water uses. The inlet connection 220 may have a check valve 224 disposed therein to prevent backflow from the tank to the water supply line. The hot water tank 208 also may be connected to the HVAC system 202 to enable the transfer of energy between the tank and the HVAC system. This connection may comprise first and second tank connections 226, 228, and first and second fluid loop piping legs 230, 232 which connect to opposite ends of a second coil 234 located within the HVAC system 202. A second pump 236 located within the second fluid loop piping leg 232 is controllable to circulate water within the loop to transfer energy between the hot water tank 208 and the HVAC system 202. The second pump 236 may be a variable speed pump that enables precise control of the flow rate of the water within the piping legs 230, 232.
  • The hot water tank 208 and the storage tank 204 may also be connected to enable the selective transfer of energy between the thermal energy storage material 206 in the storage tank 204 and the water in the hot water tank 208. To this end, a first three-way valve 238 may be disposed within the first fluid loop piping leg 230. The first three-way valve 238 may be operable to allow flow through the first fluid loop piping leg 230 to provide flow from the hot water tank 208 to the coil 234 located within the HVAC system 202. The first three-way valve 238 may also be provided with a first circulation leg 240 that connects an outlet port of the valve 238 to the fluid return piping 214 of the storage tank 204 to enable circulation of water between the hot water tank 208 and the storage tank 204. Similarly, a second three-way valve 242 may be disposed in second fluid piping leg 232, and may be operable to allow flow through the second fluid loop piping leg 232 to provide flow between the hot water tank 208 and the coil 216 located within in the HVAC system 202. The second three-way valve 242 may also be provided with a second circulation leg 244 that connects an outlet port of the valve 242 to fluid supply piping 212 of the storage tank 204 to enable the circulation of water between the hot water tank 208 and the storage tank 204. In the illustrated embodiment, the first and second three-way valves are solenoid valves that may be remotely or locally operable using a manual or automated control system.
  • The hot water tank 208 may additionally have one or more electrical resistance heaters 246, 248 to heat the water in the tank to a desired temperature using building electricity.
  • Energy may be transferred between the HVAC system, the storage tank 204, and the hot water tank 208 via a plurality of coil sets. Specifically a first coil set 250 is positioned in thermal communication with first coil 216, while a second coil set 252 is positioned in thermal communication with second coil 234. A third coil set 254 is positioned within a supply duct 256 of the HVAC system 202 to heat or cool air being provided to the living spaces via fan 257. A compressor 258 with associated piping and valves is provided for transferring energy: (1) from the first or second coil sets 250, 252 to the third coil set 254, or (2) from the third coil set 254 to the first or second coil set 250, 252. In this way, energy can be transferred between the air in the supply duct 256 and the hot water tank 208 or the storage tank 204.
  • It will be appreciated that although the coil pairs 216/250, 234/252 are shown as being separate and discrete coils, that they will often constitute opposing heat transfer paths within a single fluid-to-fluid heat exchanger. Likewise, third coil set 254 will often constitute a fluid-to-air heat exchanger.
  • First and second HVAC three-way valves 260, 262 may be provided in the compressor piping 264 to facilitate selectable circulation between: (a) the first coil set 250 and the third coil set 254, or (b) the second coil set 252 and the third coil set 254. In one embodiment, the HVAC three-way valves 260, 262 comprise solenoid actuated valves to enable automatic or manual remote control of the system.
  • In practical use, the thermal energy storage material 206 may be delivered in liquid form by an over the road tanker from a chemical plant where it is manufacture. A special self-sealing fill nozzle 266 may be provided near the top of the tank 204. This fill nozzle 266 may allows speedy filling and sealing, thus minimizing evaporation of the thermal energy storage material. Likewise, the tank 204 may have a low level drain nozzle 268 with a drain valve installed near the bottom of the tank so that an over the road tanker can pump the thermal energy storage material 206 out of the storage tank 204 and transport it to a local distributor service center to be recrystallized and reused.
  • As disclosed, the ATESS 200 has a multiplicity of operating configurations that result in a highly flexible energy storage and transfer system. Referring now to FIGS. 12-15, several exemplary modes of operation of the ATESS 200 will now be described in detail. Specifically, Mode 1, described in relation to FIG. 12, shows an exemplary configuration of the ATESS 200 as an off-peak heating system during the Winter season. Mode 2, described in relation to FIG. 13, shows an exemplary configuration of the ATESS 200 for use during the peak heating cycle, again during the Winter season. Mode 3, described in relation to FIG. 14, is for use of the ATESS in a water heating cycle, for all seasons. Mode 4, described in relation to FIG. 15, is for use of the ATESS as part of a renewable energy cycle, for warn weather seasons.
  • Off-Peak Heating System (Winter Season)
  • Referring to FIG. 12, in this mode, the storage of “off-peak” (eleven hours) surplus electric energy is supplied first to the hot water tank 208 via the electric resistor heating elements 246, 248 controlled by a timer. First pump 218 circulates approximately 125° F. water from the hot water tank 208 to the storage tank 204 via a loop comprising first three-way valve 238, first circulation leg 240, fluid return piping 214, fluid loop 210, fluid supply piping 212, second circulation leg 244, second three-way valve 242 and second fluid loop piping leg 232. The heat from the “off peak” surplus electricity is transferred through the fluid loop 210 for storage in the thermal energy storage material 206. The cooled water (i.e., from the outlet of fluid loop 210) than is circulated back to the hot water tank 208 for further addition of heat to be stored in the thermal energy storage material for the remainder of the limited “off-peak” 8 hour time period. The water in the hot water tank 208 is available for use during the “off-peak” period and is ready for the early morning part of “peak” activities at 8 am.
  • The HVAC system 202 may not operate during the “off peak” hours for space heating or water heating. Space heating is provided by electric resistance heater element 280 in the ductwork 256 where cool return air 282 is circulated by the variable speed fan 257 in the heat pump unit housing. This electric duct resistance heating element 280 is available again by timer for automatic actuation during this “off peak” period.
  • The “off-peak” heat stored in the thermal energy storage material for water and space heating is then charged to the dwelling owner by the electric utility server at the base low cost rates. When the “off-peak” timer shuts off all electric power to the ATESS 200, the system controls would automatically switch to Mode 2, to be described next.
  • Peak Heating Cycle—Winter Season
  • Referring to FIG. 13, in the Peak Heating Cycle mode mode, the “peak” period (eleven hours) space heating is provided by the “off peak” electric heat stored in the thermal energy storage material that was stored in the storage tank during the “off peak” hours.
  • The first pump 218 pumps warm water heated by the 77° F.-115° F. thermal energy storage material 206 through the first coil 216, which transfers the “off-peak” stored electric energy to the first coil set 250 in the HVAC system 202. The compressor 258 transfers the heat as a high pressure refrigerant to the third coil set 254 in the supply air ductwork 256, which heats the air provided to the living space. The hot air circulated to the living space will control the space heating temperature at 70 F. The cooled refrigerant from the third coil set 254 is then returned to the first coil set 250 to remove more heat from the first coil 216 in which water heated via the thermal energy storage material 206 is being circulated.
  • The first pump 218 circulates cooled water through return line 214 back to the storage tank 204 to remove more heat from the “off-peak” electric energy stored in the thermal energy storage material to provide space heating as previously described. It is contemplated that water heating may be needed during the active “peak” daytime hours, at which time the system operate in Mode 3, to be discussed next.
  • Water Heating Cycle—All Seasons
  • Referring to FIG. 14, in the Water Heating Cycle mode, the peak water heating:period (9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.) water heating is provided by “off peak” electric or summer “renewable energy” obtained from air conditioning heat stored in the thermal energy storage material 206 stored in the storage tank 204.
  • The first pump 218 circulates warm water heated by the 77° F.-115° F. thermal energy storage material via 212 through first coil 216 and then back to the storage tank via the fluid return piping 214 and fluid loop 210, in the process transferring heat from first coil 216 to the fluid in the first coil set 250. This transfers the “off-peak” stored electric energy charged to the thermal energy storage material 206 to the fluid in the first coil set 250. The compressor 258 and first and second HVAC three-way valves 260, 262 transfer this heat received via first coil set 250 as a high pressure refrigerant to the second coil set 252. The hot second coil set 252 then interfaces with second coil 234 associated with the first pump 218. The second pump 236 circulates relatively cool water from the bottom of the hot water tank 208 through second coil 234 to heat the water using heat gained from the second coil set 252, thus maintaining the hot water temperature for dwelling use of 125° F. or as desired.
  • The modes of operation described thus far mainly address cold weather needs. During the hot summer weather, air conditioning of living spaces often is of prime importance. The summer air cooling needs are provided by conventional air conditioning units which reject the heated air to the outdoors. During any day in which air conditioning is required, the ATESS “Renewable Energy Cycle,” Mode 4, can be put into operation, as will be described next.
  • Renewable Energy Cycle—Warm Weather Seasons
  • Referring to FIG. 15, when operating in this mode, the high peak cooling period (4:00 pm-6:00 pm) summer water heating needs will be provided using air conditioning heat normally rejected to the outdoors. This may be accomplished by operating in the “renewable energy cycle” mode using the ATESS system 200 like an air conditioner and storing this renewable energy in the thermal energy storage material 206.
  • The HVAC system 202 is engaged in the cooling mode by reversal of the compressor 258, the expansion control valve 259, first coil set 250 and the third coil set 254 from that of the winter heating mode. The third coil set 254 disposed in the supply air duct 256 helps to maintain the cooling space temperature at 76° F. The normally rejected air conditioned heat energy is transferred from the third coil set 254 to the first coil set 250. This heat is then transferred to the cool circulating water flowing through first coil 216. The first pump 218 transfers the now-heated circulating water via the fluid return piping 214 and fluid loop 210 to the thermal energy storage material 206 for storage. This stored heat, which is wasted with typical systems, is then used to heat dwelling water stored in the hot water tank 208 as described in the previous mode.
  • SUMMARY
  • The inventors have shown that using the disclosed ATESS heating system as a compliment or a primary heating system:
  • (1) Substantially reduces the need for fuel oil and/or liquid petroleum gas (LPG) for heating homes or industrial buildings.
  • (2) Substantially reduces both carbon and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions which contributes to global warming.
  • (3) Substantially reduces the need to transport surplus generated off peak electrical power from local grids, because it can be stored in the TESM for use at anytime during a 24-hour day.
  • (4) ATESS heating systems allow for the use of solar energy obtained during daylight hours and stored in the TESM for use anytime during a 24-hour day.
  • (5) ATESS heating systems, would transition home heating systems to electric as their primary energy source. This would reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil and LPG, thereby improving homeland security.
  • Although the invention has been described in terms of exemplary embodiments it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims (22)

1. A tank for storing a thermal energy storage material, comprising:
an outer shell and an inner surface, the inner surface defining a volume for accepting a quantity of thermal energy storage material;
heat exchange piping disposed within the volume for transferring heat between the thermal energy storage material and a fluid disposed within the heat exchange piping;
fill and drain connections;
wherein the fill and drain connections seal the volume from the outside atmosphere to prevent evaporation of the thermal energy storage material contained therein; and
wherein the inner surface of the tank and the outer surfaces of the heat exchange piping comprise a non-reactive material.
2. The tank of claim 1, wherein the heat exchange piping comprises a polymer material or a metal material having an outer polymer layer.
3. The tank of claim 1, wherein the inner surface of the tank comprises a material selected from the list consisting of polyethylene, glass polypropylene, fiberglass and Teflon.
4. The tank of claim 1, wherein the heat exchange piping comprises copper or other high heat transfer material coated with an acrylic layer or other non-reactive coating material.
5. The tank of claim 1, further comprising a level measurement system for providing an indication of a level of the thermal energy storage material disposed within the tank.
6. The tank of claim 1, wherein the level measurement system comprises a visual indicator or an automated level detection system.
7. The tank of claim 6, further comprising an automatic load leveling system that automatically adds a quantity of water in response to a predetermined low level reading from the level measurement system.
8. The tank of claim 1, wherein the heat exchange piping is arranged within the tank in a configuration selected from the list consisting of U-shaped and coiled.
9. The tank of claim 1, further comprising an electric resistance heater or other energy source for heating the thermal energy storage material.
10. The tank of claim 1, further comprising a removable lid that provides access to the volume.
11. A thermal energy storage system comprising:
a water tank for holding a quantity of water;
a storage tank having a quantity of thermal energy storage material disposed therein, the thermal energy storage material comprising a substantially solid material having a melting point above 32 degrees Fahrenheit (F) and a latent heat of fusion approaching that of water;
a first circulation loop comprising a first loop section disposed within the second tank and a second loop section in thermal communication with a first coil of a heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system, the first circulation loop further having a first pump for circulating water between the first and second loop sections;
a second circulation loop comprising a first connection to the water tank, a third loop section in thermal communication with a second coil of the HVAC system, a second connection to the water tank, and a second pump for circulating water between the water tank and the third loop section; and
third circulation loop piping connecting the water tank and the storage tank, the third circulation loop having first and second valves disposed therein, the first and second valves being operable to provide selective fluid communication between the third circulation loop and the first and second circulation loops.
12. The system of claim 11, wherein the system has a first configuration in which the first and second valves are aligned so that the first pump circulates water between the third circulation loop piping and portions of the first and second circulation loop to transfer heat from the water in the water tank to the thermal energy storage material disposed within the storage tank.
13. The system of claim 11, wherein the system has a second configuration in which the first and second valves are aligned so that the first pump circulates water within the first circulation loop to transfer heat from the first coil of the HVAC system to the thermal energy storage material in the storage tank.
14. The system of claim 1, wherein the system has a third configuration in which the first and second valves are aligned so that the first pump circulates water within the first circulation loop to transfer heat from thermal energy storage material to the first coil of the HVAC system, and the second pump circulates water within the second circulation loop to transfer heat from the thermal energy storage material to the second coil of the HVAC system.
15. The system of claim 11, wherein the HVAC system further comprises a compressor, first and second HVAC valves, an HVAC piping loop, and a third coil disposed in a ventilation duct for transferring energy between air in the ventilation duct and the third coil.
16. The system of claim 15, wherein the first and second HVAC valves are selectively operable to form a first HVAC loop between the first coil and the third coil, and a second HVAC loop between the second coil and the third coil.
17. The system of claim 16, wherein said compressor is a reversible compressor.
18. The system of claim 15, further comprising a temperature sensor associated with the storage tank, wherein when the temperature sensor senses that the temperature of the TESM exceeds a predetermined temperature limit, the temperature sensor is operable to send a signal which causes the first pump to be turned off and the HVAC system to be turned on.
19. The system of claim 11, wherein the first and second pumps are variable speed pumps.
20. The system of claim 11, wherein the first and second valves are three-way solenoid valves.
21. The system of claim 10, wherein the first coil and the second loop section of the first recirculation loop comprise a first heat exchanger, and the second coil and the third loop section of the second recirculation loop comprise a second heat exchanger.
22. The system of claim 10, wherein the thermal energy storage material is selected from the list consisting of clathrate, imidazole, imidazolium chloride and a derivative of pyrrole.
US12404802 2006-10-19 2009-03-16 Active thermal energy storage system and tank for use therein Abandoned US20090173336A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US85284406 true 2006-10-19 2006-10-19
US11818401 US7441558B2 (en) 2006-10-19 2007-06-13 Active thermal energy storage system
US12212822 US7958885B2 (en) 2006-10-19 2008-09-18 Method for operating an active thermal energy storage system
US12404802 US20090173336A1 (en) 2006-10-19 2009-03-16 Active thermal energy storage system and tank for use therein

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US12404802 US20090173336A1 (en) 2006-10-19 2009-03-16 Active thermal energy storage system and tank for use therein

Related Parent Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US12212822 Continuation-In-Part US7958885B2 (en) 2006-10-19 2008-09-18 Method for operating an active thermal energy storage system

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20090173336A1 true true US20090173336A1 (en) 2009-07-09

Family

ID=40843590

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US12404802 Abandoned US20090173336A1 (en) 2006-10-19 2009-03-16 Active thermal energy storage system and tank for use therein

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (1) US20090173336A1 (en)

Cited By (18)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20110041835A1 (en) * 2009-08-21 2011-02-24 James Wayne Blevins Solar heat exchanger
US20120245739A1 (en) * 2009-09-29 2012-09-27 Carrier Corporation System and method for maintaining air temperature within a building hvac system
US20120272948A1 (en) * 2009-08-25 2012-11-01 Danfoss A/S Heat storage system
US20130112237A1 (en) * 2011-11-08 2013-05-09 Cogenra Solar, Inc. Photovoltaic-thermal solar energy collector with integrated balance of system
US20140161430A1 (en) * 2012-12-12 2014-06-12 General Electric Company System and method for operating a water heater using an auxiliary power source
WO2014105643A1 (en) * 2012-12-28 2014-07-03 Abengoa Solar Llc Flow control systems and methods for a phase change material solar receiver
US20150003495A1 (en) * 2013-07-01 2015-01-01 Knew Value, LLC Heat exchanger testing device
CN104381485A (en) * 2014-11-25 2015-03-04 三江县六合生物能源开发有限公司 Automatic control hot air energy-saving furnace
CN104397219A (en) * 2014-11-25 2015-03-11 三江县六合生物能源开发有限公司 Energy-saving hot-blast stove
CN105222204A (en) * 2009-11-16 2016-01-06 苏纳珀有限公司 Energy storage systems
US20160076821A1 (en) * 2014-03-10 2016-03-17 Johnson Controls Technology Company Subcooling system with thermal energy storage
CN105423466A (en) * 2015-11-17 2016-03-23 广东美的制冷设备有限公司 Heat pump air-conditioning system and control method thereof
US20160187014A1 (en) * 2014-12-29 2016-06-30 Hy-Save Limited Air Conditioning with Auxiliary Thermal Storage
US20160187013A1 (en) * 2014-12-29 2016-06-30 Hy-Save Limited Air Conditioning with Thermal Storage
US20160320075A1 (en) * 2014-11-18 2016-11-03 Sridhar Deivasigamani Combined space conditioning or heating and water heating system
US9677809B1 (en) 2011-10-10 2017-06-13 Portland General Electric Company Plural heat pump and thermal storage system for facilitating power shaping services on the electrical power grid at consumer premises
US9989271B1 (en) 2017-08-14 2018-06-05 Calvin Becker Air conditioning with thermal storage
US10006670B2 (en) 2013-05-02 2018-06-26 Carrier Corporation Method for managing a refrigerant charge in a multi-purpose HVAC system

Citations (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3212274A (en) * 1964-07-28 1965-10-19 Eidus William Thermoelectric condenser
US3976584A (en) * 1973-05-18 1976-08-24 Board Of Control Of Michigan Technological University Thermal energy storage material
US3991936A (en) * 1975-11-26 1976-11-16 Harold Switzgable Heat transfer system
US4114600A (en) * 1976-10-06 1978-09-19 Solation Products, Inc. Thermal storage and heat transfer system and method
US4143642A (en) * 1976-09-24 1979-03-13 Vapor Corporation High temperature thermal storage system utilizing solar energy units
US4544028A (en) * 1983-04-20 1985-10-01 C. Mitchell Bedford Heat accumulator
US5172567A (en) * 1991-05-29 1992-12-22 Thermo King Corporation Eutectic beams for use in refrigeration
US6105659A (en) * 1996-09-12 2000-08-22 Jaro Technologies, Inc. Rechargeable thermal battery for latent energy storage and transfer
US6712069B1 (en) * 2002-11-20 2004-03-30 William L. Spangler Solar energy collection and storage system

Patent Citations (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3212274A (en) * 1964-07-28 1965-10-19 Eidus William Thermoelectric condenser
US3976584A (en) * 1973-05-18 1976-08-24 Board Of Control Of Michigan Technological University Thermal energy storage material
US3991936A (en) * 1975-11-26 1976-11-16 Harold Switzgable Heat transfer system
US4143642A (en) * 1976-09-24 1979-03-13 Vapor Corporation High temperature thermal storage system utilizing solar energy units
US4114600A (en) * 1976-10-06 1978-09-19 Solation Products, Inc. Thermal storage and heat transfer system and method
US4544028A (en) * 1983-04-20 1985-10-01 C. Mitchell Bedford Heat accumulator
US5172567A (en) * 1991-05-29 1992-12-22 Thermo King Corporation Eutectic beams for use in refrigeration
US6105659A (en) * 1996-09-12 2000-08-22 Jaro Technologies, Inc. Rechargeable thermal battery for latent energy storage and transfer
US6712069B1 (en) * 2002-11-20 2004-03-30 William L. Spangler Solar energy collection and storage system

Cited By (26)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20110041835A1 (en) * 2009-08-21 2011-02-24 James Wayne Blevins Solar heat exchanger
US9175865B2 (en) * 2009-08-25 2015-11-03 Danfoss A/S Heat storage system
US20120272948A1 (en) * 2009-08-25 2012-11-01 Danfoss A/S Heat storage system
WO2011023193A3 (en) * 2009-08-25 2013-03-14 Danfoss A/S Heat storage system
US9310087B2 (en) * 2009-09-29 2016-04-12 Carrier Corporation System and method for maintaining air temperature within a building HVAC system
US20120245739A1 (en) * 2009-09-29 2012-09-27 Carrier Corporation System and method for maintaining air temperature within a building hvac system
KR101761176B1 (en) 2009-11-16 2017-07-25 썬앰프 리미티드 Energy Storage System
CN105222204A (en) * 2009-11-16 2016-01-06 苏纳珀有限公司 Energy storage systems
US9677809B1 (en) 2011-10-10 2017-06-13 Portland General Electric Company Plural heat pump and thermal storage system for facilitating power shaping services on the electrical power grid at consumer premises
US20130112237A1 (en) * 2011-11-08 2013-05-09 Cogenra Solar, Inc. Photovoltaic-thermal solar energy collector with integrated balance of system
US9759450B2 (en) * 2012-12-12 2017-09-12 Haier Us Appliance Solutions, Inc. System and method for operating a water heater using an auxiliary power source
US20140161430A1 (en) * 2012-12-12 2014-06-12 General Electric Company System and method for operating a water heater using an auxiliary power source
WO2014105643A1 (en) * 2012-12-28 2014-07-03 Abengoa Solar Llc Flow control systems and methods for a phase change material solar receiver
US10006670B2 (en) 2013-05-02 2018-06-26 Carrier Corporation Method for managing a refrigerant charge in a multi-purpose HVAC system
US9778147B2 (en) * 2013-07-01 2017-10-03 Knew Value, LLC Heat exchanger testing device
US20150003495A1 (en) * 2013-07-01 2015-01-01 Knew Value, LLC Heat exchanger testing device
US20160076821A1 (en) * 2014-03-10 2016-03-17 Johnson Controls Technology Company Subcooling system with thermal energy storage
US10047985B2 (en) * 2014-03-10 2018-08-14 Johnson Controls Technology Company Subcooling system with thermal energy storage
US20160320075A1 (en) * 2014-11-18 2016-11-03 Sridhar Deivasigamani Combined space conditioning or heating and water heating system
US10012396B2 (en) * 2014-11-18 2018-07-03 Intellihot, Inc. Combined space conditioning or heating and water heating system
CN104397219A (en) * 2014-11-25 2015-03-11 三江县六合生物能源开发有限公司 Energy-saving hot-blast stove
CN104381485A (en) * 2014-11-25 2015-03-04 三江县六合生物能源开发有限公司 Automatic control hot air energy-saving furnace
US20160187013A1 (en) * 2014-12-29 2016-06-30 Hy-Save Limited Air Conditioning with Thermal Storage
US20160187014A1 (en) * 2014-12-29 2016-06-30 Hy-Save Limited Air Conditioning with Auxiliary Thermal Storage
CN105423466A (en) * 2015-11-17 2016-03-23 广东美的制冷设备有限公司 Heat pump air-conditioning system and control method thereof
US9989271B1 (en) 2017-08-14 2018-06-05 Calvin Becker Air conditioning with thermal storage

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US5467812A (en) Air conditioning system with thermal energy storage and load leveling capacity
İnallı et al. Experimental thermal performance evaluation of a horizontal ground-source heat pump system
Arteconi et al. Domestic demand-side management (DSM): Role of heat pumps and thermal energy storage (TES) systems
US3989183A (en) Method and apparatus employing a heat pump for heating fluids in different flow circuits
US20120227926A1 (en) Energy storage systems
Ochsner Geothermal heat pumps: a guide for planning and installing
Balghouthi et al. Feasibility of solar absorption air conditioning in Tunisia
US20110272117A1 (en) Energy Chassis and Energy Exchange Device
Kuang et al. Performance of a multi-functional direct-expansion solar assisted heat pump system
Dincer Thermal energy storage systems as a key technology in energy conservation
Dincer et al. Performance analyses of sensible heat storage systems for thermal applications
Arteconi et al. State of the art of thermal storage for demand-side management
Ogoshi et al. Air-conditioning system using clathrate hydrate slurry
Arce et al. Overview of thermal energy storage (TES) potential energy savings and climate change mitigation in Spain and Europe
US4049195A (en) Solar heated building structure
Staffell et al. A review of domestic heat pumps
US20100230071A1 (en) Geothermal Water Heater
US20110226440A1 (en) Energy storage systems
US4351161A (en) Method and apparatus for using solar energy to augment a refrigerant heating and cooling system
Skagestad et al. District heating and cooling connection handbook
US5558273A (en) Two-pipe system for refrigerant isolation
JP2006183933A (en) Photovoltaic system
US7398778B2 (en) Solar and heat pump powered electric forced hot air hydronic furnace
US7555897B2 (en) Independent system of energy and heat supply
Mammoli et al. Energetic, economic and environmental performance of a solar-thermal-assisted HVAC system

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: ELCAL RESEARCH, L.L.C., DELAWARE

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LEIFER, LESLIE;ROWE, JAY D.;REEL/FRAME:022402/0379

Effective date: 20070522