You are on page 1of 11


Hydropower Pipelines
From the Beginning to this Day...
Hydropower Right from the Start
What is good enough for the automotive, aircraft and ship-
building industries must also be suitable for us, thought the
engineers at a Swiss dye works in the 1950s and started to
make the rollers they used for winding fabrics round during
the dyeing process out of glass reinforced plastic (GRP).
The centrifugally cast rollers had an even outer surface and
were resistant to both chemicals and corrosion virtually
predestined therefore also for use as pipes to transport
water. No sooner said than done: the frst industrial appli-
cation for HOBAS Pipes was as intake lines for a hydro-
electric power station in the early 1960s. In the steep,
rugged terrain of Switzerland's Binn Valley, the HOBAS
Pressure Pipeline its installation can be seen on the
right has proved so reliable that it has been in service
for over 50 years now.
A great success, but the Swiss did not rest on their
laurels. On the contrary: they continued to develop ma-
terials, manufacturing, joining and installation methods,
constantly expanded the product line and opened plants
all over the world making HOBAS one of the most uni-
versal suppliers of pipe systems today. Whether potable
water supply, wastewater disposal, irrigation, hydropower
plant pipelines or industrial applications, experts round the
globe set great store by HOBAS Products.
Proven Manufacturing Process
The centrifugal casting process developed at that time has
basically remained the same today: standard HOBAS GRP
Pipe Systems are made of unsaturated polyester resins,
chopped glass fber and mineral reinforcing agents. The pipe
wall is built up step by step from the outside inwards in a
rotating mold. Once all the materials have been fed into the
mold, the speed of rotation is increased. Spinning at a pres-
sure of 30 to 70 bar presses the material against the mold wall,
which removes the gas, compacts and cures it. This centrifugal
casting process ensures that the pipes are circular, void free and
have a uniform wall thickness over their entire length.
Sophisticated Pipe Wall Structure for Your Beneft
HOBAS Pipes' unique wall structure offers a whole range of advantages:
Minimal friction and pressure loss due to the extremely smooth inner
pipe surface
Less water hammer than with metal pipe materials
Resistance to UV light
Low weight enabling high installation rates even in less accessible terrain
High abrasion resistance
Corrosion resistance
Variable lengths as pipes can easily be shortened on site
Dimensionally accurate outside diameter
Angular defection possible in couplings
Consistently high quality with complete internal and external quality
control (testing of material properties, pressure tests, etc.)
Low operating and maintenance costs
Long service life of up to 100 years
Technical service

Our HOBAS Experts are here to support you throughout your project.
From inspecting the planned pipe route, selecting the right diameter and
creating a digital installation plan through constant supervision of installation
activities on the construction site by our pipe consultants you have
a reliable and experienced partner at your side with HOBAS.
Pipe Wall Structure*
1 External protective layer
2 Outer reinforced layer
(glass fber, polyester resin)
3 Transition layer (glass fber,
polyester resin, sand)
4 Reinforcing layer (sand,
polyester resin, glass fber)
5 Transition layer
6 Inner reinforced layer
7 Barrier layer
8 Inner pure resin layer
*Schematic illustration of in reality seamless-
ly merged pipe wall construction. Layer
design is adapted to suit requirements set by
e.g. the conveyed medium, installation method,
pressure, external forces, etc.
ISO 10467
ISO 10639
EN 1796
EN 14364
N B 5161
ONR 25161
DVGW approval
VGW-GRIS approval
SVGW approval
TV Oktagon
ISO 9001 certifcate
ISO 14001 certifcate
Our Services
Support in dimensioning and routing pipelines
Hydraulic calculations
Drawing up a verifable structural design to
ATV A127 and NORM B 5012
Support in dimensioning bedding, anchoring
and thrust blocks
Consulting on the construction site
Physical Properties
Density ~ 2000 kg/cm
Linear thermal expansion coeff ~ 26 - 30 x 10
Thermal conductivity 0.5 - 1.0 W/m/K
Elastic modulus 10,000 - 15,000 MPa
Roughness k (to Colebrook) 0.01 - 0.016 mm
Hazen-Williams fow
~ 155
Shock wave propagation speed ~ 450 m/s
h Pipe Systems
HOBAS Hydropower Plant Pipes are available in the following standard sizes:
* Other sizes on request.
Depending on the size, HOBAS Hydropower Plant Pipes are produced in most pressure classes
up to PN 32 and in lengths of 1, 2, 3 and 6 meters (tolerances to company standards). Other pipe
lengths can also be supplied on request.
We also have a wide range of GRP Fittings to ft the various pipes. Thanks to the fexibility of HOBAS
Products, we can manufacture custom designs to your specifcations.
System Building h Products
Structural Adapter
with Thrust Ring
Tee with
Loose Flange
Available diameter DN | D
in mm*
150 | 168 400 | 427 650 | 650 960 | 960 1400 | 1434 1937 | 1937 2555 | 2555
200 | 220 450 | 478 700 | 718 1000 | 1026 1500 | 1499 2000 | 2047 3000 | 2999
250 | 272 500 | 501 750 | 752 1100 | 1099 1535 | 1535 2160 | 2160 3600 | 3600
300 | 324 500 | 530 800 | 820 1200 | 1229 1600 | 1638 2200 | 2250
350 | 376 550 | 550 860 | 860 1280 | 1280 1720 | 1720 2400 | 2400
400 | 401 600 | 616 900 | 924 1350 | 1350 1800 | 1842 2400 | 2454
Time [s]
0 100 200









Water-table after valve closure
In- and outfow in surge tank during and
after valve closure
h Surge Tank
Surge tanks separate the pipeline into an area of
mass oscillation and an area of pressure oscil-
lation. This reduces on the one hand the risk of
vacuum as consequence of water hammer and
the amplitude of water hammer on the other.
HOBAS GRP Surge Tanks offer a lot of benefits:
the made-to-measure design and fast as well as
economic installation due to prefabricated units
are only a few. The well-thought-out double
chamber surge tank moreover provides advantageous pressure and water
storage properties.
In cooperation with the Graz University of Technology HOBAS has de-
veloped a special software program which makes sure that each surge
tank perfectly matches individual parameters such as of the pipeline, the
terrain, turbine closing times, etc. Our specialists will also gladly support
you in calculating the pressure surge and dimensioning the surge tank
with the characteristics method.
h Pipe Joints
HOBAS Pipes are supplied with a coupling premounted at the factory. There is a choice of the following types:
h Pipe Installation -
Whenever and Wherever You Want
No matter when and where you want to build your pipeline, HOBAS Pipes
and Couplings are quick to install irrespective of the weather and site
situation. You will fnd an overview of our installation methods here:
Open cut with steel clamps
Open cut on concrete supports
Installation in tunnels
1 FWC coupling
2 Assembly coupling
3 Flush FWC coupling
4 FWC-L coupling (restrained)
5 Laminated joint
6 Transition from HOBAS
GRP Pipe to steel pipe
with pre-welded spigot
In the early 1960s, Gommerkraftwerke in the Binn Valley in the Swiss canton of Valais was search-
ing for a suitable material for the pressure pipeline to its hydropower plant. Around the same time,
Swiss mechanical engineers were thinking about other applications for their textile dyeing rollers. It
was to be a stroke of luck, as when Gommerkraftwerke heard about the pipes' excellent proper-
ties and low weight, the choice of material was clear and they used the centrifugally cast GRP
pipes for the three-kilometer-long, very steep sloping DN 1000 pipeline. At that time, the pipes
were green inside and joined with bell sleeves. Because the material is so light, they only needed
relatively simple equipment to install the pipeline quickly.
Plant director Bernhard Truffer is still highly satisfied with the HOBAS Products today, "especially
when you consider that the walls are very thin at 7 mm for a diameter of 1,000 mm", says Truffer
extremely pleased with the experience that the company has had with the pipes over the past
50 years. HOBAS can justifiably be proud of producing quality for generations and contributing to
clean power generation.
Year of Construction
Total Length of Pipeline
> 3 km
DN 1000
Pipe Specifcs
Pressure pipeline,
wall thickness 7 mm
Installation Method
Open cut
Gommerkraftwerke AG
Special Features
Low weight, easy instal-
lation, low wall thick-
nesses, long service
life, excellent
Pioneers from the Very Beginning
The First h Hydropower Plant Pipeline in 1961, CH
High-Quality Hydropower in Austria
Curves without Bends using h Angular Cuts
With its many mountain torrents, Austria is ideal for generating green
electricity. The micro hydroelectric power station in Schwarzach (East Tyrol)
is designed for a maximum turbine output of 9.9 MW and a fow rate of
4.6 m
/s. To achieve this output, a 4-km-long DN 1600, SN 10000, PN 10-
16 pipeline had to be installed.
As early as the tender phase, GRP pipes clearly had signifcant advantages
over other materials. HOBAS Pipe Austria gave the client detailed advice
on the benefts of HOBAS Products: 3 meter long pipes, 2.2 angular cuts
at the pipe ends and angular defection in the couplings meant that small-
er radii could be used. This enabled the company to use 41 fewer bends
and thrust blocks than in the tender, thus reducing construction time.
Using a computer planning system, HOBAS generated a bill of materials
and an exact CAD plan. The pipe route was simulated on the computer
and an installation plan created. Successful pressure testing rounded off
the project to the complete satisfaction of everyone involved and the
hydropower plant now supplies some 15,000 households with green
Anti-Aging h Pipes Produced in 1987
Built by Salzburg AG in the 1980s, the Wald hydropower plant is located
at the edge of the Hohe Tauern National Park. It has been in operation
since 1988 to meet the rising energy demand in the area. After 18 years
of service, the sand fushing pipeline in the hydropower plant consisting
of DN 1600, PN 1 HOBAS Pipes was examined during an inspection in
March 2006. The experts were very pleased that they hardly found any
signs of wear on the pipeline, even after it had been in use for nearly two
decades. Despite the abrasive medium water with sand and glacial sedi-
ment the inner pure resin layer that is also responsible for the hydraulic
properties of HOBAS Pipes was neither pitted nor worn away. Also in the
invert area of the pipes the resin layer was completely intact.
Just how aggressive glacial sediment is compared with most materials
can be seen from the fact that the power plant's turbine had to be re-
placed several times over the same period the HOBAS Pipeline how-
ever shone like new against the light and only showed slight signs of
mechanical abrasion on the markings. The hydropower plant operators
will defnitely be able to count on HOBAS Pipes over the coming
Stiffness Class
SN 2500 - 10000
Special Features
Abrasion and corrosion
resistance, long service
life, excellent hydraulic
Stiffness Class
SN 10000
Special Features
Angular cuts on the
pipes and angular
defection in the
couplings, excellent
Year of Construction
1987 - 1988
Length of Pipeline
1,143 m
Pipe Specifcs
DN 1200 - 2200
PN 1 - 8.5
Year of Construction
2005 - 2006
Length of Pipeline
4 km
Pipe Specifcs
DN 1600
PN 10 + 16
Norway can meet most of its electricity demand with the hydropower
generated in the country. The Helleren power plant, for example, lies north
of the Arctic Circle on the River Helleren and had been in operation with
a DN 2500 wooden penstock since 1958. Leaks in the penstock were
however leading to escalating maintenance costs and reduced plant out-
put. At low temperatures, the water leaking from the penstock caused
ice to form and increased its weight considerably. The wooden structure
could have given way under the load and caused the pipeline to collapse
at any time.
A long-lasting, low-maintenance alternative to the wooden penstock was
therefore sought. The pipes had to be installed both in a trench and above
ground on supports where they have to withstand great fuctuations in
temperature. In addition, there was hardly any room for storage on site.
A good logistics concept was therefore important. HOBAS Pipes have
the advantage of virtually no thermal expansion and low weight the
client was delighted and nothing now stood in the way of replacing the
old penstock with long-lasting, maintenance-free HOBAS GRP Pipes
in DN 2500.
Filled with water, each pipe weighs 32 tons when the pipeline is in
service. A substructure has to bear this weight in the part of the pipeline
installed above ground. Each support therefore sat on a precast reinforced
concrete base. The upper part of the support was cast in situ as soon as
the pipe was in position. As there was hardly any room for storage on the
construction site, HOBAS delivered the pipes just-in-time straight to the
supports. Not only is the outer surface UV and abrasion resistant but also
the pure resin layer ensures that the elements cannot do the products
any harm. The HOBAS FWC Coupling System enables the large pipes to
be joined quickly and securely.
Investors in the hydropower sector know that they are building the
future. HOBAS Products guarantee that the pipeline will function
reliably and durably for the coming decades and are consequently also
involved in the production of clean energy. Welcome to the future
Promising Investment
h Pipes North of the Arctic Circle, NOR
Year of Construction
Total Length of Pipeline
114 m
Pipe Specifcs
DN 2500, PN 6, SN 5000
Installation Method
Above ground on sup-
ports, open trench
Special Features
Temperature resistance,
low weight, long service
life, low maintenance,
quick and easy instal-
lation with HOBAS
E Engineering GmbH
Responsible for content: Friedrich Moser, Christoph Voutsinas | Texts & Layout: Sabine Friesser, Alexandra Dobnigg
Publication: 03/2011 | Updated: 04/2012 | Print: Carinthian Druck Beteiligungs GmbH 04/2012
All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means without our prior written permission. All informa-
tion in the document is correct at the time of going to press. However, we reserve the right to make changes without notice, in particular to technical data.
The data given is not binding and must therefore be checked in each individual case and revised as appropriate.
We develop and manufacture HOBAS Products conserving natures
resources and with respect for our environment. Visit our website to
fnd out more about the HOBAS Environmental Policy.
E Group Worldwide
HOBAS manufactures and markets HOBAS GRP Pipe
Systems. The HOBAS Network includes HOBAS Production
Facilities and Sales Organizations in Europe and throughout
the world.
E Engineering Austria
Pischeldorfer Strasse 128
9020 Klagenfurt | Austria
T +43.463.48 24 24 | F +43.463.48 21 21 |