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Atlas Copco: High-Speed pile driving in South Africa with HB 2000 hydraulic breakers

ESSEN/GERMANY, June 13, 2013 - It has been said that the levels of solar radiation in South Africa are the best in the world, and the country has a rapidly emerging solar energy industry with a number of project sites in the Northern Cape. Geopile Africa is currently installing piles at sites for solar projects in the region using the Duktus piling system in combination with Atlas Copco HB 2000 hydraulic breakers.

“These solar field sites are generally very large, in some cases 3 km long x 1.25 km wide,” explains Jared Prowse, who is in charge of Geopile Africa's operations and projects. “But for us this is not a problem because our piling rigs are flexible and mobile Volvo hydraulic excavators equipped with Atlas Copco hydraulic  breakers.”

400 Blows per minute

The Duktus piling system concentrates 4,000 Joules of energy per blow of the hydraulic breaker down onto the pile-driving shoe, and with the breaker delivering at a rate of 400 blows per minute this enables piles to be driven easily and rapidly through harder abrasive layers of material in the upper soils.
“So far our average pile production rate is 5 minutes per pile and with 4 piling rigs on site we can install up to 400 Duktus piles per day,” says Jared Prowse. “That is the production rate that I have been aiming for because these projects require us to install over 50,000 piles in a working period of just over 6 months.”

HB 2000 hydraulic breaker

Operating in extreme conditions - HB 2000 hydraulic breakers in action. | photo: Atlas Copco

HB 2000 – powerful and user friendly

Atlas Copco´s HB 2000 hydraulic breaker has a service weight of 2,000 kg. The VibroSilenced System protects operators against noise and vibrations, AutoControl adapts the blow frequency and impact energy to the rock hardness, and the attachment is equipped with the ContiLube ™ II integrated automatic lubrication system. The breaker is equipped with the PowerAdapt system which shuts down the breaker if the oil pressure is too high – a useful feature when the hydraulic breaker is used on different carrier units.