Modern district heating networks

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The Schmid UTSR furnace with storage heats the surrounding region via district heating.

Eschlikon heating network

With the subsidiary Schmid Wärmeproduktions GmbH, Schmid itself becomes a heat supplier. The Eschlikon heating network has been in operation since fall 2017 and is being further expanded. While Schmid energy solutions maintains the heating center, the district heating network is operated by Energie Münchwilen AG. A cooperation that works well. For example, Energie Münchwilen AG already implemented a heating network in Münchwilen in 2014-2017, naturally with three Schmid wood-fired boilers.

Several connections to the district heating network have already been made, including the school and the Lindenacker housing development. Further connections are planned, including the Corvaglia company with 900 kW and the Ifang-Nordstrasse development. With the expansion of the heating center, the "West line" will also be realized. Approximately 1'800 kW are to be connected to the system, the letters of intent amount to approximately 2'700 kW. The infrastructure for the final expansion will be designed for 6 MW.

Positive effect on innovative strength

Of course, Schmid was already operating a wood-burning plant for its own use before the heat network. In 2014, the control center was converted into a modern test stand. For our boiler tests according to EN 303-5, the in-house test stand was planned, installed and approved by a certified body in accordance with the EN 304 standard. This enables new developments to be tested immediately in practice and in accordance with internationally recognized standards. With the heat network, Schmid has created another optimal prerequisite for driving product innovations forward even more efficiently. With the high heat consumption and the newly installed furnaces, theoretical approaches and developments can be subjected to a practical test very quickly and easily. In return, the heating network benefits from the use of the latest technology. Philipp Lüscher, CEO Schmid energy solutions, is excited that Schmid will also become a heat supplier with the project. "We can gain valuable experience, which will help us to further improve our services to our customers. In addition, we can bring innovations to market faster." 

State-of-the-art technology installed

The heating center for the heating network was completely rebuilt and installed at a new location at the Eschlikon headquarters .The heating center consists of a wood-fired boiler with an output of 1,600 kW and a wood-fired gas turbine, which produces heat and electricity . produces heat and electricity. The hot-air turbine was specially developed for small, decentralized power plants and thus enables electricity to be generated from wood even in the lower power range from a heat output of 400 kW. The project was funded by the federal government as a BFE lighthouse project as part of the Energy Strategy 2050. The installed furnace is also innovative - a feed grate furnace of the latest generation, type UTSR visio. Various innovations are included in the boiler (see following pages). An expansion with a further boiler with 700 kW output has been implemented.

The UTSR flat moving grate boiler revolutionized automatic wood firing worldwide. Over the years, the boiler has been continuously developed and optimized with boiler tube cleaning and new controls as well as larger combustion chamber volume. In order to meet the future market requirements with increasingly difficult fuels, strongly tightened emission regulations and high demands on the automation of the entire plant system, Schmid AG has concentrated on the development of a new and visionary firing system in recent years. We are pleased that this research and development work of many years has resulted in a plant which deserves the name UTSR visio. With the air routing designed according to the latest findings, including newly developed grate bars, the innovative primary/secondary reci concept as well as the controlled bypass to ensure high filter availability, constantly low emissions can be ensured in all operating conditions (low and full load operation, start-up and shut-down phases) in automatic mode. Continuous fuel detection (option) enables this to be achieved even when the fuel assortment varies greatly.
The current output of the plant can be determined at any time via the output measurement integrated in the control system, even without an external heat meter. For every customer, in addition to the investment costs, it is above all the operating and maintenance costs that are the central aspect for the economic operation of a biomass combution system. Due to the very gentle handling of the fuel in the firing chamber of the UTSR visio and the control and regulation parameters exactly matched to the respective fuel , significant improvements could be achieved with regard to wear of the materials installed in the firing chamber. In addition, the quality of the processed refractory materials in the firing chamber was once again significantly improved. The UTSR visio firing system ensures maximum availability of the heat supply. With the new visio generation, Schmid AG sets a new benchmark in the industry in terms of economy, annual efficiency and automation level. The automated Telemaintenance also enables monitoring adapted to the plant. This ensures ongoing operational optimization of the entire plant system. 

Silo for Wood chips at the Schmid company's district heating plant.
Silo for Wood chips at the Schmid company's district heating plant.
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