Friday, February 3

Heat accumulators: what they are, how they work, buying guide and selection of featured models


The Heat accumulators are a very interesting alternative to heat your home using electricity. And it is that this solution takes advantage of the different electricity rates to charge when it is cheaper, to later release heat into the room.

If you are looking for a heating system for your flat, apartment or room and you have opted for a heat accumulator, in this buying guide you will find a detailed analysis of its operation, advantages and disadvantages, how to make the right choice and we also offer you a careful selection of outstanding models.

What are heat accumulators and how do they work?

Heat accumulators are devices inside which house electrical resistors that heat up with the passage of electricity. These resistors in turn heat the accumulator core – made up of refractory bricks – where thermal energy is accumulated. Then this energy is gradually transferred to heat the room.

It is true that they use electricity – which is not exactly cheap – but they are more efficient and allow the use of residual heat. What’s more they feed on energy when it is cheaper, taking advantage of off-peak hours.

Heat accumulators are classified into two types:

  • Static: the transfer of thermal energy to the environment occurs homogeneously and continuously, so that they provide a constant temperature. They are the most traditional version, simpler and less efficient in terms of use. In return, they are more affordable.

  • dynamic: the transfer of heat occurs at the user’s request, thanks to the fact that they integrate an insulation layer and a turbine/fan that drives the air, accelerating the transmission of energy. They are the most interesting, thanks to their greater energy efficiency and the comfort of having a thermostat to regulate the temperature.

A different aspect to the previous ones in its concept are the solar, interesting from the point of view of sustainability and self-consumption for those who have solar panels. Less frequent than the previous ones, these use the heat obtained through solar panels to heat water and store it for when it is necessary.

Diagram of operation of solar heat accumulators. Source: Elnur Gabarron

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When is it interesting to use heat accumulators

Although electrical energy is more expensive than other energy resources, it can be a good alternative based on its advantages:

  • without works, which can be interesting both for the economic savings and if we cannot carry them out, because the flat is not ours. Of course, you will have to fix it to the wall.

  • Low maintenance, limiting itself to cleaning and changing batteries periodically.

  • Benefit from time discrimination, in case you have it hired. The idea is to program the charge cycles when the electricity is more open and set the discharge cycles throughout the day.

Although it also has its drawbacks. They are not exactly cheap devices (compared to traditional thermal emitters), we will have to plan our needs in advance to charge our emitters and if we have an old electrical installation, it may require renovation.

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How to choose a good heat accumulator

Given that its storage capacity is limited, we will have to make sure before buying that we have properly dimensioned our heating needs, what insulation is in our home, the comfort temperature we want, our electricity rate, among others. To choose the accumulator that best suits your needs, consider:

  • Type. Although in practice a combination of accumulators is usually used, the most interesting ones to take the lead in the installation, for example for larger rooms such as the living room, are the dynamic ones.

  • have thermostat It is a very interesting extra, whatever the type, since it allows you to stop its operation once the setpoint temperature is reached, to activate it again when the temperature drops.

  • connectivity. Apart from the possibility of adjusting the temperature of the dynamic models, which have connectivity and an application to configure aspects such as when the load or its speed occurs from the mobile.

  • what power do you need. The objective is to buy an accumulator with enough power to cover your needs so as not to get cold but that is not oversized either, which would imply an unnecessary expense, both in the initial investment and in the load.

The calculation of power needs is so detailed that manufacturers usually provide a tool for this purpose that takes into account the climate of the area in which you live, the degree of thermal insulation of your house, its location and type (for example, if it is a flat, a chalet or a townhouse), the number of facades to that is exposed, its location in the building, as well as the type of accumulator you want. From here you will obtain a factor that you will have to multiply by the square meters of the surface to be heated.

For example, Elnur Gabarron’s calculator or tables like this one from Ducasa:

Duchess

Featured Models

Elnur

This is an ELNUR solar accumulator, available in different sizes depending on how big your room is: ELNUR Ecombi 15 (359 euros), ELNUR Ecombi 20 (429 euros), ELNUR Ecombi 30 (549 euros), ELNUR Ecombi 40 ( €649).

According to the manufacturer, they offer energy savings equal to or greater than 60%.

Duchess

These DUCASA static heat accumulators are a good solution to achieve comfort by taking advantage of time discrimination. Made of steel, they have a room temperature sensor, save energy control from smartphone, charge 8 hours

With a robust steel structure, it has an ambient temperature sensor and can be controlled from your mobile, where you can configure when its 8-hour charge is done. Available in versions of 850W (429 euros), 1700W (529 euros) or 2550W (629 euros).

you2

Very similar to the previous ones, these DUCASA static heat accumulators in this case offer a charging time of 14 hours and are available in 480W (429 euros), 950W (529 euros), 1900W (699 euros) versions.

Du3

For those looking for high efficiency and temperature dosage control, these DUCASA dynamic accumulators with robust steel structure, temperature sensor and protection against overheating. Available in versions of 2000W (849 euros), 3000W (999 euros) 4000W (1149 euros), 5000W (1299 euros), 6000W (1449 euros)

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