Interseasonal Heat Transfer™ from ICAX Ltd is a patented system that takes advantage of a clear understanding of a number of natural phenomena. These include the huge heating power of the sun that provides sufficient heat directly to almost every building in temperate climates to yield a comfortable temperature all year round on average. However, the sun provides more than enough heat to most buildings on bright summer days and insufficient heat to most buildings for comfort in winter. ICAX captures the surplus in summer, stores it in ThermalBanks™ in the ground – where heat does not move very far very fast – for release in winter.
Many forms of renewable energy rely on converting one form of energy into another – this is an inefficient process with losses of up to 90% on converting light into electricity in photovoltaics. ICAX captures heat as heat, stores heat as heat and releases heat as heat.
Solar energy can be collected in summer using an asphalt solar collector, a pitched roof solar collector or a flat roof solar collector. It can also be collected using standard flat plate collectors or evacuated tube solar thermal collectors.
Many forms of energy are difficult to store efficiently: you may need electricity when there is no wind to drive a turbine and no sun to power your photovoltaics. ICAX has developed a mechanism for storing heat efficiently in ThermalBanks™ in the ground: ICAX can store renewable heat energy between day and night – and between seasons: Seasonal Thermal Energy Storage.
Following extended study of heat flow patterns in the ground using Computational Fluid Dynamics, ICAX uses computerised controls to manage the flows of energy captured from the sun, directing it to the ground heat store in summer and to your building when needed. ICAX can also provide pre-heating of water for buildings where there is a high demand for hot water for cooking or washing.
ICAX uses heat pumps to separate warm temperatures into hot and cold when the demand for space heating or water heating is greater than the temperature available directly from its ThermalBanks™. Unlike Ground Source Heat Pumps which are designed to extract heat from cold ground, ICAX actively stores solar energy in the ground when there is surplus in order to extract heat more easily (and more cheaply) when heat is required.
ICAX can also store surplus heat from solar water heating panels (and prevent them overheating) when the available solar energy is higher than required for meeting hot water demand (which is often the case in summer).
ICAX integrates solar thermal collection in summer with ground source heat pumps to double the performance of a standard ground source heat pump. The vital link is the ThermalBank in which ICAX stores summer heat for use in winter.
See also: Renewable Heating
See also: Renewable Cooling
See also: Banking on IHT
See also: Energy Efficiency in Buildings
See also: Professor David MacKay on Sustainable Energy
See also: Economic Renewable Energy
See also: IHT Systems Design variations