hansjorg senoner006Wood energy in the Puster Valley in South Tyrol

The Wellness Hotel Senoner is located at the entrance of the Puster Valley in South Tyrol. The hotel is nestled in the small mountain village Spinges which is gently engulfed by the mountains of South Tyrol at about 1100 m above sea level. The Hotel Senoner features over 100 beds in rooms and family suites with panorama balconies, a wellness area with swimming pool, saunas, relaxation rooms and solarium.

Wood gasifier runs all year round

Since June 2013, the hotel has been covering its high heat requirements with a 45 kW Biomass CHP from Spanner Re² GmbH. From June 2015 to June 2016 and with a run-time of 8,529 hours, the plant could boast an availability of 97.4 %. In addition to the wellness hotel including private house, the HKA 45 supplies heat to the school, kindergarten as well as the Spinges fire station. A separate wood chip heating system is available for peak demand and maintenance work. After extracting 17% for own requirements, the generated electrical power is supplied to the public grid.

Visit Wellness Hotel Senoner

Wood chip management:

40 ha of own woodlands serve as fuel for the wood gasifier and the wood chip heating system. A small own shredder turns the logs into perfect wood chips for the operation of the wood gasifiers. Neither fines nor long parts have to be sieved out of the ready-to-use fuel. A double bin dryer converts the still moist wood chips into dry fuel.

Plant schematic:


anlagenschema senoner001

Key data of wood gasifier reference:

Storage depot for buffering larger amounts of wet and dry wood chips: unlimited
Double bin dryer (at the same time storage hopper for dry wood chips): 2 x 50 m³.
The wood gasifier is directly supplied by the double bin dryer with wood chips.

Conversation with Hansjörg Senoner about the Biomass CHP plant data:

Hello Hansjörg, your Biomass CHP runs over 8,500 hours a year and its electrical output is at least equal to the rated output of the generator. Where do you get your fuel?
Lumbering is more difficult in South Tyrol; most of the time branchless logs are lifted out of the forest with chains. The logs therefore rarely contain waste wood or contaminations.

How do you prepare the logs for the Biomass CHP?
Usually, I split the logs myself for my own shredder. The diameter of the logs may not exceed 40 cm. If a lot of wood is available or if I have no time to process the wood; I will use an external shredder. Then it is also possible to shred logs with a large diameter and the splitting is not necessary. However, it is almost a small hobby of mine to produce the wood chips myself.

How do you deal with fines or long parts among the wood chips?
Generally, there are rarely any fines or excessively large parts when logs are shredded. However, fines will still be separated prior to the feed using a fine sieve and they rare supplied to the wood chip heating system via a separate hopper.

Hansjörg, overall, how much work do you put into the generation of electricity and heat?
I can put in the usually said 0-3 hours per week for the maintenance of the plant. I don't count the production of the wood chips as work as I really enjoy working with wood.

Photos of the plant: (Click on the photos to magnify)