Johan Kensby, a Ph.D. student at Chalmers University in Sweden, is investigating how district energy systems can reduce the use of peak load boilers by storing heat in buildings connected to the network.
“Buildings have large thermal mass. Heat can be stored in the floor, walls, ceiling, and in the water in the radiator system,” he noted in a piece posted this week on the university's website.
In a pilot study, he found it is possible to store as much as 0.1 kilowatt hours of heat per square meter of a building without the indoor temperature varying by more than 0.5 degrees Celsius.
“The residents do not notice it," he said. "Temperature variations of this size are already present, for example when cooking.”