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Hargassner taking the temperature for Swedish woodchip heat and power

It is not just new forest machinery and allied equipment on show at Elmia Wood but also biomass heating systems. The reason is simple, around 30 000 visitors are forest owners typically with farm houses and buildings to heat. A cost-effective way to heat and indeed power a property using self-produced woodchip fuel is something Hargassner is betting on with its new KWK 80 kW.

Neuheit - the Hargassner KWK 80 kW showcased in Wels earlier this year.

Neuheit – the Hargassner KWK 80 kW showcased in Wels earlier this year.

Launched by Austrian biomass boiler manufacturer Hargassner GesmbH at World Sustainable Energy Days (WSED) in Wels, Austria and at ISH, Frankfurt am Maine, Germany earlier this year, the Hargassner KWK 80 kW is a new woodchip-fired cogeneration plant designed for decentralised medium performance range heat and power production suitable for properties such as farms, commercial enterprises, public buildings and local heating operators.

According to Hargassner, its award-winning 60 kW thermal and 20 kW electricity cogeneration concept, represents an ideal cost-effective solution for such applications. Using the perhaps cheapest biomass fuel, woodchips, the unit is compact requiring minimum space and is fully automatic.

Gasification with drying gas cleaning

The KWK comes in two “boxes” with the boiler unit containing a downdraft style gasifier and product gas filter whereas the second unit contains the gas engine and generator as well as a flue gas heat exchanger. A key factor is that the woodchips must be dry, around15 percent moisture content.

A schematic of the new Hargassner KWK woodchip-fired cogeneration unit launched earlier this year (image courtesy Hargassner).

A schematic of the new Hargassner KWK woodchip-fired cogeneration unit launched earlier this year (image courtesy Hargassner).

Although launched in Austria and Germany earlier this year, the first installations are “zero series” whereby the company is establishing a number of reference sites in different geographies and operating conditions to gather extensive field data over a heating season. Thereafter and assuming everything works out, the objective is to introduce it to other markets.

In Sweden, Hargassner will showcase the KWK at the upcoming Elmia Wood international forestry trade show something that Marcus Nordin with the Swedish importer Hargassner Sverige is looking forward to.

We have brought the KWK boiler to show how incredibly compact such a plant can be and get some feedback from our customers. The goal of the fair for us this year is not to sell but rather show what we have in the pipeline for next year. And the aim is to find some good places to install the first reference facilities in Sweden as soon as we get the green light from Austria that the zero series currently being sold has worked satisfactorily, he explained.

Illustrating boiler room installation and configuration flexibility as the boiler (left) and CHP units can be placed at a distance from each other (photo courtesy Hargassner).

Illustrating boiler room installation and configuration flexibility as the boiler (left) and CHP units can be placed at a distance from each other (photo courtesy Hargassner).

Nordin anticipates creating a stir as “many people have been waiting for this type of product in order to be more independent in their business and take care of their own forest”, which suggests that the event would seem to be the right place to be.

There are already a lot of similar products from other manufacturers, but Hargassner has worked hard to make this a product that really can be used and is economically viable in real life conditions. This means being able to use woodchip with bark as it is in reality on farms something we are probably alone on. The only thing you have to do is keep moisture content down to around 15 percent, said Nordin.

No doubt the upcoming Elmia Wood will reveal just how much potential interest in Sweden or indeed elsewhere there is for Hargassner’s KWK concept.

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