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Question: Inexpensive medium for storing large amounts of heat, or cold.

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posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 09:05 PM
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I want to build a system for storing the Seasons.

So this is a little research thread.. Tell us what you know, or may have tried, or have simply just seen in action.
In the winter, I want to store low temperatures, for use in the Summertime.
In the sumertime, I want to store High temperatures, for use in the Winter.
Some people do it by using large water tanks, buried in the ground. Then pumping it our to the area where temperature control is needed. Some do it passively, with the water just maintaining a stable temp.
Then you add a little heat, or a little chill by conventional means..Like a heater or air conditioner.

It's not a new idea.. You just collect a large amount of your thermal storage medium, and bury it. Then run pipes though it, to transfer it to the location you want to stabilize..


But what might be the best storage medium?...Considering price, transportability, keeping it clean.

Would sand work well? Gravel? Is water the best?

It would be better if I did not need a tank. And could just run my coiled pipes in, and back out.
As much transfer as possible.

I'd also like it to be more than just passive....If it's cold outside, I really want to lower the temp of the medium as much as possible...Same thing if it's hot outside...I want to gather Hot, hot, hot...And store it in the ground.
a lot of it. For use in the WInter.

Then, there is the matter of controlling the release of the stored "Seasons"...I suppose thermostats, and smal pumps would work...


How about some ideas....I know you guys are full of them....Ideas that is..Let's keep a decently insulated room, at "room temperature" all year long...Can you do it?




posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 09:12 PM
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Your question doesn't make much sense. What you are sort of describing is geothemal. Six feet below grade, the earth temp in my region is about 55 degrees. The idea of storing a medium long enough to use for the opposite season would be virtually impossible. Storing tanks underground is the same situation. If you stored thousands of gallons of water in the heat of summer in holding tanks underground, by the time winter arrived, your water would be 55 degrees. Your theory will not work.



posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 09:19 PM
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You are saying I cannot insulate my holding area?

I don't want simple geothermal, even though it's tried and true...I think it could be done better.
edit on 11-9-2012 by spacedoubt because: (no reason given)

edit on 11-9-2012 by spacedoubt because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 09:36 PM
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Perhaps I am just not understanding properly what you are asking.

Storing water underground for use during the warm months would be fairly simple, but you would need some type of heater to warm the water during the winter.

As was said, If you had hot springs or geothermal vents nearby that would help, but then you would still have hot water in the summer.



posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 09:39 PM
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reply to post by spacedoubt
 


That sounds like a pretty tall order, but a quick search brought me to a blog article that might give you some ideas to work with.

Phase-Change Thermal Storage Materials



posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 09:45 PM
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reply to post by watchitburn
 



Ok, I'll add something. In the summer, to collect heat. I may want to collect the heat with Solid concrete domes.
The concrete could be dyed black, or maybe better to be painted black. There could be copper coils embedded in the concrete maybe. to draw the heat down, into the storage medium. Something like that.

Seems like cold would be harder to do...Pipes could freeze...So I might have to use another fluid.
Lower freezing temp, but non toxic.

I haven't thought it all out...I'm counting on some of the out-of-the-box thinkers around here.



posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 09:48 PM
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reply to post by N3k9Ni
 



That looks very interesting.....I just perused it...but I hadn't thought of phase change materials..
Thanks very much, my friend..



posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 09:48 PM
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If you are looking to heat and cool a room or house, geothermal with use of a heat pump is the best solution that is commercially available. The heat pump using this type of system is not effected by the outside temperature extremes like a air to air type system is, thus lower energy expenditure to achieve the same results.



posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 09:49 PM
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Gotta go for a little while....Ideas?
Post em if you got em!

Thanks folks!



posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 10:04 PM
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rocks



posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 10:17 PM
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You can try these methods.....

en.wikipedia.org...
edit on 11-9-2012 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 10:19 PM
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Originally posted by spacedoubt
You are saying I cannot insulate my holding area?

I don't want simple geothermal, even though it's tried and true...I think it could be done better.
edit on 11-9-2012 by spacedoubt because: (no reason given)

edit on 11-9-2012 by spacedoubt because: (no reason given)


No, what I'm saying is you can wrap 2 miles of insulation around whatever you want, but you will still lose energy no matter what through conduction. Insulation WILL transfer heat, just slower. You can insulate a building to the hilt, but you'll always need to consistently replace either heat or cool..that's called Fenestration.
I think what your getting to is something so costly, there would never be a return on investment. The earth is a constant temperature, and it's the most reliable source. you're trying to re-invent the wheel.



posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 10:22 PM
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reply to post by spacedoubt
 


You would use. Something called Cryotek or methanol...you can achieve sub zero liquids with these chemicals to keep water thawed.



posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 10:25 PM
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Copper when suspended over a bath of Acetone will act as a catalyst between the oxygen in the air and the fumes from the acetone. Thus causing the copper to glow red hot. The copper will not melt and will stay in this state perpetually. Provided that there are sufficient amounts of oxygen and acetone.

I don't know how practical this would be for heating water on the scale for home use. But, it's an idea.



posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 10:31 PM
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Originally posted by Malakyzek
rocks
Not a bad idea, to use a lot of stonework for the interior construction of the house, and insulate that. I don't have that so I use a bunch of water containers hidden in various places, under desks, in closets. The water or rocks can stabilize indoor temperatures by collecting heat during the day (keeping it cooler) and giving off that heat at night (making it warmer). I used to have several large aquariums but I got tired of maintaining them, and I had to use heaters to maintain the water temperature so they helped more in the winter than in the summer.

I agree with Vinny5036 that storing heat for 6 months in a storage tank will be challenging to impossible, as the amount of insulation and storage media needed for a storage tank to hold heat 6 months would be prohibitive. Even if you could do it, it wouldn't be economical.

But the ground does this for us, so it's a great idea to use the ground temperature to heat in the winter and cool in the summer (geothermal). As fuel costs continue to rise, this concept will become more economical and more and more people will do it. It wasn't so economical in the past when fuel costs were so low which explains why these systems are rare.

Here's a link with a video explaining how to do it. It's pretty simple.

www.thermlink.com...

edit on 11-9-2012 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 10:34 PM
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Originally posted by Malakyzek
rocks


this, or maybe ceramic fiber?

i don't think you can actually store heat for the winter and cold for the summer.
but an insolated environment can retain heat in the winter and cold in the summer.

still we are mammals, look at all the other mammals, they mostly live in burrows for a reason.
the earth maintains a balanced temperature, when it's cold, dig to find warmth and when it's hot dig and you find freshness.
edit on 11-9-2012 by UziLiberman because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 10:46 PM
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What a great idea! This could be great to save money and get off the grid, love it!


I found this article below that may help. Maybe we could create a homemade version of what these guys are doing. I guess the quick overview would be to suck in hot air during the summer, maybe with some sort of intake vent. The hot air would fill up pipes that are buried at least 3 meters deep, maybe more, then in the winter, push the air back to your home or whatever you need to heat. Vice-versa for cold air as well.

Here is a link to the article:

inhabitat.com...


Every summer, appliances, computer servers, and people themselves give off a lot of heat. In most cases, this heat is pumped out into the environment through fans and cooling devices, essentially wasting a natural power source. Through an innovative plan developed by Gehrard Schmitt, Science City will harness that natural heat, pump it underground, and store it during the summer. Then, when temperatures dip low during the winter months, that warm air will be pushed back up into buildings where it will act as a heating system. The scheme is the first of its kind, and if all goes according to plan, it will allow the university to manage its energy while minimizing carbon emissions. Two heat storage fields are currently being constructed on the campus. Eventually, the system will be made up of about 800 pipes that stretch 200 meters each. The pipes are to be laid five meters deep in the ground beneath buildings and alongside structures. The system of tubes will act as a heat storage unit, and will be connected to the building’s supply network. Schmitt’s revolutionary heating and cooling system uses low-energy, or “anergy.” Once completed in 2020, Science City will only need to rely on traditional electricity for one-twelfth of its heating and cooling needs. The rest of the energy will be provided through Schmitt’s heat-exchanger system. Now that’s a plan that makes those sweaty, summer months seem a little more bearable.



posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 10:57 PM
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reply to post by KristinLynnxo
 

That article has a lot of unjustified hype, because it looks like the same thing I posted a picture of 2 posts above that, the only difference being using more pipes because it's a larger structure. So it's not revolutionary as they claim, but it will work.



posted on Sep, 11 2012 @ 11:28 PM
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reply to post by spacedoubt
 


I honestly don't think there is any way to "store" a temperature, you can raise or lower it, you can slow down the process, but you can't maintain it for long periods by just insulating it. Some pharmaceutical companies have created highly effective materials to transport vaccines, light years ahead of the old freezer jell packs, but it's still temporary.
As for the concrete domes, that doesn't really seem like the most efficient way to transfer radiant heat, you would be better of leaving the copper tubes exposed or mounting them to the bottom of a large copper dish. Most obvious method would be simple solar panels.
As for the cooling process I saw an article about the "Dippin Dots" manufacture and storage facility which uses liquid nitrogen as a medium.
I'm just brainstorming here so I apologize if I'm not giving you useful information, knowing what you're trying to accomplish long term might be helpful. Also, as previously posted I would do web searches and include architecture design firms, anything large scale would be in that field, plus they've already done the research for you.



posted on Sep, 12 2012 @ 02:25 AM
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reply to post by spacedoubt
 


You can't store cold because cold doesn't exist. It's just an absence of heat.

But here, let me tell you how to do this. Whatcha do is get a battery. And you're gonna store your heat and cold in that battery. Here's how you do it.

See, you charge that battery up with electricity right. Then in the summer you run that electricity through your air conditioner and it will convert that electricity to cold. You take that same electricity and run it through your furnace and it will convert it to hot.

But batteries suck right? You need a better battery! Here's what you do. Get yourself a generator and store some gasoline. When you run that gasoline through the generator it'll produce electricity. Now run that electricity through your heating/cooling system.

Don't like gasoline? Use a bigger battery! Like the Sun! See, what you do is get yourself some solar panels and when it's hot outside, you can store that hot, by having the solar panels convert it into electricity. Then you store it in a battery. Oh wait, we're in a loop now.

edit on 12-9-2012 by tinfoilman because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-9-2012 by tinfoilman because: (no reason given)



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