© Wien Energie/Ian Ehm

The Power-2-Heat plant in Leopoldau converts excess electricity into heat and thus contributes to energy being used intelligently and more efficiently. The state-of-the-art facility can take up power of up to ten wind turbines and convert it into heat with virtually no loss. The resulting heat is fed into the Vienna district heating network in the form of hot water and can supply clean heat for up to 20,000 households.

Heat is an essential sector of the energy transition: it facilitates the integration of renewable electricity into the energy system. Wien Energie relies on innovative solutions – in December 2017, a Power-2-Heat plant in Leopoldau was put into operation. This state-of-the-art facility couples the power grid and the district heating networks to use energy intelligently and more efficiently. The integrated consideration of different sectors is essential for the energy transition. The Power-2-Heat plant in Leopoldau is about an unconventional coupling of the electricity and heat sectors. This makes sense ecologically, since fossil fuels are saved for heat generation. Heat can also be stored more easily and economically than electricity and is therefore an important part of an integrated energy system.

Energy from 10 wind turbines

The Power-2-Heat system is powered by clean excess electricity. An excess of energy arises, for example, from particularly strong wind. Wind turbines may then produce significantly more electricity than consumed at this moment. With the Power-2-Heat plant with a total output of 20 megawatts, Wien Energie is creating the opportunity to further consolidate its district heating network and at the same time is taking an important step in the energy transition. Wien Energie has the capacity to take in the power from up to ten wind turbines and convert it into heat with virtually no loss.

The new system is activated in the event of a power oversupply and absorbs the surplus. As a result, the system contributes to the stabilization of the power grid and enables the full use of electricity from renewable sources. The resulting heat is fed into the Vienna district heating network in the form of hot water and can thus be used directly and efficiently in the surrounding households in north-western Vienna. Up to 20,000 households can thus be supplied with clean heat.

This is how the Power-2-Heat system works

The production of renewable energy such as solar or wind power is difficult to control and weather dependent. Thus, in strong winds much more energy is produced than needed at that moment and there is an oversupply. In this case, the Power-2-Heat system is activated. In the plant itself, the excess electricity from the grid is used in electrode boilers to heat water. A heat exchanger feeds the hot water, which is approx. 160 degrees Celsius, into the district heating network. The facility in Leopoldau consists of two plants each with 10 MW output – these can be operated independently of each other. If one heater fails, the second can take over the load immediately.

The plants do not run in continuous operation, but only take power when there is an oversupply. In addition, the system also serves as a backup reserve for the district heating network in cold months. Here the plant operation directly follows the needs of the district heating network. The “mission order” comes directly from the load distributor of Wien Energie. The entire system is integrated in the control technology of Wien Energie and is operated and monitored from Spittelau.

Key data: Power-2-Heat plant Leopoldau

  • two electrode boilers with 10 MW each and max. 12 bar
  • heats water to over 160 degrees Celsius with excess electricity from the grid
  • can supply up to 20,000 households with heat
  • can take up electricity from up to 10 wind turbines

Key data: Wien Energie district heating

  • Wien Energie supplies 380,000 households and 6.800 large-scale customers with district heat
  • In its beginnings almost 50 years ago, the district heating network was 26 kilometers long and served the Vienna General Hospital and a few large community buildings. Today there are more than 1,200 kilometers of pipes (equivalent to the distance from Vienna to Paris) and district heat can be obtained in all 23 districts.

Contact

Wien Energie GmbH

E-Mail: office@wienenergie.at

Website: www.wienenergie.at

This post is also available in: German