Heating and piping systems in Antarctica
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.