GEC Nightstor boilers....
(Please note I don't repair this boiler. I write about it purely as an
For years I've looked at old fashioned electric night storage Storage heaters
and thought they were a fundamentally good idea, spoiled by the lack of control
they offer. I've always thought it possible to use the same principle of using
ceramic bricks to store heat energy from low cost off peak electricity but to
use the energy to heat conventional water filled central heating radiators, but
I'd never seen it done. Then I was called in to repair a boiler called a
"GEC Nightstor". It turned out to be about 20 years old and exactly
the product I've been musing about all these years.
A large container of high density ceramic blocks in the GEC Nightstor is
heated by electric heater elements overnight, and during the day a fan runs to
transfer the heat energy into water via an air-to-water heat exchanger. The hot
water is then pumped around ordinary central heating radiators and the house
appears to the user to be heated in just the same way as if it had a gas boiler.
Here's a photo of one. The boiler is the large box about the size of a fridge
and the timer and control panel is the smaller box on the wall to the
The GEC Nightstor was made by GEC Engineering (Acrington) ltd. Sadly no-one
else thought the Nightstor was a brilliant idea and the company went into
administration long ago.
However, there is better news! A company called Hyndburn
Engineering Services Ltd appears to have been set up by ex-GEC
employees in Lancashire. They specialise in the GEC Nightstor and
one or two other electric thermal stores, and in particular their website offers
a national repair service for GEC Nightstor boilers for the astonishingly low
price of £85 plus parts and VAT. I can't imagine how they can do that and still
turn a profit...
The Hyndburn Engineering Services Ltd website
also says they supply spare parts for the GEC Nightstor which means that even if
it turns out they cannot send an engineer to your particular neck of the woods,
a repair by an interested local technician is probably still possible.
Here's a link to a page on the Hyndburn website that explains how the
Nightstor works in more detail. Link.
Has a nicer picture of one than mine, too!
However, if you have one of these please don't call
me, I don't repair them or carry any parts in stock. Call the people who know
them in detail, Hyndburn Engineering Services Ltd. Click the link above for
their contact details. (I have no connection with them other than having spoken
to them on the phone once, to check they are still trading.)
First created 6th July 2010
Last updated 5th March 2015