Thermal stratification in a mantled hot water storage tank is analysed numerically for different water inlet velocities. The aim is to obtain higher thermal stratification and supply hot water for usage as long as possible. Twelve different water inlet velocities to the hot water storage tank are considered. The numerical method is validated by comparing its results against experimental and numerical results from the literature. It turned out that the results obtained from the numerical analysis have shown very good agreements with the results from previous works. As a result, the water temperature in the tank increases with the increase of the water inlet velocities to the mantle but this increment is not proportional. After a period of operation of 7.2 h, which corresponds to the average sunshine duration in Turkey, temperature increments of 6.5 and 35 K have been estimated for the hot water inlet velocities of 0.01 and 0.3 in s(-1), respectively, at a radial distance of 0.1 m and a height of I in inside the storage tank. Copyright (c) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.