The construction of a new pumping station for AffaldVarme Aarhus wasn’t quite as expected. Instead of constructing a traditional concrete building, a plug-and-play technical cabin was delivered on a flatbed trailer, and just a few hours later it was ready to use. The construction phase took place at the Priess factory in Vinderup, and the cabin was delivered and installed on time and to budget.
New homes place demands on the district heating network capacity. The challenge is typically solved by building pumping stations to increase the pressure so that the new homes get enough heat. Building a new concrete building from scratch usually involves an extensive and time-consuming on-site process, but a plug-and-play solution from Priess in Northwest Jutland breaks with this tradition.
The new Bindesbøll Byen in Risskov is a great example of how capacity problems can lead to expanding the heat supply. Here, a new pumping station was to replace a smaller heat exchanger station in a recreational area around the old psychiatric hospital, where many protected trees needed to be taken into account.
“We wanted a solution with a smaller footprint because there was no room for a larger building on the site,” says Anders Lund, Project Manager at AffaldVarme Aarhus.
Traditionally, the technical buildings are “real” buildings that are constructed as a fully walled solution, but we needed a new approach,” Anders explains.
The solution was a prefabricated plug-and-play technical cabin from Priess, designed and manufactured at the company’s factory in Vinderup. The cabin is 7 metres long, 3.5 metres wide and 3.5 metres high, and is clad in fiber cement planks to blend in with its surroundings. In addition to the technical cabin itself, the work included pre-installation of pumps, couplings and controls for the district heating system.
“To streamline the operation, we use multiple standard components, and we supplied Priess with all the components that are part of the district heating installation itself,” says Anders.
“In short, it was a plug-and-play solution to be installed over six pipes,” summarises Lars Bech, Product Manager at Priess.
Priess began by modelling the entire solution in 3D. This meant that the parties involved could share the 3D models and that a large part of the adjustments to the design could be done during the meetings, which took place virtually as Teams meetings.
“This proved effective and helped ensure a smooth process despite COVID-19,” says Ole Madsen, Project Manager at Priess.
“Priess began by integrating our standard components into the drawing software, so that what we saw in the 3D model was what we got,” says Anders.
The physical meetings were limited to a start-up meeting, a couple of visits to Priess in Rudkøbing and Vinderup and a final check-up meeting.
“During the construction phase, Priess also used virtual reality technology to ensure we provided an optimal design of the pumping station,” Ole continues. This was done by giving the engineers at Priess a pair of 3D glasses to give them a virtual tour of the pumping station. This gave a completely different and very realistic feel to the placement of the various components, and specifically meant that several valves were moved to a better location.
It’s a technology that they expect a lot from at Priess.
AffaldVarme Aarhus was responsible for establishing the sand base where the technical cabin would rest. They were also responsible for six pipes that needed to be connected to the system. These needed to be positioned with millimetre precision, so Priess provided a metal template so they could be positioned correctly and ready for a seamless installation of the technical cabin.
The technical cabin was transported on a flatbed trailer from Vinderup and delivered to the site using a large mobile crane. Within five hours, the 24-tonne cabin was positioned with millimetre precision over the connection pipes and connected to the heating network.
“The cabin was ready in just one day, and all the pipes were welded on and connected the same day,” says a not unimpressed Anders and adds:
“We are delighted with the solution and we got a cabin on time and on budget. The construction process has been efficient and smooth.”
“They avoided all the hassle of a large construction site and the associated construction management, inconvenience to citizens and so on,” says Ole and concludes:
“It was a good process where everyone was happy with the solution and the residents now have enough heat during the cold season.”
Establishing a new pumping station as part of the expansion of the district heating network in Risskov.
Prefabricated technical cabin from Priess as plug-and-play
The pumping station is designed and produced at the Priess factory in Vinderup, which along with providing design, production and project management of the technical installation, also offers a range of colour and material options for the technical cabin to blend in with the surroundings.