Method used to lay pipe for Naturstromspeicher Gaildorf energy storage pilot project wins award

The Association of the Construction Industry, Environmental Technology and Mechanical Engineering has awarded the PiPECrawler its 2019 sponsorship prize in the category “Developments from Industry.” This technology is being used to lay the polyethylene (PE) pressure pipe connecting the upper basins of the Naturstromspeicher Gaildorf energy storage pilot project with the power station and lower basin in the valley.

The PiPECrawler has been in use since September 2018 at the Naturstromspeicher Gaildorf project, a “water battery” that combines a wind farm with a pumped storage hydroelectric power plant. For the unique project, on the Kocher River in Germany, the wind turbine bases act as the upper reservoirs for the pumped-storage plant. An underground pressure pipeline connects the reservoir with three 5.3-MW pump-turbines.

The PiPECrawler is a patented in-house development of Naturspeicher GmbH, a subsidiary of the Max Bogl group. The fabrication and installation of the steel construction components took place at the group’s headquarters in Sengenthal, where the hydraulic and electrical components were also integrated.

“We are delighted to receive recognition from our colleagues,” said Peter Schmid from the transport and equipment sector of the Max Bogl Group. “We have developed a platform-based machine for laying thermoplastic pipes that is oriented towards industrial processes. This means that we can achieve three times the previous laying speed and can also work well in difficult terrain with grades and curves.”

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