HOT | COOL NO. 2/2022 - "Conversion from gas - Diversity...

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Innovative technology for the piping network in the fourth generation of district heating

The Gateshead District Heating Network is not only innovative, but it has also provided a lot of comparative data as steel pipe- work was chosen for the initial system, whereas the extension was installed with PP-R pipes from aquatherm. Using pipework rather than steel, Gateshead Council made an estimated cost saving of around £400 per metre. This is based solely on the design and installation and is not inclusive of cost savings from when the system went live.

For the last 50 years, district heating (DH) piping networks have been transporting steam and high-temperature water around our cities. For this job, steel pipes have been the best choice, and therefore this has been the preferred solution. But now, the 4 th generation low-temperature system is the preferred solution whenever possible. As a result, engineering houses and energy companies experience an entirely new way of designing piping networks using modern plastic pipes in polypropylene (PP-R) combined with the traditional PU foam and HDPE jacket pipe. The fiberglass-reinforced PP-R pipes can easily withstand the required temperatures and pressures for the 4 th generation DH systems. Advantages of modern piping systems There are several advantages to using PP-R piping versus steel. One of the first interesting properties to notice for the installation company is that the entire piping system is 100 % self-compensating. This means we do not need any expansion loop, anchor points, or foam pads. Other advantages are: Significant weight reduction enabling above ground jointing Enormous flexibility of the pipes Fast and reliable welding Lower depth is needed in the trench For the DH company, modern materials create several benefits compared to steel. Among these is, of course, the lower instal- lation costs for the installation company but also: Environmentally-friendly production and recycling – less than 50 % CO 2 emissions compared to steel pipes No corrosion possible Less pumping power needed due to the smooth inner sur- face of the PP-R pipes Better insulation value of the PP-R pipes compared to steel These benefits lead to improved high-quality piping networks with increased safety by installation and significantly lower life- time CO 2 emissions. What do the customers say In Gateshead, Northeast of England, the Council has made a very innovative DH project capturing more than 85% of the waste energy.

The contractor Balfour Beatty stated that the installation was significantly faster and easier than steel.

Manual handling was less of an issue due to the low weight of aquatherm PP-R pipes, and the installer was able to use gangs of just 1 or 2.

As Balfour Beatty stated: “Innovation is vital in bringing cost-ef- fective solutions to new and growing markets. “

aquatherm is moving fast forward in the district heat- ing business aquatherm GmbH is the world-leading manufacturer of PP-R pipes for plant construction and building services. The compa- ny is producing approx. 32 million metre PP-R pipes per year and 38 million PP-R fittings. Ten years ago, the company started a new production of in- sulated PP-R piping systems combined with the well-known PUR foam and HDPE jacket pipes. These insulated pipe solutions have been sold worldwide in 82 countries, given experience and references frommany heating and cooling projects. Today aquatherm is moving fast forward in the DH market be- cause of the perfect fit with the 4 th generation low-tempera- ture systems worldwide. From the factories in Germany loads of pipes are being de- livered fast to all international customers. International tech- nicians are ready to advise planners and customers from the headquarters in Attendorn, close to Cologne and Düsseldorf.

aquatherm is a family-owned company with approx. 600 em- ployees.

For further information please contact: Jakob Jespersen,

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