Optimum results in difficult conditions
There are many challenges to overcome when constructing industrial buildings. In addition to rapid construction progress, the focus is on the economic efficiency of the building. aquatherm develops solutions for various requirements and ensures optimum results even under difficult conditions. Thanks to our large product portfolio, we not only cover the areas of heating and cooling, drinking water as well as compressed air and vacuum applications, but also support our customers with our many years of experience in the areas of local heating and cooling, cold distribution in buildings and sprinkler piping, for example.
VARTA Three areas of application: One system
aquatherm blue pipe
Place / Date:
Nördlingen and Ellwangen, Germany
VARTA was looking for a piping system that could be used for refrigeration piping as well as for compressed air and vacuum lines and that could be installed safely and in a time-saving manner.
Old steel pipes were replaced by aquatherm blue pipe and prevent corrosion in the future.
- Selection of the dimensioning convinced
- in contrast to steel pipes, incrustation and corrosion resistance
- fully welded system, therefore absolutely tight
- Low weight facilitates ceiling mounting
COLD, COMPRESSED AIR AND VACUUM LINE
Everyone knows its products and uses them almost every day: VARTA AG is Germany’s most traditional battery company. With around 4000 employees and representatives in over 75 countries, it is also one of the largest manufacturers of batteries in the world. During the expansion of its production facilities in Ellwangen (headquarters) in Baden-Württemberg and in Nördlingen, some 40 kilometres away, the company was looking for a piping system that could be used for refrigeration piping as well as for compressed air and vacuum lines and that could be installed safely and in a time-saving manner. The solution was offered by aquatherm GmbH.
In different building complexes altogether about 5000 meters of the fiber-reinforced pipe system aquatherm blue pipe in dimensions from 32 to 450 mm were used. “With aquatherm we have found a partner we can trust in all areas of piping”, explains Markus Egetenmeier, Head of Facility Services at VARTA. “The material is excellent for refrigeration, vacuum and compressed air piping applications and the choice of sizing up to 500mm is ideal for us.”
VARTA has completely converted its refrigeration pipe network at the Ellwangen production site, headquarters of VARTA Microbattery GmbH, innovation leader in the microbattery sector, to the system from Attendorn in southern Westphalia and replaced old steel pipes. A big advantage of the system is its incrustation and corrosion resistance: Even with strong oxygen enrichments or chemical additives in the cooling water, corrosion has no chance with aquatherm blue pipe. This is made possible by the polypropylene plastic used. “With our old system made of steel, we had to deal with incrustation, which resulted in increased energy consumption and thus additional costs,” says Markus Egetenmeier. “Polypropylene material offered the perfect solution for this.” Now the production machines, which are cooled by refrigeration systems – consisting of several free coolers with capacities ranging from 180 KW to 300 KW – can reliably perform their duties.
LIGHT WEIGHT SIMPLIFIES INSTALLATION UNDER HALL ROOFS
In addition to the quality of the material, the safety aspect was particularly important to VARTA. “Since it is a fully welded system, it is absolutely leak-proof,” explains Thomas Müller, Managing Director of Dürr und Feil GmbH, which was contracted for the installation. In detail this means that aquatherm pipes and fittings are connected by fusion. In the process, the plastic fuses to form a homogeneous, materially cohesive unit and a permanently tight connection. “In addition, the low weight compared to metallic pipe systems made our work much easier,” says Thomas Müller. “Even under the hall roofs with great heights, the pipe network installation succeeded without any problems,” says the expert. Since there are no flying sparks during plastic welding, production did not have to be interrupted during assembly.
For the cold distribution, among other things, a large central distributor of 3.75 metres length was prefabricated in the aquatherm factory in Attendorn according to exact preliminary planning and customer requirements. “The prefabricated manifolds and special components saved us a great deal of time, which helped us in ongoing production,” says Markus Egetenmeier. The distributor was delivered to the construction site ready for installation and only had to be connected there.
FURTHER PROJECTS IN PLANNING AT VARTA
Based on the positive experience, VARTA decided to use the system in other areas as well. In the meantime not only the cooling network, but also vacuum and compressed air pipes were executed with aquatherm blue pipe. At the production site in Nördlingen, headquarters of VARTA Storage GmbH, one of the leading manufacturers of energy storage solutions for private households and large-scale storage applications, the company has renovated various production facilities and used aquatherm blue pipe in dimensions up to 160 mm for compressed air and vacuum.
Compressed air is an important component in industrial production. The decisive factor for trouble-free and effective use as an energy source is not only the quality of the compressed air, which can be affected by impurities such as dust, oil or moisture, but also the quality of the pipe system used to convey the air to where it is needed. The vacuum range below 300 millibars, i.e. at a pressure well below atmospheric pressure, requires special properties from the piping system used. “It was important to us here that the piping system used is very pressure-resistant and dimensionally stable,” Markus Egetenmeier explains. The secure connection of the pipes prevents air from escaping at the critical joints, as can be the case with mechanical connections. This helps to keep energy requirements and operating costs low.
In addition to the already completed installation work, VARTA is planning further projects with aquatherm products.
“The material is excellent for refrigeration, vacuum and compressed air piping applications and the choice of sizing up to 500mm is ideal for us.”
– Markus Egetenmeier, Head of Facility Services at VARTA
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