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Title:
Method for operating heating systems, heating system for carrying out the method and use thereof
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method for operating solar and/or solar-operated and/or heat absorbing and/or heat accumulating heating systems includes exchanging at least one fluid for at least one operating function such as a protective function or heat function and/or maintaining the fluid in a standby position. This enables a direct heat exchange to occur between media such as fluids, gas and fluid, emulsion and fluid, whereby the standby state can occur without any exchange of fluid. This enables the heating system to be protected e.g. from frost or from boiling, and enables heat functions such as storage, production and heating to be performed in a more economic manner involving a reduced number of components. Solar collectors with various height loops can also be operated directly in a heating system.


Inventors:
Gast, Karl Heinz (Aurachtal, DE)
Application Number:
11/141294
Publication Date:
11/24/2005
Filing Date:
05/31/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
237/59
International Classes:
F24J2/46; F28D20/00; (IPC1-7): F24D3/00; F25B27/00
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lerner And, Greenberg PA. (P O BOX 2480, HOLLYWOOD, FL, 33022-2480, US)
Claims:
1. A method for operating a heating system using media, the heating system being selected from the group consisting of a solar heating system, a substance-operated heating system, a heat-absorbing heating system, a heat-storing heating system, and a combination heating system formed of a combination of the aforementioned heating systems, which comprises the steps of: exchanging, in at least part of the heating system, at least part of one additional fluid for at least one thermal function for a fluid located in the part of the heating system; and keeping a remainder of the additional fluid on standby.

2. The method according to claim 1, wherein protective functions keep the fluid and/or corrosion protection in a liquid state.

3. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises selecting water to be the fluid and oil to be the additional fluid.

4. The method according to claim 1, wherein a direct heat exchange can take place between the media, including fluids, gas and fluid or emulsion and fluid, and the direct heat exchange takes place in heat exchange circulation without fluid exchange in a standby state.

5. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises keeping at least one of the media on standby and/or exchanged in at least one media-storing area of the heating system.

6. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises keeping the additional fluid on standby by floating and/or being immersed in the fluid.

7. The method according to claim 5, wherein the standby performs at least one of the following functions: flow conduction; flow shaping; charging; provision on standby; media collection; and media separation.

8. The method according to claim 1, wherein an exchange of the media takes place by stored forms of energy and/or pressure differences and/or forms of energy that are not generated.

9. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises performing the exchanging step by receiving at least one of the fluids in a tank.

10. The method according to claim 9, which further comprises performing the exchanging step by the additional fluid being drawn in the place of the fluid and/or displacing the fluid.

11. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises performing the exchange step with an exchange flow which counteracts an upward lift of a lighter medium in a denser medium.

12. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises: completing the exchanging of the fluids step when the additional fluid exceeds a defined point in a heat exchange system; and detecting the additional fluid by a density sensor and/or by a method of collecting a defined amount of the additional fluid.

13. The method according to claim 1, wherein by the exchanging step of at least one media, gas can also be exchanged.

14. The method according to claim 1, wherein at least one line of a heat exchange system can be immersed or introduced in or connected to a stored fluid.

15. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises performing the exchanging step by use of at least one compliant element selected from the group consisting of a membrane and a gas area.

16. The method according to claim 1, further comprising providing heat exchange systems or parts thereof for raising and/or storing a temperature, so that critical temperatures are avoided.

17. The method according to claim 8, wherein actions for safe exchange, such as establishing a connection from an area to be protected to the additional fluid functioning also as a protective fluid, include positioning standby devices or valve actuations at heat exchange systems and using the stored forms of energy and/or the pressure differences and/or the forms of energy that are not generated.

18. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises monitoring for a presence and/or an absence of the fluids in a heating system for achieving a safe exchange.

19. The method according to claim 1, wherein for safe fluid exchange, the exchanging step is safely performed using redundant measures, including redundant elements, redundant operations and autonomous additional devices.

20. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises providing an activating voltage for actuators relevant to safety, including pumps, exchange devices and valves, to take place by use of concatenation via at least one redundant system, including a control or thermostat, and the activating voltage is enabled by all systems, and a transfer to a safe state of the activating voltage takes place even if only one system withdraws enablement.

21. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises performing a heat exchange by use of at least one flow and/or by use of at least one storing area of the media.

22. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises carrying out and/or intensifying heat exchange by at least one flow conduction and/or flow shaping.

23. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises conducting at least one flow of the media freely in a medium and/or partly freely, such as at directing plates, directing channels, directing sheets, and/or embedded in other media, such as in flexible connections.

24. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises conducting free or partly free flows through fluid-storing areas.

25. The method according to claim 23, which further comprises changing a flow conduction and/or a flow introduction in an inclination with respect to a horizontal, such as by being set or subjected to closed-loop or open-loop control.

26. The method according to claim 25, which further comprises forming the flow conduction to take place in a meandering and/or spiral form through a media-storing area.

27. The method according to claim 25, wherein the flow conduction and/or flow introduction effects flow-influencing.

28. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises providing at least one element selected from the group consisting of standby devices, collection devices, flow shaping devices, forms of flow devices, flow conduction devices, diversion devices, flow deflection devices, flexible conduction devices, sensors and media separation devices, all being flow directing devices providing at least one thermal function.

29. The method according to claim 28, which further comprises shaping at least one flow to be a centered flow and/or a distributed flow.

30. The method according to claim 1, wherein a flow conduction and/or flow takes place variably with regard to form and/or in a number of forms, such as with flow curtains of variable extent and/or variable number or dispersed forms.

31. The method according to claim 1, wherein orifices and/or flow shaping devices of media lines are rotatable and/or pivotable, predominantly driven by a fluid flow.

32. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises promoting an emulsification reversal in a heating system and/or an emulsion formation is avoided, such as by use of collecting areas, rest periods for fluids before renewed circulation or separating devices.

33. The method according to claim 25, wherein charging and/or provision of media on standby takes place with positionable flow deflections and/or with fixed flow deflections, which are subjected to flow by the flow conduction.

34. The method according to claim 33, which further comprises minimizing a flow during the charging and/or provision on standby, by use of flow measurement in a temperature space or by spatial expansion of the flow.

35. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises using at least one positionable standby device or collecting device for providing the media on standby and/or for charging media-storing areas at appropriate temperatures.

36. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises introducing at least one external and/or internal medium selected from the group consisting of exhaust gases, air, water and oil, into and/or discharged from the heating system.

37. The method according to claim 36, wherein introduced and/or discharged media are introduced into and/or discharged from a flow and/or a storing area.

38. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises introducing and/or discharging of internal and/or external media in an area of the heating system and/or of an external system where similar pressure conditions prevail.

39. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises exchanging and/or circulating of the media within the heating system with different pressure conditions and/or fluid levels takes place in areas where similar pressure conditions prevail, the media possibly being passed on.

40. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises using at least one medium for performing high-temperature thermal functions.

41. The method according to claim 1, wherein operating devices of the heating system, selected from the group consisting of collectors, heat exchange systems and protective devices, can be used for normal-temperature functions and for high-temperature functions.

42. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises integrating a high-temperature storage reservoir or a storage heat exchanger in a normal-temperature storage reservoir or a storage heat exchanger, predominantly in a thermally insulated manner.

43. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises using a heat transfer oil and/or solid substance, selected from the group consisting of scrap metals, concrete and a mixture of crushed stone and sand, as a heat transfer medium for an exchange and/or for high-temperature storage.

44. The method according to claim 3, which further comprises selecting the oil from the group consisting of paraffin oil and synthetic oil.

45. The method according to claim 1, which further comprises using the additional fluid for performing the thermal function selected from the group consisting of heat exchange, heat transfer, and heat storage.

46. The method according to claim 8, wherein: the stored forms of energy include fluid level differences; and the forms of energy that are not generated include gravitational forces, upward lifts and downward drifts.

47. The method according to claim 5, which further comprises selecting the media-storing area from the group consisting of partitions and vessels with openings with or without a vale in media-containing tanks.

48. The method according to claim 27, which further comprises selecting the flow-influencing from the group consisting of vortexing flows, path-extending flows and or surface-enlarging flows.

49. A heating system, comprising: at least one apparatus selected from the group consisting of: a fluid exchange device for drawing one fluid after another; a fluid standby device for keeping a fluid on standby against an upward lift or a downward drift; and a device for direct heat exchange between media, said device selected from the group consisting of media standby devices and devices for introducing and/or discharging external media.

50. The heating system according to claim 49, wherein said fluid exchange device includes a fluid receiving tank and a pump.

51. The heating system according to claim 50, further comprising: a storage reservoir; a heat exchange system; and valves separating/connecting said fluid receiving tank, said heat exchange system, and/or said storage reservoir.

52. The heating system according to claim 51, wherein: said fluid receiving tank is a separate tank and/or a fluid-storing area of the heating system, selected from the group consisting of a fluid heat storage reservoir and a heating boiler.

53. The heating system according to claim 49, further comprising at least one heat exchanging system and said fluid exchange device serving said at least one heat exchange system.

54. The heating system according to claim 49, wherein said media standby device includes partitions.

55. The heating system according to claims 49, wherein in a case of said standby devices, one of said standby devices overlapping over at least another one of said standby devices and/or over at least one flow, so that overflows of the media and/or inflows are safely collected and/or said standby devices can be positioned in one another.

56. The heating system according to claim 49, wherein said media standby device has at least one of the following devices: an overflow pipe, a valve, a collecting area, an opening formed therein, a storing area, a flexible flow line, an integrated flow conduction, a connection to a heat exchange system, a sensor, a conduction, a coupling, a fluid exchange area, a gas removal device, a flow shaping device or a flow shaping storing area.

57. The heating system according to claim 49, further comprises devices for controlled ventilation and/or for regenerative use of heat.

58. The heating system according to claim 54, wherein said partitions are selected from the group consisting of plates and vessels.

59. A method of operating a system, which comprises the steps of: providing the heating system according to claim 49; and using the heating system for controlled ventilation and/or for regenerative use of heat.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This is a continuing application, under 35 U.S.C. § 120, of copending international application No. PCT/EP2003/013236, filed Nov. 25, 2003, which designated the United States; this application also claims the priority, under 35 U.S.C. § 119, of German patent application No. 102 57 309.3, filed Nov. 30, 2002; the prior applications are herewith incorporated by reference in their entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

The invention relates to a method for operating solar and/or substance-operated and/or heat-absorbing and/or heat-storing heating systems.

The general state of the art discloses solar circulating systems that use a water-glycol mixture for frost protection in heating systems. However, this requires that heat exchangers have to be used for the solar circulation, causing the disadvantage of heat exchanger losses, pressure losses and higher operating costs due to a greater circulating volume.

In the case of these solar systems, the water-glycol mixture is displaced from the solar collector at boiling temperature, whereby the solar system can no longer be operated under further solar radiation, but only after the solar collector has cooled down.

Furthermore, there are known heat-exchanging systems that are emptied and filled with inert gas for frost protection, whereby the aforementioned disadvantages can be avoided, but for which filling devices are required. These also have to be elaborately controlled, partly to avoid the mixing of different temperatures or for venting.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is accordingly an object of the invention to provide a method for operating heating systems, heating system for carrying out the method and use thereof which overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages of the prior art methods and devices of this general type, which ensures frost protection in a simple and safe manner while avoiding the disadvantages of the known heating systems, so that a heating system which manages without, or with reduced, heat exchangers or absorbers between heat sources and storage reservoirs and heat emitting elements can be configured. This is intended to increase the cost-effectiveness for linking up further heat exchange systems with protective functions and thermal functions, so that regenerative energy sources can be better used.

In addition, further operating functions of a heating system are to be supported, whereby functional additions and improvements and also cost optimizations are to be obtained, in particular in connection with regenerative energy production and storage. In particular, the linking up of solar heat generators with any height loops is to be made possible, the heat exchange with the heating system managing without heat exchangers.

According to the invention, the object is achieved by at least one fluid for at least one operating function, such as a protective function or thermal function, being exchanged and/or kept on standby for operating solar and/or substance-operated and/or heat-absorbing and/or heat-storing heating systems, it being possible for a direct heat exchange to take place between media, such as fluids, gas and fluid or emulsion and fluid, and taking place without fluid exchange in the standby state.

During the operation of the heating system, the protective functions: frost protection, boiling protection, excessive temperature protection, corrosion protection, are achieved by the aforementioned method according to the invention. Furthermore, thermal functions, such as heat exchange or transfer, heat storage, heat absorption, heat emission, solar absorption, heat collection, heat distribution, heat utilization, charging, provision on standby, can be better used or extended.

The invention also relates to a device for heating systems that is analogously based on the same object as the method. This object is achieved by the features of a heating system having at least one of the following devices: a fluid exchange device, a fluid standby device, a device for direct heat exchange between media, a device for introducing and/or discharging media, a separating device, such as a reverse-emulsification device or an emulsion avoiding device.

The invention also relates to use of devices and/or methods for operating heating systems in the form that such devices and/or methods are used for controlled ventilation and/or for regenerative use of heat. In the controlled ventilation, for example, the supply air may be passed through the storage heat exchanger for heat exchanging purposes and the heat recycled from the exhaust air. In comparison with the prior art of heat recovery with air-air heat exchangers, the methods and devices have the advantage that the air can be simultaneously filtered through water, and the storage heat exchanger can be used for storing heat for example from the air.

Other features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in the appended claims.

Although the invention is illustrated and described herein as embodied in a method for operating heating systems, heating system for carrying out the method and use thereof, it is nevertheless not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention and within the scope and range of equivalents of the claims.

The construction and method of operation of the invention, however, together with additional objects and advantages thereof will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic, illustration of a fluid exchange device on a solar heating system;

FIG. 2 is an illustration of the fluid exchange device with a charging and provision-on-standby device and fluid heat exchange;

FIG. 3 is an illustration of the fluid exchange device with a high-temperature storage reservoir; and

FIG. 4 is an illustration of a system with fluid standby and heat exchange conduction.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the figures of the drawing in detail and first, particularly, to FIG. 1 thereof, there is shown a form of a method for operating a heating system according to the defined object of the invention. In this case, a layer of oil 3 is provided in a storage reservoir 7 and an inert gas tank 1, floating on the water of the storage reservoir 7. A return 2 of a solar collector circulating system opens out in the layer of oil 3. For frost protection, an exchange shut-off valve 12 is closed and an exchange valve 11 is opened by a control device 13. This allows the water in the solar collector circulating system to escape by gravity into the fluid receiving tank 10, whereby the oil is drawn from the layer of oil 3 into the solar collector circulating system.

The control device 13 can detect by a fluid differentiating sensor 8 that the oil has safely reached this point, and the control device 13 can close the exchange valve 11, so that the frost protection is ensured by the oil in the part of the circulating system that is at risk from frost. However, the limitation of the fluid receiving tank 10, whereby as much water is emptied and oil filled as fits into the part of the heat exchange system that is at risk from frost, is sufficient for producing frost protection.

If there is a request for heat exchange with the solar collector from the solar control, a circulating pump 9 is started by the control device 13 and the exchange valve 11 is opened. As a result, the water contained is pumped into the solar collector circulating system and the oil is returned into the storage reservoir 7. After a defined time, or by a level sensor in a fluid receiving tank 10, the exchange valve 11 is closed and the exchange shut-off valve 12 is opened, so that the normal circulation through the solar collector can take place.

The triggering of the frost protection can take place by a temperature sensor 6 in the solar collector, which the control device 13 evaluates.

The fluid exchange device in the case of the system in FIG. 1 may also be activated in the operating functions of boiling protection or corrosion protection. The high boiling temperature of the oil ensures boiling protection. The fluid exchange also advantageously has the effect that the solar collector can be operated again at any time, by contrast with fluid-displacing systems. In the case of unpressurized heating systems, the penetration of oxygen can be prevented with the aid of the oil, since the oil displaces the air due to the higher pressure and itself does not absorb any oxygen, whereby corrosion protection is ensured.

Represented in FIG. 2 by the example of a solar circuit are further advantageous developments, which additionally make it possible for the storage reservoir to be charged with heat and heat to be provided from the storage reservoir at appropriate temperatures, with fluid heat exchange. Since in this example a protective fluid 17 is also operated by the system as a heat transfer fluid, which is lighter than fluid in the storage reservoir 36, it is appropriate to operate the heat exchange circuit from top to bottom, since the lighter heat transfer fluid can then rise in the storage reservoir. This requires the exchange shut-off valve 12 and the fluid receiving tank 10 to be fitted upstream of the pump, and also the use of a nonreturn valve 25 on the line to the storage reservoir. As a difference from the system in FIG. 1, however, the exchange shut-off valve is only closed when the fluid is pumped back from the fluid receiving tank 10 into the storage reservoir 36 and opened again for circulating in the heat exchange circuit when the exchange valve 11 is closed. The return of fluid from the storage reservoir 36 is prevented by the nonreturn valve 25.

Fitted in the storage reservoir is a fluid standby device with a distributing function 21 and a positionable fluid standby device with a collecting function 19 and with a flexible line 18 to the flow of a heat circuit 16. An additional line 14 to the flow of the heat circuit, which can be closed by a valve 15, opens out in a standby layer for the protective fluid 17.

The heat circuit of the solar collector may be operated with a heat transfer fluid for example oil, which is lighter than the storage reservoir fluid for example water, resistant to frost, boiling and corrosion. The standby devices 21, 19 keep the heat transfer fluid circulating during the circulation. The standby device with distributing function 21 is thereby filled by the pump 9 and emptied over the edge of the downwardly open tank, so that there forms a fluid curtain, which rises upward in the storage reservoir. The thin curtain produces good heat exchange and heat transfer to the storage reservoir fluid. The heat exchange may also be increased by forming a number of curtains at the lower edge of the standby device with the aid of slits or by forming many thin flows by use of holes. However, the standby device 21 is configured in such a way that it can never be emptied completely by the lighter heat transfer fluid. The fact that the storage reservoir flow opens out in the area of the heat transfer fluid also results in that no storage reservoir fluid can get into the heat exchange circuit, since return is also prevented by the nonreturn valve 25.

The standby device with the collecting device 19 is configured in such a way that it overlaps with the distributing device 19 and in this way the heat transfer fluid is guaranteed to be collected and transferred via the flexible line 18 back into the flow of the heat exchanger circuit. The collecting device 19 is likewise configured as a downwardly open tank.

However, during the fluid heat exchange in the storage reservoir there is the problem that emulsions can form as a result of the free flow of the fluids in one another, whereby the heat transfer fluid is slowly displaced from the heat exchange circuit and storage reservoir water would get into the heat exchange circuit, which would impair the protective functions. This problem is solved by the standby device 19 containing sufficient heat transfer fluid, so that rest periods of the heat transfer fluid in the standby device are obtained and the formation of emulsions can consequently be reversed. Furthermore, a density of the heat transfer fluid is monitored by a sensor 20. Should it be established in this way that there is too much water in the standby device 19, the control 13 can position the standby device 19 further upward into the upper layer of heat transfer fluid 17 and fill it completely with new heat transfer fluid. The fact that the layer of heat transfer fluid 17 is at rest most of the time results in that the formation of emulsions has been reversed here and the heat transfer fluid has its full protective properties.

Furthermore, this problem can also be solved by the standby device 19 being balanced in such a way that, when it is completely filled with heat transfer fluid, it is suspended and, when it contains too much water, it sinks. Then, when the standby device is in a specific position, the valve 15 is opened by the downwardly drawn line and heat transfer fluid is continuously pumped out of the layer of heat transfer fluid 17 into the heat transfer circuit, so that the water is forced out downward from the standby device.

To optimize the heat exchange, the storage reservoir fluid, water, could also be used for the heat exchange. For example, using oil as the heat transfer fluid at high temperatures and using water as the heat transfer fluid at lower temperatures. This would on the one hand save operating energy, since at a low temperature level considerable heat transfer fluid has to be circulated until a corresponding amount of energy is yielded, and water has a higher storage density and less fluid has to be circulated in comparison with oil. At high temperature levels, where the disadvantage of the oil is not as serious because of the higher amount of energy, the advantage of more safe operation with oil as the heat transfer medium, because of the absence of gas bubbles, can be used. Furthermore, higher temperatures can be yielded and stored for example in a solid-material storage reservoir, where there is no risk of boiling.

To use the storage reservoir fluid as the heat transfer fluid, oil as the heat transfer fluid can for example be let out from the standby device 19 at the top with the aid of a valve. By further circulation, the standby device 19 and the heat exchange circuit fill with storage reservoir fluid. The standby device 21 continues to contain oil. The heavier water will, however, run out downward and move in the direction of equal density. To protect the heat exchange system, however, the fluid exchange device must exchange the fluid again. This may take place for example by the valve 15 being opened by lowering of the standby device 19 and the fluid safely being exchanged by the pump or by gravitational exchange of the fluid exchange system.

The fluid standby devices 19, 21 may also be configured in such a way that they can be positioned in the storage reservoir. For example by being balanced, so that when the flow is at a standstill they are immersed downward at low speed in the storage reservoir and when there is a flow they are positioned upward by the flow generated by the circulating pump 9. If the fluid standby devices 19, 21 are to maintain a position, they can be arrested, for example with the aid of an electromagnetic arresting device. The lower fluid standby device 21 can be positioned particularly effectively by the flow, since it acts as a baffle plate for flow conduction. In the case of the upper standby device 19, the baffle effect is low because of the distributing function of the standby device 21. This problem can be solved by the lower standby device 21 positioning the upper standby device 19 by contact in the upward direction and the lower standby device 21 subsequently being moved downward again into its position by downward drift. This problem can also be solved by a baffle plate in the line 18 to the standby device 19.

This positioning allows any desired layer with any desired layer thickness to be chosen for the heat exchange. As a result, on the one hand the heat exchange fluid can be made available to the heat exchange system with a specific temperature and on the other hand the storage reservoir can be discharged and charged in a defined manner. As a result, unnecessary mixing of the storage reservoir is avoided, whereby the temperature level of the storage reservoir is preserved and charged in the best possible way in comparison with conventional charging devices. A bypass function is also possible, in that the standby device 21 is positioned into the standby device 19, whereby a lower temperature than that in the storage reservoir can be made available, or a higher temperature level than would be possible with single circulation of the heat exchange transfer medium can be obtained.

In FIG. 3, an application of the fluid exchange with a high-temperature storage reservoir is shown. According to the invention, a high-temperature storage reservoir 31 is integrated in the normal storage reservoir 36 and the heat generation, here a collector 4, can be used for both storage reservoirs. This is particularly advantageous, since on the one hand the losses of the high-temperature storage reservoir 31 are reduced by the lower temperature difference with respect to the normal storage reservoir 36 in comparison with an external high-temperature storage reservoir, and the losses still occurring in the high-temperature storage reservoir 31 are used in the normal storage reservoir 36. Furthermore, shared use of the collector 4 has the effect that, when there is full solar radiation, the high-temperature storage reservoir can be charged and, when there is limited solar radiation, the normal storage reservoir can be charged, whereby the cost-effectiveness is increased in comparison with separate systems. Advantageous here is the use of oil as the heat transfer fluid and heat storage reservoir fluid for the high-temperature function, since oils have significantly higher boiling points than water for example. For the normal storage reservoir there is the possibility of using water or oil as the heat transfer medium and water as the storage reservoir fluid, and using the oil as a protective fluid, as described in FIG. 2. The high-temperature storage reservoir 31 is thermally insulated with respect to the normal storage reservoir 36. This may take place for example with the aid of a tank wall made of foam glass, the surfaces being sealed, for example with a layer of glass or layer of metal.

The fluid arriving in the storage reservoir is distributed in a fluid standby device 35 for direct heat exchange. If water comes from the heat exchange system 4, it would rise or fall in the storage reservoir water of the normal storage reservoir 36, depending on the temperature difference. No water can get into the high-temperature storage reservoir 31 even when an opening 32 is open, since it is filled with oil and this is lighter than water. If oil is circulated by the heat exchange system 4, it is also circulated through the high-temperature storage reservoir 31 when the opening 32 of the latter is open, and gives off the heat or absorbs it. At high temperatures of the oil, the hot oil would make the storage reservoir water evaporate and thereby disturb the circulation. This can be avoided by making the opening 32 be situated slightly lower than the standby device 35, which fits exactly into the opening 32. As a result, the standby device 35 can be positioned into the opening 32, whereby on the one hand an opening to the high-temperature storage reservoir 35 remains but the flow only takes place in the oil. A correspondingly thick layer of oil downward to the water produces an insulation during the fluid circulation, so that the water does not evaporate. Furthermore, the positioning of the standby 35 allows the opening 32 to be closed, so that an oil circulation can also take place through the normal storage reservoir 36, whereby the optimized heat exchange in the heat exchange system 4 is made possible.

Here, the oil is directed via fluid directing plates 33, 34 into an area of the normal storage reservoir 36 in such a way that it can be collected by the fluid standby device with collecting function 29 and returned to the heat exchange system 4. The standby device 29 is configured as a channel running around the high-temperature storage reservoir, but otherwise has the same function as the standby device 19 in FIG. 2. A valve 26, a layer of oil 27, the lines 28, 22, 23 and the devices in the heat exchange system 4 also have the same function as in FIG. 2.

However, the layer thickness would not be completely freely selectable, since the standby device 35 can only be positioned to a restricted extent. This can be achieved, however, by an additional standby device in the form of the standby device 29, though configured to be somewhat smaller. Here, however, the directing devices 33, 34 should direct the flow in a concentrated form, so that only a small heat exchange can take place, and the heat exchange only takes place by the distribution of the flow in the additional standby device.

Shown in FIG. 4 is an exemplary embodiment of the method according to the invention in which the heating system is equipped with a fluid standby and heat exchange conduction. By contrast with FIG. 1, the protective fluid is in this case constantly kept at least partly in the heat exchange system 4, and is consequently also a heat transfer fluid. As a result, the fluid exchange device is also no longer needed. However, the heat transfer fluid is then for example oil, which does not have the high heat density of water, so that more oil has to be circulated for heat exchange in comparison with water, which results in a somewhat greater operating energy. This can be used for example for single solar collectors or for heating circuits with low circulation.

This is achieved by a fluid standby device 44 being built into the storage reservoir 36, an emptying pipe 46 and a filling pipe 45 overlapping, so that there is always protective fluid in the fluid standby tank 44 and, as a result of the flow 16 of the heat exchange system likewise being immersed in the protective fluid 17, there is likewise always protective fluid in the heat exchange system. This has the effect that the frost protection, corrosion protection and boiling protection are achieved in the heat exchange system 4.

The heat exchange in the storage reservoir 36 takes place by the direct heat exchange of fluids, the heat transfer fluid being passed through the storage reservoir by meandering flow conduction 39. This extension of the path covered by the heat transfer fluid makes optimum heat exchange possible. The feeding of the flow and the discharge of the flow to and from the heat-exchanging flow conduction 39 is carried out with a concentrated flow 43, 37. This is achieved by concentrated emptying 46, 38 from the fluid standby 44 and a collecting device at the heat-exchanging fluid directing device 39. This achieves the effect that the heat exchange takes place as far as possible only in the area of the directing device 39.

With the aid of the fluid collecting device 42, the concentrated flow 43 is collected and distributed for example into a thin flow curtain and transferred to the directing device. The thin flow curtain 40 and the structured surface of the directing device produce a good heat exchange with little use of material. The directing plates 42 prevent the flow from flowing away from the heat-exchanging flow conduction 39.

The positioning of the heat-exchanging flow conduction 39 in the storage reservoir allows any desired layer with any desired layer thickness to be chosen for the heat exchange. This allows the heat exchange fluid on the one hand to be made available to the heat exchange system with a specific temperature and on the other hand the storage reservoir to be discharged and charged in a defined manner, with the advantages described with respect to FIG. 2. The layer thickness of the flow conduction can be chosen with the aid of a lower arresting device and an upper arresting device, in that on the one hand the upper end of the flow conduction 39 and at a different point in time the lower end of the flow conduction 39 are positioned by them. The positioning in a layer then advantageously takes place likewise in two steps, in that the two ends of the flow conduction 39 are likewise positioned one after the other. The balancing of such a dynamic system, where the upward lift or downward drift is not exactly defined due to changing fluid contents, can present problems. This is solved by the positionable flow conduction being balanced in such a way that, without lighter fluid, it is positioned downward and, with lighter fluid, it is positioned upward, so that the flow conduction is positioned downward when the arresting device is released and the circulation is at a standstill and is positioned upward when there is circulation.

By use of the standby and the exchange of media, media with at least one different property, such as heat storage density, evaporation temperature, evaporating property, freezing temperature, oxygen absorption, oxygen rejection, absorption property, emission property, density, viscosity, storage capacity, thermal conductivity or mixing properties, can be adjusted precisely for the respective operating function, whereby the latter can be operated optimally. This allows the heat transfer medium to be configured for example for optimum storage and/or heat production and also for cost-effective heat exchange, while at the same time protective functions can be achieved.

The fact that the protective function keeps the fluid and/or corrosion protection in a liquid state allows regenerative heating systems to be operated at higher temperatures without pressure systems having to be used for them.

Advantageous for a simple configuration is the method that water 7, 36 and/or oil 3, 17, 27, 31, 35, 44, 43, 40, 37, 19, 21, 29, such as paraffin oil, mineral oil, synthetic oil, are predominantly used as fluids. As a result, a high storage density is achieved by the water, and protection against frost, boiling and excessive temperature is achieved by the heat transfer medium of oil. If paraffin oil is used, good corrosion protection is ensured, since paraffin oil is an inert liquid and the components are wetted with it.

Also beneficial is the method that at least one medium is kept on standby and/or exchanged in at least one media-storing area of a heating system, such as with partitions, vessels with openings with or without a valve in media-containing tanks. This allows not only fluids but also gases or special fluids for thermal functions or protective functions to be kept on standby and/or exchanged. In this case, media-storing areas, such as an inert gas tank 1, fluid heat storage reservoir 7, 36, fluid storage heat exchanger, heating boiler, fluid tank, charging device, provision-on-standby device, fluid exchange device, heating boiler, fluid exchange lines, exchanging area, storage reservoir or fluid gravel storage reservoir, can be supported in their operating functions. For example, the transport of gas within oil for venting or for heat exchange is obtained in this way.

The method that media are kept on standby by floating 3, 17, 27 and/or being immersed 19, 21, 29, 31, 35 in fluids 7, 36 allows on the one hand simple configurations of such a heating system and on the other hand more complex functionality to be ensured.

This is advantageously achieved by the standby performing at least one of the following functions: flow conduction 21, 19, 35, 29, 38, 42, 44, flow shaping 21, 35, 44, 42, 38, charging 21, 35, 44, provision on standby 19, 29, 38, 62, 68, media collection or media separation. The method whereby the exchange of media takes place by stored forms of energy, such as fluid level differences 7, 10; 36, 10, pressure differences and/or forms of energy that are not generated, such as gravitational force, differences in gravitational force, upward lift or downward drift, ensures the safe exchange of media. Furthermore, the circulation, and with it an exchanging operation, can take place in one direction in a media exchange system with a pump, while the exchanging operation can be carried out in a protective function with the aforementioned forms of energy.

The method that the exchange of fluids takes place by receiving at least one fluid in a tank 10 allows heating systems with a higher fluid level to carry out the exchange of media. The tank 10 can be fitted at any level below the fluid level, and consequently any heating system with a fluid level is suitable for the exchange. The tank 10 may be an exchange tank of its own or some other tank capable of receiving fluid, such as a fluid storage reservoir, storage heat exchanger, inert gas tank, heating boiler.

It is particularly advantageous that, when exchanging fluids, at least one further medium 3, 17, 27 is drawn in its place. This allows circulating systems to be provided with loops of differing height with protective functions. This allows for example solar collectors to be connected with the absorbers interconnected in all possible ways. Where emptying of solar circulating systems takes place in the prior art, these can only be provided as circulating systems with a gradient in two directions, i.e. without height loops with frost protection. In the case of solar circulating systems with one or two directions of the gradient in the area of protection, it is sufficient for the heat transfer fluid to be displaced by a protective fluid. This can be achieved by a protective fluid that is lighter or heavier than the heat transfer fluid being let in from the bottom or from the top. As a result, the exchange tank 10 can be omitted from heating systems for which cost is a dominant factor.

The fact that the exchange of media takes place with an exchange flow which counteracts the upward lift of the lighter medium in the denser medium achieves the effect that the entire medium in a circulating system is exchanged. The medium to be exchanged cannot collect at points of reversal, since it is entrained by the correspondingly great flow.

The beneficial method that the exchange of the fluids is completed when a protective fluid exceeds a defined point in the heat exchange system 4 ensures that the circulating system is safely filled with a protective fluid. This can be achieved by detecting the protective fluid by a density sensor and/or by collecting a defined amount of fluid 10 and/or by determining a defined missing amount of fluid in an area 3, 17, 27.

The exchange of gas achieves the effect of flushing through heat-transferring gas media, whereby low-cost thermal functions can be accomplished with a heating system.

With the aid of the method that at least one line of a heat exchange system 4 can be immersed 2 or introduced in or connected 14, 26 to a stored fluid, the exchange of the fluid is prepared, and the fluid to be exchanged can be stored in fluid-storing heating components.

With the aid of the method that the exchange is made possible by use of at least one compliant element, such as a membrane or gas area, the exchange can take place with little energy and in pressurized or unpressurized heating systems or heating systems with a fluid level. This element yields each time an exchange occurs, so that the exchange tank 10 can be filled and emptied. The compliant element may in this case be located in the storage reservoir or in the standby device.

If paraffin oils are used as a protective fluid in areas at risk of frost, the problem arises that cold is predominantly introduced into insulated areas and the cold is retained by the insulation, and consequently viscous oil sticks in this area, so that the exchange, i.e. starting after frost, would be possible only with great pumping pressure. In the case of relatively small insulated areas of cold, this problem can be solved cost-effectively by use of positive-displacement pumps, which can supply a corresponding pressure. Otherwise, the method that heat exchange systems or parts thereof can raise and/or store a temperature is suitable for solving this problem. Simple possible ways of realizing this are solar heating from a collector or by transparent heat insulation or from a heat storage reservoir. The heat transfer may in this case take place by air and intermediate spaces in insulated areas of cold, where the air is allowed into the intermediate spaces and/or circulated. This method may also be used for the purpose of keeping the temperature above the freezing point or critical viscosity temperature, if this is not too energy-intensive, for example when there is a light frost and/or great insulation.

With the aid of the method that actions for safe exchange, such as establishing a connection from the area to be protected 4 to the protective fluid 17, 27, positioning standby devices or valve actuations at exchange systems, are obtained by use of the safe forms of energy exchange with protective functions can be safely ensured without energy having to be supplied in the case of protection. For example, exchange can safely take place by use of valves 15, 26 or positionable lines moved by upward-lifting or downward-drifting bodies 19, 29 and/or moved by the difference in fluid level of the storage reservoir or insulating heat exchanger and fluid receiving tank 10 and/or moved by the difference in pressure of the storage reservoir or storage heat exchanger and fluid receiving tank.

Further safety is obtained by the presence and/or absence of the fluids in the heating system and/or in areas of a heating system being monitored to achieve safe exchange. This can take place with an upward lift sensor 8, downward drift sensor, conductivity sensor, fluid level sensor, fluid presence sensor, density sensor or amount-of-fluid measuring sensor. As a result it can be ensured that, in the case of protection, the protective fluid is introduced throughout an area to be protected.

Significant safety is achieved by the method that, for safe fluid exchange, the exchange is safely ensured by redundant measures, such as redundant elements, redundant operations or autonomous additional devices. Redundant elements may include thermostats, temperature sensors, valve-controlled emptying lines and/or exchange lines, evaluation units of sensors, fluid presence sensors or fluid absence sensors with and without a valve-controlled emptying line and/or exchange lines or controls. Redundant operations may be repeat operations, such as repetitions of an exchange, repeated activation of redundant exchange devices, or operations for overcoming malfunctions, such as logging of malfunctions, or flushing operations. Autonomous additional devices may be realized for example by a thermostat and an evaluation unit which establishes a safe state.

Increased safety is also achieved by the activating voltage for actuators relevant to safety, such as pumps 9, exchange devices or valves 11, 12, taking place by concatenation via at least one redundant system, such as a control, thermostat or evaluation unit, and the activating voltage being enabled by all the systems, and the transfer to the safe state of the activating voltage taking place even if only one system withdraws enablement. This allows safe states likewise to be established by control devices in the event of malfunctions.

High efficiency is provided by the method that the direct heat exchange takes place by at least one flow 21-19, 35-33-29, 40 and/or by at least one storing area 21, 19, 35, 29 of the media.

The increase in the heat exchange performance is initiated according to the invention by the heat exchange being carried out and/or intensified by at least one flow conduction 21, 35, 44, 39 and/or flow shaping 21, 35, 42. This allows an extension of the path covered by the heat exchange medium and/or an increase in its heat exchanging surface. A mixing of the heat exchange media is also possible as a result.

The flow conduction advantageously takes the form that at least one flow of the media is conducted freely in a medium 35-29, 37, 43 and/or partly freely 39, such as at directing plates, directing channels, directing sheets, and/or embedded in other media, such as in flexible connections 60, 70. This achieves on the one hand an exactly defined temperature space and on the other hand large heat exchanging surface areas in a small space.

With the aid of conducting free or partly free flows through fluid-storing areas, on the one hand constant flows and division of the flows are achieved and on the other hand the storing area can also act as a storage heat exchanger.

The fact that the flow conduction 39 and/or flow introduction is changed in the inclination with respect to the horizontal, such as by being set or subjected to closed-loop or open-loop control, allows vortexing to be produced, or flow conductions can be changed with regard to the space they are to flow through, thereby realizing for example layer thicknesses flowed through according to choice.

The fact that the flow conduction 39 takes place in a meandering and/or spiral form through the media-storing area means that contiguous flow conductions can be realized, allowing a large heat-exchanging surface area to be produced with little space. Heat exchanging influences are brought about by the flow conduction 39 and/or flow introduction 21, 35, 42 effecting flow-influencing, such as accelerating, retarding, vortexing, path-extending or surface-enlarging, flows. This can be supported by structures on directing plates and/or rotatable flow shaping devices and/or laminar flows. The flow can also be influenced by channels, convexities, inclinations influencing rates of flow, rounded portions, settling zones or quantity-controlled settling zones, so that they can be conducted and/or distributed in a laminar manner.

Advantageous charging with heat or provision of heat on standby is made possible by the method that at least one of the following elements: standby 21, 35, 44, collection 19, 29, 32, 38, flow shaping 21, 35, 44, 42, 38, forms of flow 37, 43, 40, flow conduction 21, 35, 44, diversion 33, 34, 41, flow deflection, flexible conduction, sensors 20, 30 or media separation, to flow directing devices is used for at least one thermal function. This allows the charging to take place in temperature spaces and heat to be provided at the appropriate temperature with an exactly defined sensor level without mixing of a medium.

Beneficial for good heat exchange or for minimal heat exchange, depending on the location of the flow, is the method that at least one flow is shaped, such as a centered flow 43, 37 and/or distributed flow 21, 35, 40. This allows a flow with a large surface or with a minimized surface and vortexed or laminar flow to be produced. As a result, flows to or from a temperature space can be realized freely with the smallest heat exchange and flows in a temperature space with a great heat exchange performance. For the variability of the heat exchange it is appropriate for the method to take place with the flow conduction and/or flow variably with regard to the form and/or in a number of forms. For example, flows with a centered and small surface 43, 37 and/or in a flat form 40 and/or in a radiated form with a large surface and/or in the form of bubbles or drops and/or with different cross sections, flow curtains and/or flow rivulets and/or flow jets and/or flows in the form of drops and/or bubbles and/or pulses and/or dispersed forms, such as in a spray form, rain form, sprinkling form, and/or wetted forms. Changing the forms or the number of forms also allows adaptation of the heat exchanging performance, for example for provision at the appropriate temperature.

The method that orifices and/or flow shaping devices of media lines are rotatable and/or pivotable, predominantly driven by the fluid flow, allows media mixing or different devices with which flow is realized to be aimed at, according to choice, such as standby devices, flow conduction devices, provision-on-standby devices or charging devices.

To solve emulsion problems, it is advantageous that an emulsification reversal is promoted in the system and/or an emulsion formation is avoided. For example, this can take place by the collecting areas 3, 17, 19, 21, 27, 29, 35, 42, 38 and/or constricting outlets of the fluids 38, such as funnels, funnels with outlets with a small inclination with respect to the horizontal, returns into the collecting area from the lower or upper area of the outlet conduction, flow-stabilized areas, large interfaces between the fluids, rest periods for fluids before renewed circulation, returns from boundary areas separating devices, such as density-dependent floating partition walls or laminar flow conduction.

The method by which the charging and/or provision of media on standby takes place with positionable flow deflections and/or with fixed flow deflections, which are subjected to flow by the flow conduction, provides a simple and cost-effective way of realizing such functions. This involves for example a flow with a small surface being directed upward onto a flow deflection, and this flow being deflected into a flow which is horizontal and with an enlarged surface, whereby the heat exchange begins from the position of the deflection and ends for example in a standby device.

It is helpful during charging and provision on standby that the flow is minimized during charging and/or provision on standby, such as by flow measurement in the layer or by spatial expansion of the flow. The measurement and/or spatial expansion may take place in this case at the flow deflection. The flow can also be minimized by defined rates of flow for selected layers by the control of the flow through the circulating pump. Undesired mixing is also avoided in this way.

The fact that at least one positionable standby device or collecting device is used for charging and/or providing media areas on standby allows them to act as storage heat exchangers in temperature spaces, a partly direct heat exchange being carried out between the media at the opened points of the standby device.

In the method, at least one external and/or internal medium, such as exhaust gas, air, water, waste water or oil, is introduced into and/or discharged from the heating system. This allows heat to be exchanged with direct heat exchange with external elements which are not directly assigned to the heating or which use different heat transfer media than the heating system. Examples of this may be use of heat from waste gas or use of waste heat from machines or components. The selection of external media and the discharge of internal media takes place however on the basis of the conditions of the heating system with regard to deposits, corrosion protection and media separation.

Advantageous introduction and/or discharge of media takes place by introduced and/or discharged media being introduced into and/or discharged from a flow and/or a storing area. Air is introduced for example in flows, so that it is transported into fluid pressure areas and can rise again with a heat-exchanging effect.

For introduction and discharge with low operating costs, the introduction and/or discharge of internal and/or external media will take place in an area of the heating system and/or of the external system where similar pressure conditions prevail. In the case of air, this is with a flow in unpressurized heating systems, where approximately atmospheric pressure prevails. Fluids from different fluid pressure columns are exchanged at points with the same fluid pressure columns and differences in density are used for the exchange in the fluid area.

The aforementioned method is also used for performing the exchanging and/or circulating of media within the heating system with different pressure conditions and/or fluid levels in areas where similar pressure conditions prevail, the media possibly being passed on. With the aid of this method, media can be exchanged with low operating costs in storage reservoirs with different fluid levels, since pressure differences do not have to be overcome by pumps and the heat exchange can be performed with provision on standby and/or charging devices.

Taking this a stage further is also the method that high-temperature functions of the thermal functions take place by use of at least one medium, so that temperatures which lie above those of the boiling temperature of water are yielded and stored for example by a heat transfer media formed from paraffin oil, without a pressure increase having to take place. This allows higher temperatures to be exchanged and stored in heating systems without pressurization, whereby cost-effectiveness increases.

It is also advantageous that the operating devices of the heating system in FIG. 3, such as collectors, heating boilers, heat exchange systems, control devices or protective devices, can be used for normal-temperature functions and for high-temperature functions. This also facilitates the storage and use of higher temperatures.

Losses from high-temperature storage can be used by the method, by the high-temperature storage reservoir (FIG. 3) or storage heat exchanger being integrated in a normal-temperature storage reservoir or storage heat exchanger, predominantly in a thermally insulated manner. The losses are then absorbed by the normal-temperature storage.

It is expedient that the heat transfer medium for the exchange and/or for the high-temperature storage is a heat transfer oil and/or solid substance, such as scrap metals, concrete or a mixture of crushed stone and sand. For example, it is appropriate for a high-temperature storage to be configured such that the heat transfer oil can take the average yield of a day, and this yield is passed on to a solid-substance storage reservoir, the storage size being determined by the solid-substance storage reservoir. The high-temperature functions may be used for regenerative use of heat, such as increasing the storage capacity, and/or for cooking and/or baking and/or for processes, such as melting, welding, evaporating or sterilizing, and/or for chilling and/or cooling functions, such as of machines, motors, collectors, fuel cells, exhaust gases or processes and/or for rapid heating functions, such as for rooms where the heat has been lowered, rooms used for a short time or rooms opened at times or in part, and/or for thermal irradiation.

Heating systems with devices such as a fluid exchange device, a fluid standby device, a device for direct heat exchange between media, a device for introducing and/or discharging media or separating device, such as a reverse-emulsification device or emulsion avoiding device, can perform the thermal and protective functions at lower cost in comparison with the prior art. It is possible here to do without provision-on-standby devices, heat exchangers and operating devices for heat exchanger systems, and heat sources can simply be used for storing the heat.

A heating system in which a fluid exchange device contains a fluid receiving tank 10 and the pump 9 of the heat exchange system can carry out the fluid exchange also when the fluid level or storage reservoir area of the heating system lies above the areas to be protected. This also allows gravitational force to be used for the fluid exchange.

With the aid of the separation of the fluid receiving tank 10 and the heat exchange system and/or of the storage reservoir by at least one valve 11, 12, 25 in each case, it is possible for the exchange operation and the fluid retaining operation to be controlled.

It is beneficial if the fluid receiving tank 10 is a tank of its own and/or a fluid-storing area of the heating system, such as a fluid heat storage reservoir or heating boiler, but also a fluid storage heat exchanger, a tank connected to a heat exchanger or an inert gas tank. This allows the fluid receiving tank to be used for heat storage or function tanks to be used in two forms.

It is cost-effective and materially productive that one or more heat exchange systems are served by one fluid exchange device.

This also applies because the media standby device is implemented by partitions, such as plates or vessels. Low-cost examples of partitions may also be sheets, dishes, depressions, channels, bags or containers.

The fact that in the case of standby devices one is overlapping over at least one other and/or over at least one flow, so that overflows of the media and/or inflows are safely collected and/or the standby devices can be positioned in one another, results in that the standby device is constantly operational and is suitable for producing bypasses. Particularly advantageous for the standby function is that a standby device 21, 35, 29, 44, 42, 38 has at least one of the following devices: an overflow 46, valve, collecting area 19, 29, opening, storing area 21, 35, flexible flow line, integrated flow conduction, connection to the heat exchange system 2, 22, 67, sensor 20, 30, conduction 64, coupling, fluid exchange area, gas removal, flow shaping 21, 35, 44, 42, 38 or flow shaping storing area. Therefore, standby devices can be configured to have a good heat-exchanging effect or heat-exchange intensifying effect. Furthermore, the formation of emulsion can be avoided or promoted or reversed. As a result, the freely selectable charging of temperature spaces and provision of media at appropriate temperatures can also be realized with the standby device.