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Windhager pellet boiler provides climate-neutral heat in the Henndorf Municipal Offices

The municipality as a sustainable role model

The latest report from the UN Climate Council paints a bleak picture: Global warming is progressing even faster than initially feared. The experts also agree that every contribution counts. Some municipalities are aware of the exemplary role they have and are already taking climate protection measures, as seen with the example of Henndorf am Wallersee. For almost two years now, the municipal offices have been heated in an environmentally friendly and safe manner with the largest pellet boiler from the Windhager product range – the BioWIN XL. The municipality subsidies received EUR 7,200 from the Austrian federal and provincial governments for switching from gas to pellets.

Your community may have been affected by mudslides, floods or prolonged droughts with major crop failures this summer. If we do not quickly take action to counter these effects, these natural disasters will soon become part of our everyday lives. In order to mobilise our citizens, municipalities need to be aware of their position as role models and become active themselves. One look at the energy mosaic shows the energy consumption of each municipality in detail. There is still a lot of room for improvement as far as the share of renewable energies is concerned. 

Two years ago, Henndorf am Wallersee wanted to set an example for more environmental protection and become active as a community. Since then, an environmentally friendly pellet heating system has replaced the old gas heating system.

Out with the gas boiler, in with the climate-friendly pellet boiler 

The beautifully renovated façade of the Henndorf Municipal Offices do not reveal that the market building from the late 1950s originally had a different purpose. Until 1994, it was the equipment base for the volunteer fire brigade and housed, among other things, the fire engines. The municipal offices have been situated here since 1995, after extensive renovation work had been completed. 

The centrally located market building, however, should shine not only through its appearance, but also because it delivers a brilliant performance in terms of environmental friendliness. That’s why in 2019, the municipal council decided to replace the 26-year-old gas heating system with a climate-friendly heating system. And because we all know the best things are home-grown, she found what she was looking for in the neighbouring municipality of Seekirchen am Wallersee. Windhager has been developing and manufacturing high-quality heating systems for wood fuels there for 100 years.

Enough space for pellet storage

Making the switch from gas to pellets started at the beginning of the 2019 heating season. Space was created for fuel storage in the approximately 1,200 square metre building. A room in the basement was divided for this purpose and converted into a pellet storage area. About 13 tonnes of pellets can be stored there, and refilling takes place twice a year on average. The patented and maintenance-free 8-probe suction system from Windhager takes care of transporting the fuel to the boiler – without dust or dirt.

The pellet boiler for large heating requirements 

The BioWIN XL is the largest pellet boiler from Windhager and is ideal for heating buildings with a high heat demand, such as municipal or commercial buildings. For the Henndorf municipal offices, which sometimes need a bit more heat, sometimes a bit less heat, the modulating boiler with an output of 18 to 60 kW was the best choice. However, it is possible to connect up to four boilers to form a cascade – this covers an output range of up to 240 kW. Whether cascade or single boiler: Every variant of the BioWIN XL has an impressive compact design. 

Low maintenance

At the Henndorf municipal offices, a building maintenance employee takes care of the heating system. The BioWIN XL makes it easy for him: The XXL ash box of the pellet boiler holds the ash from eight tonnes of pellets and the box needs to be emptied only once a quarter. The BioWIN XL also requires hardly any other work, as the heating surfaces are cleaned automatically and a patented counter-rotating grate makes sure the burner pot stays clean.

Pellet heating feeds the accumulator tank

The heat produced in the boiler takes a special route in the case of the Henndorf municipal offices. Since a sophisticated control system was already in place, all of the thermal energy from the BioWIN XL was temporarily stored in a 1000-litre accumulator and fed into the heating system from there as needed. 

Promoting the local economy and securing jobs

With its 350 employees at the Seekirchen site, Windhager is a major employer in the region. The mayor of Henndorf, Rupert Eder, knows this well, and describes his reasons for buying the boiler from the neighbouring municipality in this way: "We chose the pellet heating system from Windhager because it is a very innovative product that covers our high heating requirements in an environmentally friendly way. At the same time, it is important for us that the added value remains in the region – yes, even in the neighbouring municipality – and that jobs are preserved." 

Supplying municipal buildings with heat in a safe and environmentally friendly way

Be it a school, municipal offices or clubhouse – switching to a renewable heating system with pellets or wood chips is easy for buildings with large heating requirements. In addition, municipalities also receive large subsidies to do so. For switching from fossil fuel gas to an environmentally friendly pellet heating system, the municipality of Henndorf received subsidies from the Austrian federal government and the province of Salzburg amounting to EUR 7,200. 

Overview: Reference from the Municipal Offices of Henndorf  
Energy type Pellets
Site Basement/boiler room
Area of use Municipal building / Municipal offices
Heatable surface 1,200 m2
Fuel feed 8-probe suction system
Pellet storage room Brick warehouse, holds approx. 13 t of pellets
Accessories 1,000 l heat accumulator
Cost saving; CO2 saving approx. EUR 1,700/year; approx. 20.57 t CO2/year
Old equipment Gas heating system; 26 years old