What is Thermal Storage?
Definition of Thermal Storage in Construction
A material that is designed to store the heat from a heating source, such as solar. Thermal storage is important in solar and thermal engineering applications, and is very dependent upon the type of material that is used. Stones, concrete, bricks are the types of materials used as thermal storage. Liquids are also used to store the heat gain from solar or another heating source. The makeup of the material is the principal element of how a material will act as a thermal storage medium. Is the material susceptible to absorbing the heat, and will the heat be easily stored within the material? How well can the heat be retrieved from the thermal storage material, and how will the material hold up to the repeated heating and subsequent cooling? Engineers have studied the effects of various elements in their abilities to store heat. Building components, all exhibit some type of ability to store and dissipate hea, and the thermal storage properties of building materials is an important characteristic in determining their use within the structure. Normally the denser the material, the better the thermal storage characteristics, however, there is a balance between the density of the material and the weight of the material. Most engineers would prefer a lighter weight material, that has a high thermal storage capacity. Unfortunately these two material characteristics are difficult to find or develop within a construction building component. Normally the heavier and denser the product, the better the thermal storage, the lighter and more open the material, the less thermal storage capacity.