The production of PE pipes is based on the use of electricity for operation of the necessary extruders. The required transformers are installed in the immediate vicinity of the extruders, in order to eliminate electricity transmission losses. We use modern air-cooled transformers for this purpose, in order to avoid the safety risks associated with oil-cooled systems.
The real energy challenge can be found, however, in cooling of the production lines. The extruded pipes must be cooled to below 20° C while passing through the production system. This requires significant quantities of cooling water. The energy in this water is very largely recovered, and in addition, the water is routed in a closed cooling circuit. The cooling system is based on three elements: up to an ambient temperature of 13° C, air-coolers perform the major portion of the work. Once the outdoor temperature rises, the groundwater-cooling system is switched in. At a depth of two to three meters, the cooling-water is routed through the groundwater in PE cooling coils, and thus cooled. The third element, finally, takes the form of a heat-exchanger with a rating of 1 MW, which makes use of recirculating low-level groundwater as the cooling fluid.
This extremely modern system in addition permits significant energy savings for heating of staff amenities and washrooms, and also the production shop.