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SoluForce Pipelines: Reaching the Next Level of Reusability
October 12, 2021
4 min read
Pipelife’s brand SoluForce has been a synonym for innovation for a while now. The company is the originator and industry leader of high-pressure Flexible Composite Pipe (FCP or RTP) systems, offering solutions that are maintenance-free and ensure unrivaled durability. This makes SoluForce suitable for the most demanding applications, like high-pressure hydrogen transportation. However, SoluForce solutions are also leading the market when it comes to environmental responsibility.
Offering More by Consuming Less
The brand’s strategy and commitment to high corporate social responsibility bring not only cost efficiency to the clients but also environmental benefits. Between 2010 and 2020, the company cut its CO2 emissions by 39.6%, and the total energy consumption was also significantly reduced. In 2020, the Pipelife factory in the Netherlands was fitted with solar panels, and since 2021, all energy used by Pipelife Netherlands comes from green and sustainable sources.
New initiatives to further cut consumption are ongoing, and one of them is promoting and seeking ways to increase the reuse of SoluForce products.
Introducing the Next Level of Reuse
Reuse is a focal point of the company since reusable products allow to save raw materials and energy. Currently, SoluForce pipes are recommended to be reused (coiled and uncoiled) up to 10 times without influencing the service life of the pipe system. However, the latest tests show that there is no degradation even after 100,000 coil-uncoil cycles, which is also applicable to dynamic offshore projects.
There are several scenarios that require FCP pipes to be coiled and uncoiled repeatedly, and zero flare well testing is one of them. Flaring refers to burning fluids that have been used in testing recently drilled oil wells. More and more companies are prohibiting flaring due to its negative effects on the environment. The SoluForce pipe is often used to transport these fluids to other wells where the infrastructure is available to dispose of them responsibly. Because the SoluForce pipe is reusable, it can be used multiple times for various well tests.
Mine dewatering is another common application. When mines are dug, they often fill up with water which needs to be pumped away and can contain abrasive substances like gravel or sand. In such situations, it is advantageous to use a pipe that can be easily moved, uncoiled, and recoiled when dewatering is needed.
Reusability of SoluForce pipes also allows saving resources in various offshore applications like hydrotesting subsea structures with high-pressure water, well intervention, or setting up temporary export systems. Here, SoluForce has a significant advantage over steel pipes, as the exposure to water and corrosive fluids causes significantly shorter service life for steel alternatives.
Fittings without Compromise
To make the entire system reusable, not only the pipes themselves but also their fittings can be reused multiple times. SoluForce offers fitting systems that are easily connected and disconnected with bolts and clamps. This can be done with simple tools, while the actual fitting remains in place.
Reusable fittings are a key advantage SoluForce provides over similar systems since installing a new fitting requires special equipment, time, and training. This solution also minimizes the risk of leakages and is maintenance-free, just as the pipe. With the electrofusion and single swage fitting system, the fluids or gasses do not even come into contact with metal parts, which eliminates the risks of corrosion or scaling throughout the entire pipeline system.
Responsible Product Design: A Step Towards Circular Economy
Reuse is one of the key strategies when it comes to transitioning towards a more sustainable and circular economy. Reusable products and solutions allow cutting greenhouse emissions, saving resources and energy, and reducing waste simultaneously. This responsibility lies not only with end consumers but also with manufacturers who can—and should—consider reusability right from product design phase.