The binderholz HolzErlebnisWelt in Fügen at the entry to the Zillertal valley is showcased brimming with sizzling creativity. An insider's tip for an excursion on days with poor weather – not only because this biomass cogeneration plant is definitely fired up.
On a 60-minute tour in an architecturally appealing ambiance with state-of-the-art audio guide technology, offered in 6 languages, you will gain information on renewable energy and the history of wood while marveling at fascinating details. Poetic lines on windows and walls constitute a charming contrast to the steely technology.
When touring one of the most state-of-the-art and commercially productive biomass cogeneration plants in Europe, the visitor has the opportunity of viewing the fascinating technical equipment. You will also be invited to intensify your complete sensual experience of the omnipresent natural product of wood. Coming from the forecourt designed by Lois and Franziska Weinberger, you enter the lobby where you are offered an audio guide – available in six languages. The tour of the FeuerWerk starts here.
...a film by Hans Augustin
HolzLeben is a film homage to one of the oldest and undoubtedly one of the most important materials used by mankind. It gets us in the perfect frame of mind for our tour of the biomass cogeneration plant run by the binderholz Group in Fügen. The music for this art film – inspired by the picture story – was composed by Christian Stückelschweiger, tastefully arranged and recorded live by the Quartetto Ludus string quartet. The musical theme, “Tango Legno,” as well as the poem, “Der Himmel in Holz (The Wooden Sky),” read by Günther Lieder, were written by Hans Augustin.With great emotion, HolzLeben tells the biography of wood in order to make viewers again aware of the great significance of this material.
Produced by Fahrngruber & Slavik Film Studios, this film creates a new slant on the cinematographic adaptation of market-related themes and their emotional message.
For millions of years, the cleanest factory of all, the forest, has been producing wood.
At the entrance to the FeuerWerk, you will see one cubic meter of wood, the quantity that is re-growing in Austria’s forests every second. That makes 60 cubic meters every minute. But only two-thirds of the annual wood regrowth is actually used. So, in this instance, it is fair to talk of “inexhaustible” quantities.
One cubic meter of wood equals – in terms of calorific value – 164 liters of extra light fuel oil and can be replaced by 419 kg of pellets. Although petroleum has been made readily available and can be bought for more or for less, depending on the economic and political climate, the quantities are limited and – after it has been combusted – it is irretrievably consumed. Wood will always regrow.
Via conveyor belts, the saw byproduct is transported directly from the decortication of the tree trunks into the push floor
From here you have a full view of the push floor system and the quantities of fuel necessary for keeping the power plant in continual operation. At the beginning of the process producing heat and electricity, a raw material comes into being – the byproducts of wood-sawing (bark, cap timber and wood chippings). While you are here, also take a look at the forecourt, which represents the burrows created by bark beetles (conceptional design: Lois and Franziska Weinberger).
The history of wood is inextricably intertwined with that of mankind.
In the room dedicated to the history of wood, you see a panorama of pictures depicting the use of wood through the millennia. But there are also other things to view. Pictures of domestic tree species, hiding behind small windows, and shafts of wood scents. Wood doesn’t merely smell, it has a fragrance by which it can be identified. A Calendar of Wood highlights major events in the never-ending story of man’s use of wood – events we easily forget but that are of great importance.
From steam to green electricity
This is where the equipment is located – a generator and turbine – that generates green electricity from steam. The steam flows from the boiler at a pressure of 65 bar and a speed of approx. 140 km/h into the turbine. This, in turn, drives the blades of the turbine, which reaches a speed of 10,714 revolutions per minute. This rapid rotation is then translated via a so-called planet gearbox to 1,500 revolutions per minute and passed on to the generator.
The generator has a capacity of 7 MW. In a period of approx. 5 minutes, 600 kWh of green electricity are produced, which is enough to power 60 single-family homes for a whole day.
Fire and water are the most important elements in this room
Located here are two tower-like facilities, with one serving as a furnace and the other as a feedwater and air preheater. The boiler is similar to the tube coil boiler, which was built by Otto Lilienthal for the first time in 1881.
If we must produce energy, then without polluting emissions
For any biomass cogeneration plant, its credibility rests on its ability to clean exhaust air. This facility consists of filter systems, heat exchangers and fans. Its primary function: to clean the exhaust air of rust particles and other suspended solids from the boiler.
In this room, the topic of CO² is especially important. The reasons for putting into operation a biomass cogeneration plant include the reduction of CO² emissions.
National Geographic has created a fantastic graphic of the CO² cycle. In the Japanese city of Kyoto, the UN organization UNFCCC negotiated and passed a paper focused on climate protection in 1997. It prescribes binding targets for the reduction of emissions for so-called greenhouse gases, which are seen as catalysts of global warming. Kyoto is more than just a catchword. Kyoto is a challenge to reduce CO² emissions drastically, sustainably and systematically.
How sawmill waste is pressed into heating nuggets
The sawdust that is used in the production of pellets and briquettes comes directly from the sawmill located on our plant compound and is delivered via pipe conveyors. It is then dried on a belt dryer prior to processing.
Under normal conditions, approximately 13 tons of sawdust per hour are dried to a residual moisture level of 10%.
Pelleting is a method for the processing of sawmill waste so it can be used as fuel.
In the silo room, take a look into the 8 shafts, which store a maximum of 1,280 tons of finished pellets. Located at the lower end of the silo is the packaging area, where the small heating nuggets are either filled into different packaging units or are pumped into tank trucks. The annual need for an average single-family home with a heating load of approx. 12 KW amounts to around 4 tons of pellets.
Garden of the Airs
The roof garden is situated atop impressive bridging supports made of wood.
It affords visitors grandiose panoramic views and helps to relax, encouraging discussions and reflections about the things one saw on the tour. And some even enjoy devoting themselves to the “Game of the World,” drafted up by Nicholas of Cusa in the 15th century.