Laying pipelines in a more environmentally friendly manner
The near-surface installation of pipelines usually causes massive disturbance to the environment. It can create corridors up to 50 metres wide. The BINE Projektinfo brochure “Swift construction of pipelines” (04/2014) presents a method that requires less than one fifth of the usual width. The steel or concrete pipes can be used for heating networks and can connect more distant customers faster and in a more environmentally friendly manner.
Until now, corridors often more than 50 metres in width have been created along the entire length of pipeline routes for digging trenches, temporarily storing soil, as well as transporting and storing materials. Despite reclamation work, the consequences for the environment are still visible even after years. The Pipe Express method eliminates the need for complicated trench excavation work. Since this reduces the effort required for renaturisation measures, costs can be saved.
With the Pipe Express method, a tunnel boring machine drills through the ground. An excavation unit loosens the soil and transfers it to the surface. An anchored thrust element (pipe thruster) provides the necessary jacking. It simultaneously pushes the pipeline into the horizontally generated bore hole. The driver in the operator vehicle monitors and controls the system along the pipeline. Pipelines laid in this manner can be used for transferring district heating, communications and data cables, power cables, oil, gas and water. In future, the Pipe Express method could play a greater role in integrating geothermal power plants into the heat supply for urban settlements.
The Pipe Express process was developed by Herrenknecht AG and has been sponsored with funding from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment.
Tel. +49 228 / 92379-26
Note: All downloadable pictures may only be used for coverage relating to this research project.
The operator vehicle controls and monitors the system. The excavator unit loosens the ground and conveys it directly to the surface. The pipe thruster simultaneously pushes the pipeline into the borehole. (© Herrenknecht AG).
With the “Pipe Express” method, a special tunnel boring machine drills through the ground at speeds of up to 1.2 metres per minute and conveys the soil directly to the surface instead of displacing it sideways. (© Herrenknecht AG)