Great expectations for Conrad Stanen
| Conrad Stanen describes in Geodrilling issue of March 2012 how the needs of the ground source energy market have evolved
Conrad Stanen describes how the needs of the ground source energy market have evolved
In 2006, Conrad Stanen delivered its first rig specifically designed for geothermal drilling – the Conrad Boxer 200, a straight-flush drilling system. At that time, clients’ expectations were for rigs to make about two 160-200mm diameter boreholes a day to a depth of 120m. However, it soon became apparent that high demand for closed-loop systems was resulting in a shift in requirements, and rigs with the capacity to drill three boreholes a day to a depth of 120m were needed.
As the ground source energy sector has developed, expectations have risen even further. There is now a need for rigs capable of drilling to a depth of 200-250m in the same timeframe in which they previously drilled to 120m. This greater depth is required because more geothermal boreholes have to be fitted into the same ground surface, and one 250m borehole achieves the same energy recovery as two 120m boreholes. Since working conditions tend to be cramped, the rigs must be more powerful, but no bigger, and, if possible, even smaller in size.
Conrad Stanen has redesigned its rigs to meet these new market needs. It has developed a machine with a much higher production speed, but within the same outside dimensions of a Boxer 200. The rig has a significantly more powerful diesel engine, offering 240hp instead of 130hp. This is necessary because of the higher performance requirements for the water pump and drill head. These improved capabilities result in a higher penetration speed during drilling and thus greater productivity. The drill pipe manipulator system is now more
powerful and faster in order to speed up installation and extraction. Manoeuvrability has been improved by
incorporating a turntable between the installation and tracked undercarriage. This increases productivity since fewer machine movements are required when boreholes are made close to one another. All of these enhancements ensure that Conrad Stanen rigs are capable of meeting the requirements of a demanding market.
Open loop & deep drilling
The market has also developed in other ways. Open-loop systems are now being used for large office buildings, schools, shopping malls, hospitals and airports. Conrad rigs are currently used for these purposes as well. These open-loop systems require a borehole of 1,000mm diameter, up to depths of around 250m. For these boreholes, Conrad Stanen offers the Combi 500 reverse-circulation rig, which features an airlift-drilling system.
To meet the growing demand for rigs that are capable of drilling to depths of 1,500-2,500m, the company’s top-end machines have also been redesigned.
When drilling to these depths many different layers of ground are encountered, which makes it necessary to ensure the rigs are capable of operating using various drilling systems. Conrad Stanen rigs can be equipped with a wide range of drilling systems, according to customer specification and based on the expected
conditions. Luinstra Watermanagement recently took delivery of a Comax 1000 rig, which is capable of drilling to depths of 1,200m. This Comax 1000 is in essence a Comax 800 rig that has been upgraded for this specific purpose. The Comax 1000 has a pull-back force of 30t. Meanwhile, Conrad Stanen’s Zull 2000 rig offers a pull-back force of 60t or 80t and is capable of drilling to 2,500m.
Conrad Stanen also supplies a wide variety of tooling, such as hose reels for the installation of geothermal loops, drill pipes and drill bits in various sizes. The hose reels can be adjusted to facilitate different loop lengths and diameters. With ease of operation, and health and safety in mind, hose-reel installation is performed without manual labour and handled with a mini excavator.
Conrad Stanen rigs offer high reliability, which, in turn, contributes to the higher productivity. A stable and reliable rig, combined with an organised and capable service department, guarantees high uptime and maximises productivity. Whatever the future of geothermal drilling brings, Conrad Stanen has the technology and expertise to meet market requirements.
Conrad Stanen, based in Emmeloord, Netherlands,
is a company that engineers and manufactures drilling rigs for numerous applications, including geothermal and waterwell drilling, environmental research and bomb detection. The firm’s rigs offer the capability to drill boreholes of 50-2,500m in depth, and of diameters from 50-2,000mm (or more). The company can also develop specialized mechanical or hydraulic equipment. Products are made to customer specifications and all aspects are thoroughly discussed with the customer to ensure the rigs fully meet their requirements. Conrad Stanen can also develop new equipment for specialised applications. With over 100 years of experience in the engineering and manufacture of drilling rigs, the company can often find a solution for all aspects of rig construction, including safety, ergonomics and productivity.
Conrad Stanen rigs can be equipped with almost all available drilling systems. In many cases, several systems are combined on a single rig to provide the flexibility of drilling under many different circumstances, such as straight flush, reverse circulation, RC with airlift, augering, DTH, coring and percussion drilling. The firm strives to improve its products to meet the latest technical, and health and safety requirements. It offers advanced operating
systems to monitor and adjust all system functions, which provides high flexibility of operation. This system was developed in-house by Conrad Stanen and can be adjusted to meet the specific requirements of customers.
For the manipulation and storage of drill pipes, a special manipulator is provided, making manual handling a thing of the past. A remote-control system is an option, enabling the operator to stand in the best position to view the drilling process. This also improves the safety of the operator as he does not have to stand next to the rig.
The company operates from a factory that was built in 2011 to its specific needs, making it possible to work efficiently and to the highest quality standards. The building is 12m high, allowing almost all of its rigs to be set up
inside for manufacturing, testing and repair. The facility meets all modern comfort and regulatory requirements. For heating and cooling, a geothermal energy system has been installed, featuring several closed loops of 120m in depth. Together with a heat-pump system, the underfloor piping provides heat in winter and cooling in summer.
Extensive range and experience
“There is a need now for rigs capable of drilling to a depth of 200-250m”