The engineers wanted to achieve further improvements and challenged Thermaflex to rethink the house connections: open an entire street, trenching, laying and making the house connections to the district heating network before closing the street in the shortest time possible
A new solution was born: FlexaNet – a complete network section, including house connections readily connected to the main line in one, completely pre-fabricated section. With an excellent planning and preparation of FlexaNet in the Thermaflex factory in Waalwijk, the basics were laid. The specially trained and certified installers of SOP proved the possibility to meet the target with the necessary site preparations. We set the record time in the district heating market, with a whole street in just a single day.
Have a look how this co-creation was realised:
- Co-development of FlexaNet
- Installation trainings/on site supervision for SOP pipe installers
- Project preparation (material lists, logistics, storage)
- Material supply
- Joint investigation on further improvements
Connecting all buildings in the Jasmijnstraat in Hengelo to the district heating network was the target. The main challenges were to rethink the concept of house connections and connect the existing and new houses to the heating network in an efficient, and sustainable solution. The overall target of the municipality of Hengelo was to reduce CO2 emissions with environmentally friendly materials.
The most impressive result is the reduction of the installation time by 80%. Within one day the street was opened, the trench dug, the house connections installed and the trench closed. Disturbance for the neighborhood was limited to a bare minimum.
Based on the drawings Thermaflex has largely prefabricated the pipes for the network, including the branches. These are T-joints in the pipes that are fitted onto the pipe in the factory, pressure tested and checked for leaks. This saves a lot of installation time in hard to reach areas like crawl spaces. We had already experienced that Flexalen with Flexalinks was up to four times faster to install, but the Klimopstraat was a new record. On Saturday morning the trenches were dug, the pre-insulated pipes were placed and the house connections were welded. In the afternoon the street was closed again. Michael de Vries, managing director of SOP
Additional advantages expressed by Warmtenet Hengelo are:
- Installation staff trained by Thermaflex able to install the additional connections for new customers
- Reliable system due to pre-fabrications and homogeneous welded joints
- Reduced impact on the environment due to flexibility in routing
- Long term reliable performance