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ETS heating systems?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by maple1, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Not sure I got that right - Electric Thermal Storage? Heats storage (bricks?) electrically at night on off-peak rates?

    Anybody have first (or second) hand experience/knowledge they can relay?

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  2. Jeff S

    Jeff S Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2008
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    Loc:
    Kimball,Michigan
    With the right heating element you can turn any water storage container into a water heater/storage unit that can be heated during off peak hours to use at another time,of course you would have to follow common hydronic principles such as room for expansion,pressure relief if its a closed system and lots of insulation to save BTU's from escaping unwanted.

    Electricity prices need to be at attractive rates to consider this type of system,all though in my area I believe electric rates could rival the cost of propane and you wouldn't have any BTU's escaping up a flue.
  3. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Northern MN
    Provided by our electric co-op and used with off-peak rates (the lowest offered here); available in plenum units for forced air, cabinet units, etc. No knowledge of user experience or satisfaction. Like most heat, obviously dependent on electricity. And probably competitive with propane at current rates as, other than wood, that is the competitive fuel in my area.
  4. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    The problem here is, as far as I have been able to determine (so far), the only way we can get off-peak rates from our utility is if a 'genuine' ETS system is installed. I would love to be able to get off-peak rates with some simple elements in a storage tank and get rid of oil all together, for my back up heating, but that doesn't qualify. I'll be going to a home show this weekend to hopefully learn more. Main thing was ballpark cost of an ETS system - they look rather expensive. I got a splash of oil in my tank today while the truck was going by, just because I was almost dry - $1.19/litre.

    Stupid electric utility.

    Stupid oil companies.
  5. Tatnic Corners

    Tatnic Corners Member

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    Mar 31, 2011
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Southern ME
    American Solartech in Maine has some very interesting storage tanks. I have been eying them for a couple of years now :) Also Builditsolar dot com has some great plans for solar, you could use the plans for the tanks.

    Earth tubes look like air cooled/heated geo thermal units. You basically bury tubes underground and blow air through them. They could be buried in sand that could retain the heat.

    I looked at books that talked about using sand and rocks to heat air but water has better heat retention qualities. The systems utilizing air and rocks looked very interesting and like they would work for most needs. But you need to be able to blow air through the system. You would need a storage area of roughly 10 times that needed to store water. (OK a guessimate at best for the storage area size :) but it is vastly alrger than that needed for storing heat in water.

    I have to add that I have had too many mice die in my cars heater vents. they get in the system and either pee in the air vents or die in the fan. The smell, and potential health hazards of dead rodents in a full house heating system turned me toward water storage :) Just the though of having to rip up the yard, or tear sheet rock and insulation off the cellar trombe walls to find the dead mouse were enough to convince me to make a box out of ply wood, pt lumber and edpm rubber sheet material.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    45,805
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    There is a very old thread by MountainStoveGuy in the hearth forum about these heat storage bricks. He lives outside of Boulder, CO and installed them to take advantage of low overnight power rates.

    OK, I just found it. He has a Steffes system:

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/...rnace-out-there-i-need-help.2525/#post-108556
  7. GaryGary

    GaryGary Feeling the Heat

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    Jul 12, 2010
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    SW Montana

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