Experimental validation of a hybrid 1-D multi-node model of a hot water thermal energy storage tank

Iván De la Cruz-Loredo, Daniel Zinsmeister, Thomas Licklederer, Carlos E. Ugalde-Loo, Daniel A. Morales, Héctor Bastida, Vedran S. Perić, Arslan Saleem

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Hot water-based thermal energy storage (TES) tanks are extensively used in heating applications to provide operational flexibility. Simple yet effective one-dimensional (1-D) tank models are desirable to simulate and design efficient energy management systems. However, the standard multi-node modelling approach struggles to reproduce the dynamics of highly thermally stratified tanks due to their artificial numerical diffusion. In this paper, a novel 1-D multi-node modelling approach is introduced for accurately simulating water tanks with a high extent of thermal stratification. A non-linear, hybrid continuous–discrete time model able to capture the sudden temperature change within the tank is presented. The modelling approach was adopted to simulate a commercial TES tank, with the model being implemented in MATLAB/Simulink. Results from experimental tests were compared with simulation results, demonstrating that a hybrid continuous–discrete 12-node model accurately estimates the temperatures of the tank. It is also shown that the hybrid model avoids the numerical diffusion exhibited by standard multi-node models. This has been evidenced by the reduced root mean square and mean absolute errors exhibited by the hybrid model when compared with the experimental data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120556
JournalApplied Energy
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Dynamic systems modelling
  • Energy systems
  • Heating systems
  • Hot water tanks
  • Thermal energy storage


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