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Straw heating in Seibersdorf

 Seibersdorf, Austria
1987-1990
10,000 meters total net lenght
2 Mw boiler capacity
180 customers supplied with sustainable heat
1,200 tons of straw per year
28 years of reliable service

Over 25 years, and still rolling with the times

The municipality of Seibersdorf, in Lower Austria, understood the great value of switching over from fossil fuels to cleaner, more sustainable energy. They realized that potential by using local resources for the communal heat supply in a biomass installation, fuelled by woodchips, bark and straw. Unlike fossil fuels, biomass is CO2-neutral, of domestic origin, and re-uses bio-wastes for both heat and power.

The Seibersdorf project was an early pioneer in this field with the installation of a straw heating plant in 1986, as the first of its kind in Central Europe. The straw was bought from farmers in the area, pressed with a large baler, and finally used for clean, affordable heat for the local community. The straw ash produced by the combustion, is re-used once more as fertilizer for the local farmers. In 1987, Flexalen proved the most suitable choice for the installation of the district heating network, characterized by its efficiency, ease and speed of installation, and remarkable life expectancy. This has been proven in Seibersdorf because, as almost 30 years later, the network is still in headache-free operation.

“We have visited the installation in Heiligenkreuz (operating since 1983) and have been convinced by the positive experience and support from Thermaflex.”

Mr. DinserInstaller, July 2013

Goals

The replacement of the individual boiler and the use of straw waste was the main intention of this project, but the use of local energy sources for a clean, and affordable heat supply was achieved with improvements in air quality too. The main challenges were posed by the connection of single family homes, the protection of gardens, and the overall planning and selection of pumps and home stations.

For users:

  • High level of comfort.
  • Low installation and heating costs.
  • Heating at maximum efficiency.
  • Local production of heat.
  • Supply and services locally available.
  • No prepayment for fuel.
  • Maintenance-free.

Project Process

In the first stage, the main line was installed and connections were made through butt-welding. By now, all public buildings such as the school, town hall, kindergarten, church and parish hall, and over 50% of households have been connected to the district heating network.

“Technical support and on site assistance – sometimes even with night shifts to complete the project – were very much appreciated and helped to complete the project in time for the winter season 1987/88.”

Mr. BöhmHead of the Cooperative, 1987

Results

180 heating customers were supplied from the network including the housing area, office buildings, kindergarten, a school, farmers, sport facilities and residents. The network’s total length reached 10 km. The boiler has a capacity of 2.2 Mw. They implemented an operational mode for the winter period with a maximum flow temperature of 85°C.The straw was provided from the local farmers in the town with a yearly consumption of 1,200 tons of straw per year. So far, the network has remained maintenance –free at consistent performance for decades.

"…during the redesign of the marketplace Flexalen pipes had to be redirected. After 26 years in operation the Flexalen pipes with Polybutene medium pipes look like new – no deposits, clean surface, stable insulation…"

Mr. WildtFernwärmegenossenschaft Seibersdorf

Additional Info

Organisations:

Fernwärmegenossenschaft Seibersdorf (District Heating company)

Dinser (installation company)

Sturm (boiler company)

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