The focus of today’s wood-fuelled heating systems in the range up to 5 MW is mainly on heat production. Schmid AG in Eschlikon (canton of Thurgau) has developed a wood-fuelled heating system that delivers both heat and electricity. This innovative power plant, with an output of 500 kW thermal and 100 kW electrical power is tailor-made for the decentralised, CO2-neutral supply of energy for municipalities and local districts.
Düdingen has a population of around 8,000. Since autumn 2015, the municipality in the Sense District, canton of Fribourg, has been bringing a new district heating network into operation in stages. One year on, all the municipal buildings and around 180 households have been connected to the system. The combined heat and power system is operated by the Western Swiss energy supply company Celsius Groupe E.
The heating network in Düdingen has a central energy system that is unique worldwide: as well as a standard wood-burning furnace, a Schmid AG hot-air turbine has been installed that produces electricity as well as heat. The power plant closes a gap in the market, as in this size class, the supply of decentralised heating and power using the native, CO2-neutral energy source of wood was to date only possible using gasification that requires substantial preparation of the fuel and high technical capabilities on the part of the operators.
Text: © Swiss Cleantech Report 2017
Image: © Schmid Energy Solutions AG