Heat­ing and pip­ing sys­tems in Antarc­tica


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This eastern part of Antarc­tica faces ex­treme weather con­di­tions where tem­per­a­tures could fall as low as mi­nus 40°C. The year-round pro­vi­sion for heat and drink­ing wa­ter to the Bharati Re­search Sta­tion in such harsh cli­matic con­di­tions posed a great chal­lenge in main­tain­ing wa­ter sup­ply. It re­quired an ideal se­lec­tion of pip­ing sys­tems as well as the ma­te­rial for con­struc­tion. Thus, the In­ter­na­tional Di­vi­sion of YIT Ger­many, which com­pleted the heat­ing and san­i­tary in­stal­la­tions on be­half of KAEFER Con­struc­tion GmbH, re­lied on Viega, one of the lead­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers of in­stal­la­tion tech­nol­ogy for san­i­tary and heat­ing sys­tems. Spe­cially tested pip­ing sys­tems from Viega were used for heat­ing and drink­ing wa­ter in­stal­la­tions that are proven for years to be re­li­able in such ex­treme con­di­tions. As with any other project, care­ful re­search was car­ried out to de­ter­mine which pip­ing sys­tem is best suited to the spe­cific con­di­tions with the Bharati Re­search Sta­tion. For ex­am­ple, YIT in­stalled the heat­ing sys­tem with the elec­trolyte-gal­vanised steel pipe of the Viega Prestabo pipe sys­tem, which is about 2,500 me­tres. In or­der to pre­vent freez­ing of the wa­ter that has heated in the sys­tem, Gly­col-L was in­tro­duced in a con­cen­tra­tion of 57 per cent. Viega lab­o­ra­to­ries spe­cially stud­ied the re­ac­tion of EPDM seal­ing el­e­ment rings of the press con­nec­tors, thus as­sur­ing safety. The qual­i­fi­ca­tions for op­er­at­ing tem­per­a­tures of less than mi­nus 40°C were tested un­der max­i­mum pres­sure lev­els.

The New In­dian Re­search Sta­tion was com­mis­sioned by the Na­tional Cen­tre of Antarc­tic and Ocean Re­search (NCAOR), which be­longs to the In­dian Min­istry for Geo­science (IMS). KAEFER Con­struc­tion GmbH, with its head­quar­ters in Bre­men, was en­trusted with the task of the de­tailed plan­ning and com­ple­tion of the struc­ture. Viega GmbH & Co. was re­spon­si­ble for the in­stal­la­tion of the pip­ing sys­tem for heat­ing and drink­ing wa­ter.

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