World’s first hybrid-electric horizontal drill halves fuel consumption - Visedo and Normag team up to break new ground
LAPPEENRANTA – Finnish manufacturer Visedo has co-developed the world’s first hybrid electric horizontal drilling machine for groundwork applications, in conjunction with Dutch industrial drilling equipment manufacturer Normag.
Visedo, which manufactures electric power for heavy duty vehicles on land and sea, developed the hybrid powertrain for the new steerable-drill system, which can halve fuel consumption and associated emissions while also reducing noise.
The new Visedo-Normag drill system can dig lateral shafts of up to 1.2m diameter to be bored through subsoil for distances of 3km, while performing drilling duties for water, drainage, sewerage and ducting for pipework and cabling for power and other services in fully developed urban areas.
The machine also offers greater operational flexibility in remote locations where conventional diesel-hydraulic systems have difficulty gaining access. At the same time, it can provide significant operational cost savings as well as the environmental benefits of less fuel consumption and associated emissions.
Instead of the hydraulic motors and pumps that drive standard horizontal drilling systems, the Visedo-Normag machine has 12 inverters that supply AC power to the three main electric motors and six ancillary ones that drive and control rig operations. These provide a combined capacity of 750kW.
Operation of the system is controlled digitally and has been made ruggedly to withstand the particularly harsh wet and muddy environments encountered in horizontal terrestrial drilling.
It’s estimated the electrified system adds approximately 10 per cent to the overall capital cost of a €1 million mobile drilling rig, but this is mitigated by the significant fuel savings and operational flexibility.
Managing Director of Visedo Netherlands Pieter Dijkstra said:
“In the world of horizontal drilling, this system is a real game-changer. Unlike conventional systems with hydraulic drivelines, it removes the need for dedicated generators as part of the mobile drilling apparatus.
“In developing countries in particular, that’s a real bonus because diesel quality is often not up to the quality needed for today’s gensets. With our system, operators have the freedom to rent locally the diesel generators they need for the particular job, which are built to use the quality of fuel locally available.
“For operators fuel savings can be considerable: the first Visedo-Normag rig was delivered to a client in Poland, who reported fuel consumption as low as 18 litres per hour. Previously with a diesel-hydraulic rig, consumption was 58 litres per hour.”
Normag Technical Director and Co-Founder Raymond Petiet said:
“Our first client was looking for a very versatile rig that had the capacity to do 300-tonne jobs but also would not be overkill for smaller tasks. The alternative was to run several diesel motors of different size, depending on the requirements of the job.”
“The fuel savings for the client are in the order of 50 per cent, from 700 litres per day down to 350. With rigs running 12-14 hours per day seven days per week and 18-26 weeks per year, this amounts to a lot of fuel.
“While fuel savings are important, that’s not the only consideration. Contractors who buy these rigs are under pressure from clients to reduce emissions and noise. On top of that, productivity is increased by up to 30 per cent if drilling and reaming can be done in one step – a key design capability of the Normag-Visedo rig.”
About Visedo OY (www.visedo.com)
Founded in 2009, Visedo is a Finnish manufacturer of smart hybrid and electric drivetrains for electric vehicles across the marine industry, commercial vehicle and heavy-duty machinery sectors. Visedo powertrains are suitable for hybrid and electric systems within the power range of 30-2,000kW. Visedo’s head office is in Lappeenranta, Finland, and also subsidiaries in the Netherlands and Hong Kong. Visedo has a broad, international client base, with exports to Europe and Asia representing 90 percent of its sales. This year Visedo helped launch Asia’s first hybrid electric passenger ferry in Taiwan; Finland’s first fully electric ferry and Helsinki’s first electric bus. Visedo is currently developing the propulsion systems the world’s largest electric ferry project, E-Ferry.
About Normag (https://normag.nl/en/)
Normag develops, produces and supplies high-quality systems for HDD (horizontal directional drilling) and micro-tunnelling. Aside from innovative technologies, we use our decades of practical experience in the development and construction of HDD and micro-tunnelling facilities to achieve this. Normag’s facilities can be either produced in series or tailored to client specifications. The performance and capacity of the various modules have been optimally coordinated across our wide product range. Normag works for clients in civil engineering, pipeline construction and the offshore industry across the globe.