German-based tunneling experts Herrenknecht took home a Bauma Innovation Award at the trade show’s inaugural night of ceremonies on April 7. The company won the award for its new E-Power Pipe trenchless cable installation system. Herrenknecht is no stranger to the Bauma Innovation Awards, having won in 2013 for a semi-trenchless pipeline machine.

As one of—if not the largest—trade shows in the world, the triennial Bauma exhibition in Munich, Germany, brings together the worlds manufacturers of heavy equipment, running the gamut from construction to material handling to mining. The Bauma Innovation Awards are intended to highlight new construction technology and equipment that has been successfully deployed on actual projects.

Herrenknecht’s E-Power Pipe is a cable-tunneling system that allows for the installation of small-diameter cable at depths of 1.5 meters with drive lengths of over a kilometer. These long runs reduce disturbances at ground level and allows for easier crossings through dense underground infrastructure than with more conventional installation methods. 

The system has been successfully used by German power utilities for the installation of high-voltage, direct-current transmission lines, which require precision spacing between access points with individual runs over one kilometer. 

The system is based around Herrenknecht’s AVNS350XB tunnel boring machine, which has an excavation diameter of only 505 mm.  This is combined with a custom-designed hydraulic jet pump to serve as a slurry pump and remove excavated materials, reducing ground disturbance and avoids the need for heavy equipment at the access points. 

In addition to working around areas that already have existing underground utilities, Herrenknecht says the E-Power Pipe tunneling system can also be used under railways and beneath groundwater.