Wind power will have an important role to play in the future energy scenario involving 100% renewable energy. The state of Burgenland has been expanding the use of wind power for many years and now generates much more energy than it consumes. However, the large surplus (around 50%) places a certain amount of strain on the power grids, meaning that the wind turbines sometimes have to be switched off. The fact that the tariff subsidies are soon to run out for many older turbines is also posing new challenges to the marketing of wind power. The Hybrid DH DEMO1 project is therefore developing concepts and innovative business models for using wind power in a hybrid district heating system and is testing them in Neusiedl am See.
In net terms, the Burgenland wind-power region generates around 50% more electrical energy than it consumes over the course of a year. At the end of 2019,
it was home to 450 wind farms producing a total output of 1,124 MW.
Coupling wind power and heat
Neusiedl, where the central district heating power plant, the natural gas grid and the public power grid all come together, lies at the heart of the project. The location is to be developed into an “energy hub” by using heat pumps to couple the two sectors of power and heat. This will involve expanding an existing biomass heating plant connected to the district heating network by adding a power-to-heat plant. A direct line will take wind power straight from the substation to the heating plant, where it will be converted into heat and then distributed via the district heating network. The conversion process will be driven by a flue gas condensation heat pump (1 MWth) and an air source heat pump (1 MWth). A buffer storage system will also be enlarged to 300 m³ and a power storage solution will be implemented to facilitate controlled operation of the heat pumps. The smart coupling of heat and power will allow some of the energy used in the district heating system to be replaced by surplus wind power.
> 20% fewer shutdowns for Energie Burgenland’s wind turbines
> 5% increase in the percentage of renewables in the town of Neusiedl’s energy mix (excluding fuels)
> Optimising the district heating network and reducing losses by 2%
> Optimising energy flows in the “energy hub” from an economic, technical and ecological perspective
> high level of acceptance amongst residents
An “open innovation” approach
Efforts are being made to involve the town of Neusiedl and its residents in project development based on the “urban living lab” principle in order to ensure a high level of acceptance for the innovations. The new concepts and business models designed to improve the use of wind power are being devised and tested out together with locals, companies and other interested parties. The main innovative element in this is the development of a multimodal management strategy. The project also involves monitoring operations at the energy hub and continuously optimising the economic and technical aspects of operation.
Raphaela REINFELD-SPADT, MBA
Head of innovation and product management at Energie Burgenland AG,
Chairwoman and Spokeswoman of the Green Energy Lab association
1 Project partners: 4ward Energy Research GmbH (project management), Energie Burgenland AG, ENERCON Service Austria GmbH, Forschung Burgenland GmbH, TBH Ingenieur GmbH
The project has been funded by the Smart Cities Demo 2018 research programme and is an associated project of the Green Energy Lab.