The Monastery of Klosterneuburg in Austria provides a fantastic example of autonomy, sustainability and a responsibility to both people and nature.
Their biomass heating plant was part of the Renewable Energy Research Trip to Austria.
This underground biomass heating plant built in just twelve months in 2003 not only supplies heating to the monastery but also provides power from renewable biomass to the hospital, the town hall and a leisure center in Klosterneuburg via the utility company.
The plant gets the wooden chips mainly from 4 forest districts nearby the plant (maximum transport distance 10km). The chip containers are filled every 2-3 months.
A 2.5 MW biomass boiler was constructed as well as an electricity and heat generation by an ORC (organic rankine cycle) process producing 200 kW of electrical energy and 1.0 MW of heat. The big boiler (2.5MW) is only used during winter time.
The assessment of the heating requirements of the monastery and of the neighbouring recreational centre “Happyland” resulted in an annual heat requirement of 11,550 MWh per year. In 2010 the biomass plant was able to produce 17,557MWh (see more facts on the images below).
More details about the operation of this biomass plant here.
The entire facility (heating plant, biomass storehouse, wine cellar, parking garage for buses and private vehicles) was built underground. This was a special challenge for the mechanical engineering team and the architectural concept was designed by Heinz Tesar.