Aluminum fuel tanks for heat storage?

bupalos Posted By bupalos, Jan 12, 2019 at 10:56 AM

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  1. bupalos

    bupalos
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    Jan 26, 2009
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    Hey all, I've got 4 100 gal round alu fuel tanks off a big rig offered to me for a song. And I can't sing, that's how cheap they are.

    Anyway, anyone with opinions on using these as open storage? Figure I'm allowed to just braze on copper fittings to tie them together. The rest of the system right now is just iron pipe at the near boiler loop to pex-al-pex looping over to a heat coil in the plenum of the forced air system. But I have a bunch of steel panel radiators I'd like to incorporate some day too.

    Thoughts? I never seem to see aluminum tanks being used. Is it thought to be a no-no to put aluminum anywhere in the system for galvanic reasons?
     
  2. salecker

    salecker
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    Myself...
    I would flip those tanks,and keep looking for one tank that would fit your space.Or build a tank that fits if you are going unpressurized.
    You cannot braze copper to aluminum.
     
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  3. warno

    warno
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    If I remember correctly I don't think you can use aluminum in a hydronic system due to corrosion issues. I could be wrong but I'd doubled check on that.
     
  4. bupalos

    bupalos
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    Myself...
    I would flip those tanks,and keep looking for one tank that would fit your space
    .

    That's one of the things, Ive got an "around the corner" kind of space where an L layout of the tanks would be good, and it's piped to a hx in the furnace plenum so being able to manage the 4 small tanks for max delta t is appealing. Though maybe too complicated anyway.

    Maybe brazing is technically not the right term, might technically be soldering, but I've definitely joined copper and aluminum with specialty rod and mapp
     
  5. tom in maine

    tom in maine
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    I would avoid them. There will be corrosion. If you follow heating stuff over the past thirty years, every couple years someone comes up with an aluminum thing that has water flowing through it. They always fail due to corrosion. Note the lack of anything made of aluminum that is in contact with water.
     
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  6. bupalos

    bupalos
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    Thanks, I guess I confused myself a little, I originally meant to use them simply as open vessels with copper heat exchange from the boiler loop, not sending water that's been in contact with the aluminum anywhere. Not sure how I phrased it that way, my question is whether having copper heat exchangers submersed in them would corrode the aluminum tanks.
     

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