Interview with the FAIA Starter.
Mr. Ortner, the FAIA patio heater works with pellets. When and how did you get the idea to develop a patio stove?
For more than 30 years I have been working with the energy source wood pellets and in 1997 I was the first in the world to develop a type-tested pellet heating system. Even today, we as a company claim to be the technological leader in pellets. That is why the issue of emission-free combustion is naturally a central point of our R&D strategy. In a project on this subject we came across the combustion principle which is now being used at FAIA. The simplicity of a completely smokeless fire without electricity fascinated me from the beginning. At a project meeting in the evening on my terrace in summer 2017 the idea of a terrace stove was born. At Christmas 2018 we were then able to manufacture the first units and send them to our sales partners as a very special gift.
Wood pellets are considered crisis-proof, especially in Austria. Can they completely replace fossil fuels one day?
Yes - according to a study by the Vienna University of Technology (Energy Economics Group) it is possible to cover the heating demand in Austria entirely with sustainable bioenergy (mainly pellets and wood chips). In Austria, 48% of the country's surface is covered by forests, which are 100% sustainably managed. In Austria, pellets are produced almost entirely from sawdust (residue from the processing of round wood). Currently, 1.3 million tons of pellets are produced in Austria each year, but only 0.95 million tons are consumed in Austria. The rest is exported.
The FAIA patio stove provides an impressive three hours of natural fire with 5.5 kg pellets. Was this performance planned or was it the result of experimentation?
My requirements were a.) a burning time of about 3 hours b.) it must work without electricity and without a fan and c.) it must work smoke-free. Through many experiments and step-by-step improvements I succeeded in the end to fulfill all three requirements.