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Off-Site Innovation for Heat Networks

CPV Ltd, the Hampshire-based specialist manufacturer of pre-insulated pipe systems for heating and cooling networks, has introduced new innovative off-site fabrication and modularisation services to help lower installation costs and improve reliability.

Centred around the company’s long-established Hiline range of pre-insulated pipe systems, CPV has successfully introduced new techniques to reduce the time required on site – particularly when civil works encounter unexpected obstacles obstructing the planned pipe route. The concepts of modularisation and off-site fabrication are nothing new in the wider construction sector, but CPV has recognised the benefits that these techniques can bring to DHC networks - ensuring a speedy installation, whilst improving the level of quality.

By breaking a network down into key modules – particularly where complex configurations are required – systems can be pre-fabricated in a safe and quality-assured factory environment, ensuring delivery to site ready to be fitted together in pre-prepared trenches. This is particularly useful when crossing time-sensitive areas such as busy roads or where there’s elevated risk to the public exposure. Minimising road closures and getting trenches backfilled and reinstated quickly not only saves time and money, but it can significantly reduce risk.

Ben Sheppard, contracts manager for CPV Ltd, commented: “Whether below- or above-ground, over the last few years, we’ve proven that the application of off-site fabrication techniques adds significant benefits for pre-insulated pipe systems. Being able to plan and design the modular sections, then fabricate them in a controlled environment helps our clients minimise on-site joints and therefore reduce the risk of problems encountered - as very rarely is there sufficient space to work in the bottom of a muddy trench.”

“With a client choosing to go offsite, we can cut down on waste, boosts quality and supply systems which are much faster to install than traditional site-based fabrication techniques, in what is often challenging environments.

“We realise that you can’t always see potential buried obstacles in a preferred pipe route, but to overcome this we also offer a fast-turnaround service for producing bespoke spool pieces in our UK-based production facility. This means that installers can avoid costly delays associated with waiting for specialised production and overseas shipping from alternative suppliers in mainland Europe.”

This fast-track service could be for complete pre-insulated sections of pipe, or just the factory-based application of insulation and HDPE casings onto service pipes that are fabricated on site by the installers. With the very latest in HDPE case fabrication and bonded PUR foam insulation technology, this service can be completed quickly and accurately, ensuring system integrity is maximised.

CPV’s modularisation service can be applied to all types of materials, whether traditional metals such as steel or copper, or polymer-based options – including CPV’s cutting edge composites that offer the temperature and pressure performance of steel systems with the corrosion-free benefits of polymers.

This includes Hiline FibreFlex Pro, the new flexible pre-insulated composite polymer system that has a polymer service pipe reinforced with aramid fibres, meaning that it can safely operate at temperatures of up to 115°C and pressures of 16 bar. Delivered to site in coils, the system has been shortlisted for two leading industry innovation awards following its use on a St Helier heat network serving The Merton, Jersey’s largest resort hotel.