Camelback uses unique VRS®-T DI pipe to replace 5 steel pipelines in 43 days, through extreme constraints under the Water Park.
In 2011 Camelback began to have leakage problems in various lines in a five (5) line steel pipe system that had been installed in 1998. This multiple line system ran through the base area of the ski resort; over extensive infrastructure systems serving a Waterpark area, and under the paved stone surface in the Waterpark area. These lines moved high pressure water and process air through this area, to support snowmaking operations on various trails on the mountain. As these leakage problems began occurring more frequently, in 2014 Camelback decided to replace all steel pipelines passing through the Waterpark.
Find a different pipe system that: would satisfy the pressures required in all pipe sizes; would improve longevity of the new pipe system, to reduce future costly pipe repairs; would provide flexibility to address the different pipe elevations in this system, and deal with constraints through the Waterpark; could be installed easily and quickly because of short timelines required for this installation; and, would minimize environmental damage throughout the project region. More specifically:
Corrosion of any material is based on the corrosivity of the environment surrounding the material. Steel snowmaking pipe in normal alpine environments has a longevity ranging from 20 to 35 years. Currently other materials are available that will provide longevity that is superior to steel.
Normal operating pressures in the water supply pipeline are 700 psig, with surge pressures up to 850 psig.
The Waterpark is used through Labor Day weekend each year, and snowmaking must be ready to operate November 1, each year. The installation timeline was very short, making it necessary to find a pipe system that could be assembled easily, safely and quickly.
Initially, all pipelines left the compressor/pump station building at different elevations, and different angles, refer to the photo above. It was a priority to align all pipes to the same elevation in the shortest distance possible, because other buried infrastructure would be encountered close to the steel/DI transition point.
From the steel to DI transition, all pipes had to be installed under paved stone surfaces through regions of the Waterpark: and, over extensive complex infrastructure systems serving equipment in the Waterpark. The elevation between the paved stone surfaces and the lower utility infrastructure systems was very small. This created a significant constraint through the entire installation region, which had to be dealt with.
All pipe systems passed under Priority Areas, including a section of the base area of the ski resort during winter months; and, a section of the Waterpark area during summer months
A primary goal with all pipe installations in all alpine regions is to select/use materials which protect ecosystems, and maximize the integrity and sustainability of the natural resources. DI materials from TRM have unique characteristics in these areas, not available with other pipeline materials, including:
- DI pipe is produced using +98% recyclable materials.
- Joint design requires no welding or open flames at any time during assembly/installation.
- Easier assembly and smaller/lighter construction equipment make it possible to complete installation using a much smaller construction footprint, reducing cleanup requirements.
- Easier assembly and smaller/lighter construction equipment make it possible to complete assembly/installation in much shorter timelines. These characteristics were very important for the short timelines of this project; and, provided much longer periods for terrain clean-up and restoration.
Camelback initiated a product research study to review and evaluate other pipe systems which might improve the performance of the steel systems. As part of this research study, Camelback contacted Engineers at PNP Supply, to gain more information on the VRS®-T system from TRM. Based on this product research Camelback selected the high pressure DI pipe system from TRM for several reasons.
Advantages of the VRS®-T System:
- The VRS®-T joint design of this system satisfies a wide range of operating pressures from 25 bar (360 psig) to 100 bar (1450 psig).
- The corrosion rate of steel is +3 times faster than the rate for DI; making the longevity of the VRS®-T pipe +3 times greater than the longevity of steel pipe.
- The DUPLEX coating on all pipe provides active and passive corrosion protection, and a unique sacrificial repair mechanism for any pipe damage exposing bare metal. These characteristics extend the longevity of this pipe even more.
- Angular deflection at each joint provides the flexibility to satisfy the tight constraints created by level surfaces required through the entire Water Park. As mentioned, pipes leaving the pump/compressor station were at five different elevations and five different angles. Using this angular deflection at each pipe joint, it was possible to align all pipes at the same elevation and parallel in a relatively short distance (±33 ft) without using a single fitting. Refer to photos below.
Project Team Members:
CLIENT: Camelback Resort
DESIGN ENGINEER: Camelback Master Plan
DIP DESIGN/SALES/FIELD SERVICES: PNP Supply LLC
CONTRACTOR: In-house Personnel