Gaißau, Austria - Julius Blum GmbH

Furniture fittings specialist as a forerunner by the application of solar process heat

  • Location: Gaißau, Vorarlberg, Austria
  • Solar heat for coating processes
  • Collector area: 459 m²
  • Solar sysem came into operation: September 2011

The Julius Blum GmbH counts to the big metal processing enterprises of Austria and to the world market leaders by furniture fittings. With more than 5,300 employees the family enterprise produces in 7 locations in Vorarlberg as well as in Poland, Brazil and the USA.

Since autumn 2011, in plant No. 6 in Gaißau near Bregenz the company Blum relies on solar process heat production. Eighty vacuum tube collectors of the type CPC 45 and twenty of the type CPC 30 form a collector field of nearly 460 square metres on the sawtooth roof of the production hall.

The solar system supports with a source temperature of 80 °C the heating of her
pretreatment washbasins of the coating device. Depending on season and irradiation relations the maximum performance varies between 0 and 200 kilowatts. The expected natural gas saving amounts to approx. 22,000 cubic metres per year. Thus the solar system should be able to deliver about 8% of the heat power demand of the plant or approx. 15% of the process heat in Gaißau, saving the environment yearly more than 50 tonnes CO2.

The application of solar thermal energy in industry still is very much in the beginnings, nevertheless, there is great potential. The Julius Blum GmbH takes over a pioneering role with the construction of one of the biggest solar systems of this kind in Europe.

The company statement: „Environmental subjects are always an important request in our enterprise. We perform for it a lot in many different areas and much more than the measure as prescribed by the law. Also in future we will make our contribution to a sustained improvement of the ecological balance. Today, the amortisation times of such systems are very long, therefore, an economic calculation does not speak superficially for the application of solar energy. With us it is even more the expression of a value position, an attitude, which also considers sustainably the environmental ideas.“