Project Description

Vienna’s largest kettle

Wien Energie opened a state-of-the-art power-to-heat plant in 2017, coupling the electricity and district heating networks in order to use energy more efficiently. If there is an oversupply of renewable electricity, the power-to-heat plant is activated and converts green electricity into environmentally-friendly heating. The plant has a total capacity of 20 MW and supplies 20,000 households with district heating.

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Project details

The power-to-heat plant resembles an oversized kettle that converts excess electricity into environmentally-friendly heat. The plant is one of many innovative heating solutions offered by Wien Energie.

A surplus of energy occurs at times of particularly high winds, when wind turbines may produce significantly more electricity than is concurrently consumed. The power-to-heat plant can take electricity from up to ten wind turbines and convert this into heating.

The excess electricity from the grid is used in electrode boilers to heat water. The water, which is heated to approximately 160°C, is fed via a heat exchanger into the district heating network and used directly in the surrounding households.

The plant is only switched on when required by the grid operator, Austrian Power Grid in the event of a grid surplus. The output requirements are met in just five minutes.

The plant consists of two boilers with a capacity of 10 MW each and which can be operated independently of each other. The plant has an efficiency ratio of almost 100 percent. Two systems operate serving as a back-up for each other in case one of them fails.

The district heating, which is generated in Leopoldau, is transported by a pump station to the main district heating network of Vienna, which supplies individual households.

The plant helps stabilise the electricity grid and makes it possible to take full advantage of electricity produced from renewable energy sources. Taking an integrated view of different sectors is very important when it comes to the energy system transformation. It makes perfect sense from an environmental standpoint to link the electricity and heating sectors, as this saves fossil fuels when producing heat.

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