Corrosion-resistant fiberpipe pipe systems: solution examples for power plant operators

Fiberglass is on the rise in pipeline construction – also and especially in the energy industry. This is because the material is insensitive to flue gases, heat, chemical and force effects. Low weight and advantageous processing properties enable fast assembly processes that bring price advantages.

The pipes from the fiberglass pipe specialist Fiberpipe are manufactured in conjunction with global partners and, thanks to their ISO dimensions, are fully compatible with existing systems. Custom-made products are also part of the core business.

The following examples show how fiberglass pipe systems and components have established themselves in the energy industry:

The company: Gas preheaters had to be built for the flue gas desulphurisation system (FGD) of RWE Power’s hard coal power plant in Ibbenbüren, which had been in existence since 1985. Fiberpipe’s client was Alstom Power Recovery. The hard coal block converts anthracite coal into electricity in the world’s largest melting chamber boiler of this type.

The task and its solution: From a procedural point of view, it makes sense to warm up the clean gas – i.e. the flue gas after cleaning. For this purpose, a gas preheater was constructed that guides the gas flows against each other, whereby the flue gas cools and the clean gas warms up. The combustion air from the boiler should flow through pipes that must be temperature-resistant up to 160 degrees. The detailed engineering was carried out in advance within six weeks.

Fiberpipe, together with Alstom and the plant operator, defined the requirements profile and the pipeline layout. All aspects of pipeline construction were incorporated into a quality assurance concept with a subsequent acceptance process. Fiberpipe took on the detailed engineering – including stress analysis, three-dimensional pipe routing, procurement of the components and turn-key construction of the GRP connecting lines.

The company brought its know-how about which resins are resistant to high temperatures into the design proposals. These also take into account the static requirements, pressure, insulation, heat loss, resistance and surface temperature. For example, the fiberglass components were given a 2.5 mm thick chemical protective layer, which guarantees optimum resistance. All components were prefabricated as far as possible by Fiberpipe. This shortened the time-consuming conversion to a planned system shutdown of just 48 hours.

The company: Enertec Hameln is a power plant location with waste incineration, biomass power generation and district heating supply. The plant recycles 240,000 tons of waste and 120,000 tons of biomass annually and generates 110 million kWh of electricity and 240 million kWh of district heating from it.

The task and its solution: As part of a capacity expansion, the cooling water circuit within the power plant had to be renewed within six weeks. Enertec wanted to use state-of-the-art GRP pipes. An external service provider was entrusted with the planning of the capacity expansion; Due to the existing collaboration with Enertec, Fiberpipe was the first point of contact for pipeline construction. A detailed test and acceptance plan was drawn up together with all those involved. The specifications resulted in a demanding pressure resistance of 4 bar with simultaneous ring stiffness of a nominal size of SN 10,000. Fiberpipe GmbH solved these requirements with a sand-filled, cross-wound pipe. A short changeover time of a few days was also specified. In order to avoid time-consuming laminate connections, Fiberpipe then constructed a restrained pipe system with a plug-in connection. This also made the ring stiffness independent of the pressure level. With this innovation, Fiberpipe cut assembly times and costs by 80 percent. Thanks to the precise planning, the assembly time and thus the duration of the system downtime could be reduced to an extremely minimum. The transfer took place as planned within five days in October 2007. Comfortable for the client: preparation, delivery and installation were carried out from a single source as a complete service by Fiberpipe.

The company: At the Voerde site, Evonik Steag operates the two hard coal-fired power plants “West” and “Voerde”. RWE Power AG has a 25 percent stake in the operating company. The usable electricity output of the plant is 10,328 gigawatt hours per year. Components of the system are two coal dust-fired Benson boilers with liquid ash removal (980 t / h each), two coal dust-fired Benson boilers with dry ash removal (2,160 t / h) and two turbo generators each with 350 and 761 megawatts.

The task and its solution: At the power plant site, repair materials and replacement pipes are required at irregular intervals. The operating company has entrusted Fiberpipe with a 24-hour service so that it does not have to keep its own reserve of certain items. The pipeline company conveniently acts as an extended warehouse for the operator. Decisive for this order were a generous amount of stock and quick response times – Fiberpipe ensures that all the desired products are always available at short notice.

The company: The Ingolstadt power plant of E.ON-Kraftwerke GmbH is operated with heavy heating oil. The blocks each have a capacity of 386 megawatts and are mainly used to cover peak and medium loads.

The problem and its solution: Short-term work is necessary from time to time in the power plant blocks. Flexibility, the ability to assemble under the highest safety requirements and speed were decisive for the choice of the contracted service provider. If unforeseen repairs are to be carried out in the flue gas desulphurisation, these must normally be carried out immediately, during operation and, if necessary, with protective equipment. Fiberpipe provides the repair service with contractually agreed lead times of up to 24 hours. Fiberpipe’s standard pipe system is designed according to ISO dimensions. In addition to the full compatibility of the various pipe systems, the advantage is the usability of standard components as brackets. The fact that the lightweight GFRP pipes also allow for faster assembly and processing than would be possible with conventional piping systems saves additional time and thus costs for all work. Fiberpipe also provides a similar service for the large-scale mannheim AG power plant.

The company: The Hamon Group specializes in recooling systems. Hundreds of natural draft cooling towers have been planned and implemented, and well over a hundred forced-ventilation cooling towers and numerous other projects are added every year. Hamon is the market leader in the field of wet cooling In addition to planning and execution, the company also provides downstream services.

The task and its solution: In years of collaboration, Fiberpipe has improved the construction and ease of installation of the pipes used in cooling towers for Hamon Thermal Germany; For example, winter ring pipes, which are used for preheating and thus ensure protection against freezing, are 80 percent prefabricated by Fiberpipe. The precisely fitting GFRP pipe systems were able to reduce assembly times by 50 percent at this point. The companies work hand in hand for the entire pipeline construction, which ensures short delivery times and high profitability.

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