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30 years of ├ľkoFEN

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Pioneering spirit ÔÇô Environmental protection ÔÇô Partnership ÔÇô Quality

├ľkoFEN has stood for this for 30 years. Around 90,000 modern pellet boilers have been installed since the company was founded on 27 October 1989, bringing about a reduction in CO2 emissions of over 6.5 million tonnes!

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into a special kind of development history!

├ľkoFEN ÔÇô A pioneer story

Our history

From a sector trailblazer to a global premium supplier


The beginning of a vision

Herbert Ortner sets out to make renewable heat a viable option for the family home. He resigns his post as Managing Director of the heater factory in Lembach and begins the biomass heating adventure in his parents-in-lawÔÇÖs converted cowshed. The aim was to defy the worldwide oil crisis in his densely forested homeland and to supply residential dwellings with heat from environmentally friendly, convenient wood-fired boilers rather than fossil heating systems.


The pioneering achievement

Herbert Ortner succeeds in winning over partners in the timber industry, allowing ├ľkoFEN to present the world's first type-approved pellet boiler ÔÇô the ├ľkoFEN Pellematic ÔÇô at the ÔÇťEnergiesparmesseÔÇŁ energy saving trade fair in Wels. This pioneering achievement attracts a great deal of attention and marks the beginning of rapid market development. The new level of convenience offers customers an alternative to heating with oil. Series production of the Pellematic also begins in this year. The timber industry follows suit, turning what was previously worthless sawdust into a high grade fuel and creating substantial added value.


Pellet condensing technology

The technology continues to evolve at a pace and ├ľkoFEN presents the world's first pellet heating system with condensing technology. The Pellematic Plus marks the development of another pioneering pellet boiler, which allows the maximum output to be obtained from the fuel. Condensing technology enables utilisation of the latent heat of condensation present in the flue gas, since this is fed back into the heating system.

It soon became clear to me that condensing technology is an absolute ÔÇťmustÔÇŁ for modern pellet heating systems. We simply had to succeed in keeping heating with pellets in pace with the times.

├ľkoFEN founder Herbert Ortner


Culmination of the first growth phase

A total of around 6600 pellet boilers are sold during the course of this year. Furthermore, the heating centre is introduced as a new product segment. This provides the ideal solution if there is no space in the building for a heating system or pellet store, or the existing rooms need to be used for other purposes.


Expansion despite crisis

The unwavering belief in the success of the idea drives ├ľkoFEN incessantly onwards. Despite a major market slump due to short-term supply bottlenecks with pellets, two facilities in Austria are expanded in order to be prepared for the future. The company HQ is relocated to Niederkappel. The new site consists of a 6500m┬▓ production hall and an 800m┬▓ administration building. In addition, component production is expanded in Purgstall.

It was not always easy to plan capacity correctly. We have always focussed on respectful and appreciative relations with our employees here at ├ľkoFEN.

├ľkoFEN founder Elfriede Ortner


Like a phoenix from the ashes

After the serious crisis, ├ľkoFEN records the best year in the companyÔÇÖs history. To meet market requirements, the Pellematic line is updated with a 56kW version and the comfort ash box. The product range is also extended with the Pellesol solar collector and the Pellaqua buffer cylinder.

├ľkoFEN's German head office in Mickhausen near Augsburg is inaugurated. The building comprises 3000m┬▓ of production space and 800m┬▓ for offices.


Non-stop innovations

Together Stefan, Herbert and Elfriede Ortner lead the ÔÇťinnovation factoryÔÇŁ. In the form of the Pellematic Smart, ├ľkoFEN presents the worldÔÇÖs first heating system for low-energy buildings and ÔÇťpassive housesÔÇŁ, which combines heat from pellets and solar panels together with the heating hydraulics in the smallest of spaces. This year also sees development of the improved Flexilo Compact and the Pelletronic Touch heating controller. These enable convenient pellet storage and heating system operation of the highest standard.


Generate electricity with pellets

The latest vision of the pellet specialist is the ├ľkoFEN_e project. Alongside heat for living areas, development of a combined heat and power system also aims to generate green electricity with pellets in future for households and for charging electric vehicles. Power generation is made possible by a Stirling engine integrated in the pellet boiler.


Pellematic CONDENS ÔÇô A new dimension in pellet condensing technology

The concept of condensing technology has continuously been developed at ├ľkoFEN. The revolution took place in 2015 when the backpacked system was optimally integrated into the boiler. The highly efficient condensing boilers were also equipped with the advantage of unlimited return temperature. Today, ├ľkoFEN condensing boilers have hardly measurable emissions and convince with impressive efficiencies of up to 107.9%.

2017 - myEnergy365

the dream of energy freedom comes true

myEnergy365 from ├ľkoFEN is the answer to the question of how to generate electricity and heat independently and ecologically in your own home. The energy system combines a photovoltaic system and a storage battery with the power-producing pellet heating system. The result is year-round independence in electricity and heat. This concept impresses the specialist world and becomes the spearhead of todayÔÇÖs pellet heating technology.

We are proud to be able to offer the world's only opportunity to supply a building with all its energy needs from renewable sources. After refilling the pellet store once, no more energy needs to be purchased for the rest of the year.

├ľkoFEN Managing Director Stefan Ortner


A record-breaking year

Thanks to highly efficient, convenient products and an increasingly conscious awareness of climate change, 2018 proves to be best year so far in the companyÔÇÖs history with sales of approx. 7500 pellet boilers. This is followed by expansion of the companyÔÇÖs facility in its anniversary year 2019.

Contact us

├ľkoFEN Forschungs- & Entwicklungs Ges.m.b.H.
A-4133 Niederkappel, Gewerbepark 1
Tel.: +43 (0) 7286 74 50