About this project
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...
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!
- 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.
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.
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!
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.
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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