Due to increased prices for energy and raw materials in recent years, the utilization of renewable energies has become more important.  With this goal in mind, a textile composite has been created which can absorb and store solar energy during the day and, in conjunction with other technology, can use this thermal energy to heat water. The textile composite consists of a textile carrier into which thin pipes/capillaries for water transportation are woven. The textile carrier is coated with a polymer which contains PCM. Water of ambient temperature is pumped through the capillaries and absorbs the heat stored in the PCM.  The heated water is thus ready for household use.  This system, permitting a direct supply of hot water, eliminates the need for the large water tank used for intermediate storage in present-day systems. Moreover, comparing the textile composite PCM-based system to the common thermal solar systems involving solar panels on the roof, the new system is less bulky, lighter weight, and less expensive.

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