Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 23, 2012.

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A new, inventive and sustainable way to do Pipelines!

With Kickstarter's help we will launch an industrial scale version of TOHL's disruptive pipeline installation technology! TOHL is a Chile-based small group of Georgia Tech grads who are changing the way people think about pipelines.

The problem with pipelines...

Maybe you never think about pipelines. Maybe all your ideas about them are negative. Pipelines ripping through the wilderness; pipelines costing billions; pipelines running to nowhere. But pipelines carry more than oil. They represent a fundamental infrastructure that can bring fluids, power, and information to far-flung corners of the globe.

We love pipelines (and not just because we were forced to sit through Fluid Dynamics). They are useful!  But we also know that installing them is expensive, difficult, time-consuming, and often destructive.

Conventional pipelines consist of short segments of pipe which have to be trucked into place (or carried on foot) and welded or thermofused together in the field. Each weld takes about two hours (for a 5” pipe).  This is a labor-intensive, time-consuming, & expensive process.

We're changing all of this.

How we solved it...

For the past two years, we at TOHL Inc. have been developing a new infrastructure installation method that can be deployed rapidly and inexpensively, with minimal environmental impact. 

Our innovation allows us to spool much longer sections of flexible high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe - from 500m to several kilometers in length - and install it via helicopter!  Beyond being way cooler, this method reduces the number of welds necessary, cutting labor costs by 80% compared to conventional methods, and allows us to lay pipeline over very difficult terrain with unprecedented speed. Seriously, it’s good stuff!

Cheat sheet:

  • Affordable: our system costs a fraction of the price of conventional pipe-laying systems to implement and operate.
  • Quick: we put down a kilometer of pipe in nine minutes (in our pilot). That usually takes days if not weeks.
  • Sustainable: our pipe can be recovered and used again.
  • Mobile: because we can utilize helicopters, we go places traditional pipeline can’t.
During Take-off
During Take-off

Don’t believe us?

On July 15, 2012, we did our first proof-of-concept test of the TOHL method near San Jose de Maipo, Chile, completing the fastest pipeline installation ever recorded. We laid one kilometer of 25mm HDPE pipeline, over mountainous terrain and in windy conditions, in a record-setting nine minutes. (To give you an idea of how awesome that is, imagine how long it takes to have men on foot climb through trees on the side of a cliff in the mountains laying pipes in short segments and connecting the pieces?) Oh, yes: it was also much cheaper than any conventional installation methods, because there was virtually no labor.

The TOHL way to install pipelines
The TOHL way to install pipelines

Ours was the first ever completely aerial installation of a pipeline, and it was completed in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost of traditional pipelines and with minimal environmental impact (we’ve yet to find a solar-powered helicopter - next project?).

Even more incredible is that this pilot pipeline was removed in one piece in less than ten hours, because we didn't want our test to leave an environmental footprint on Chile, and we wanted to prove it can be done.

Our pipeline can be taken back up onto the spool almost as easily as it is laid down. This allows pipeline segments to be re-spooled, re-cycled and re-used multiple times. TOHL provides the GOOD advantages of pipelines without the BAD (destruction of nature).  TOHL's method is the sustainable solution.

Where you come in...

We have a great concept. We’ve tested it. It performs.

But the demo in Chile was just a test. Now, we need to create a full-scale design and complete a full-scale installation! This will be an installation of epic proportions.  This time the pipe will be wider and longer, and provide several times the flow rate as our test tube.  People keep asking how long our segments can be...we will answer that with this project! Our spool needs to be expertly designed and crafted so that it is lightweight yet strong - we need to load as much tubing as possible on this spool to Test The Limits!

For this, we’re turning to Kickstarter. With the funds raised here, we’ll be able to create a more elaborate spool design - Engineering costs, material costs, construction costs. And, we will complete a full-scale Epic installation!

Aboard The Spool
Aboard The Spool

Where we’re headed...

The great thing about pipelines is that they’re pipes, and you can put all kinds of things in a pipe! Although our current project focuses on the design of the spool, so that we can do a much larger installation, our technology is wildly versatile. In a future project we would like to expand its applications to all kinds of infrastructure solutions. This could revolutionize fields like fiber optics, communications networks, and mining operations, to name a few...of course, let's focus on this project 1st.

The Engineering
The Engineering
The Basic Prototype Spool
The Basic Prototype Spool

In conclusion...

When you hear the word Pipelines you might have bad images in your mind. We are changing this by creating a new creative way to do pipelines. We want this to be the coolest Kickstarter project ever! Our new installation method is charismatic, creative, & innovative.  Help us beautify pipelines in a way that has never been done! A sensational task, that we have to have your help with!

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    19 backers

    You shall be memorialized forever on the “Kickstarter Hall of Fame” section of our website. And you’ll be able to access exclusive insider updates about our progress. Thanks for your support!

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    23 backers

    Leah, our awesome graphic designer, is putting together a sick sticker - feel free to put it on your laptop...or maybe even other stuff? The sky’s the limit! And you’ll still get thanked on our website, don’t worry.

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    16 backers

    When we were doing our test run in Chile, our cameraman Ien Chi came down to catch the laughter, the tears, and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit. Enjoy access to exclusive, never-before-seen, behind-the-scenes footage in our soon to be award-winning web-series! Of pipeline! (No, it’s actually cool, promise.) And enjoy the sticker, too!

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    23 backers

    Just as our HDPE pipes carry fluids, these awesome TOHL water bottles (incidentally also made of HDPE - coincidence?) will carry fluids to your parched mouth. Maybe you slap your sticker on it while you watch the documentary.

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    9 backers

    For the low low price of $50, we’ll print your name, your company’s name, your dog’s name - whatever - on the new pipe that this Kickstarter will fund in Chile (as long as your name is not an obscenity in English or Spanish. Lo siento!). And enjoy the water bottle, documentary, and sticker!

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    5 backers

    A picture is worth a thousand words. While we might not write that much, we will all at least sign our names and a nice note on a high-quality print of your choosing, picked from our gallery of first-installation photographs. Again, we have the great Ien Chi to thank for his mad camera skills. And think about what you want printed on our new pipe. And how much you’ll enjoy the other treats.

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    15 backers

    For your contribution, please enjoy a handmade sweater locally crafted just for the TOHL project near our test run base site of San Jose de Maipo, Chile. It’s like a direct pipeline of warmth on a chilly winter night. Which is when you could be enjoying the print, the pipe-naming, the water bottle, the documentary and the sticker, too.

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    0 backers

    Plans are important. They tell us what to do in the future. For $300, you can get a deluxe thumb drive loaded with our documentary and a full construction guide, complete with plans for the newly developed spooling mechanism. Tweak it, share it, pass it down to your children. Along with your sweater, your print, your pipe-name, your water bottle and your sticker. [For those engineers out there, ask us about receiving a framed copy of the CAD plans]

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    1 backer

    Yeah. Yeah. We know a lot of people in the helicopter world. And we’re willing to hook you up with a flight. Anywhere in the US. Maybe you could bring along your plans, your sweater, your print, your pipe-name, your water bottle, your documentary and your sticker.

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    1 backer All gone!

    Want to see what we’re up to? Find out for yourself, and maybe help us out a little! We’ll fly you to Chile, put you up, and put you to work for us for two months on our project. Fun work! And of course, we’ll also be treating you to plans, a sweater, a print, a pipe-name, a water bottle, a documentary and a sticker.

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    0 backers

    This one is designed for two people, so make sure you’ve got a buddy. We’ll fly you to Chile, put you up in a swank hotel for 3 nights, show you around our new installation, and then take you out on the town in Santiago. The memories will last forever, and so will your plans, sweater, print, pipe-name, water bottle, documentary, sticker and partridge in a pear tree. [The list price is for the lower 48 only, but if you make your home elsewhere and want to come down for a visit, drop us a line for pricing info!]

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Funding period

- (32 days)