I was wondering if I could pick the minds of anyone that reads this post and ask for constructive criticism.
I’m thinking of a heat bank and how I can utilise it to the fullest.
A large tank, underground and insulated, about the size of a 20’ – 40’ sea container, filled with large clean gravel (maybe railway ballast) and the voids between the gravel filled with water. You may be thinking that ‘earthworks are expensive’, let’s discount that because I am the proud owner of an excavator.
I’m thinking that the preferred insulation would be 3 or 4 inch Styrofoam placed between the earth and the ‘bessa’ brick walls. No real need for insulation on the floor because heat rises and I can’t imagine that Styrofoam would cope with the weight. The lid could be Styrofoam again along with some sheets of compressed cement sheet, a layer of plastic then about 2 or 3 feet of earth.
Anyway, connect a SHW system (maybe closed loop with heat exchanger), and a low wattage pump, so that hot water enters at the top at one end, heating the rocks on the way thru to the cooler lower (other) end of the bank. This would allow the bank to heat from the top down until the whole thing is at a temperature of around the low to mid (and maybe high) 50’s. Any more than that and I think the longevity of the
waterproofing membranes, insulation, (etc.) would decrease.
The idea is that I want to create the heat bank so I can draw off that heat to supplement the heating needs of anything I can think of. With this potential setup being used in Tassie, I’m thinking that they’ll be more than a few heating needs. There are a few things I’m thinking of that could use this heat…in-slab heating for a residence, underground heating of a greenhouse (roots like to be warm), anything else that fellow forumites could suggest would be seriously considered.
I am also thinking that is could be reversed, or a duplicate made, for the summer months. So that it’s a heat bank in winter and a cool bank in summer, or just reverse the setup so that the bank can be cooled for use thru the summer months.
So, fire away, throw some thoughts and ideas around and I’ll see if I can make this happen.
If it all gets too hard, just remember we are talking monkeys floating through the universe on a spaceship called Earth!