eTank – Buffering a Thermal Energy Surplus

There is no energy problem! There is a regulation and storage problem!

A building with standard insulation can be heated with solar energy and thermal discharge – without burning precious fossil fuels. Solar-thermal panels, photovoltaic panels, heat recovery systems and heat pumps are modern and affordable alternatives.

Obtaining energy is not a problem. The lag between energy supply and heat demand is. Solar heat is not consistently available all year round. In summer, when we need it least, it is abundant. In winter, when there is not sufficient solar energy, there is a greater need for heat.

Let’s take a single-family home in the Berlin region with a plot size of 980 m2 as an example. The following types of energy are available without additional cost:

Sun, solar-thermal      

1.016.000 kWh

Amount of solar energy exposure per year

Earth, geothermal ca. 

30.000 kWh

Amount of geothermal energy we can safely draw per year

House exhaust air ca. 

4.000 kWh

Amount of energy we can pull from exhaust air

External air ca.               

50.000 kWh

Amount of external air energy we can draw per year

Total thermal energy gratis ca.

1.100.000 kWh

Amount of regenerated energy we provide

Primary energy-demand per year ca.

11.000 kWh

Amount of the house´s primary energy demand for heating, cooling and hot water

Bottom line:

If we could use only 1% of the building’s yearly available regenerative energies, we would have complete energy supply! Therefore, there is no energy problem, rather a regulation and storage problem!

The big challenge is the economical and ecological storage of surplus energy to fully make use of varying energy yields – even during bad weather periods.

The Solution:

The development of the eTank, operated by ooPS- technology (Open Oscillating Buffer Storage Technology), provides a solution that stores variable energy levels accessible at any time.The eTank buffers the unused energy produced by the solar collector and feeds it to the heating system via heat pump as needed.

The solar collector’s surface does not have to be any bigger than that of a conventional solar heating support system. The Dynamic Energy Manager – DEM – regulates all available regenerative energy. It controls the process of filling up and withdrawing from the eTank depending on weather conditions, time of day, as well as seasonal cycles. The operating power required by the system is very low and can be supplied by a small solar power system or plugged into electric supply mains.

In this way, we can cover 100% of the building’s temperature through regenerative energy sources and therefore insure independence from fossil fuels and steadily rising energy costs.