In cooperation with Herrenknecht, the worldwide market leader for tunnel boring machines, and RWTH Aachen University, TSC member Amprion, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), examines a new drilling method for the trenchless laying of extra-high voltage underground cables. The so called E-Power Pipe method is destined to accelerate underground cabling procedures on sections up to one kilometre length without compromising on the precision. E-Power Pipe is actually being put to the test on a construction site in Borken in the far west of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
Amprion is the first of the German TSOs to implement earth cabling on subsections of extra-high voltage alternate current lines, in particular on three short sections of the 380kV line between Wesel and Meppen. The new drilling method is a combination and an improvement of well-established drilling technologies. Ludger Meier, Head of Operation and Project Planning at Amprion, considers the first results in Borken promising, but yet improvable. “As soon as the technology works smoothly, it complements our toolbox for cable laying.”
The new method involves various control and navigation systems, therefore allowing high-precision drilling. Marc Peters, Director Business Division Energy at Herrenknecht, explains the specific advantages and possibilities of use. Above all, E-Power Pipe is suitable for cabling “under existing infrastructures such as pipelines, roads, railways or smaller waterways”.
> See Amprion press release, in German (html)
Picture: Herrenknecht AG