Breaking new ground

Finnish manufacturer Visedo has co-developed the world’s first hybrid electric horizontal drilling machine for groundwork applications, in conjunction with Dutch industrial drilling equipment manufacturer Normag.

Visedo, which manufactures electric power for heavy duty vehicles on land and sea, developed the hybrid powertrain for the new steerable-drill system, which can halve fuel consumption and associated emissions while also reducing noise.

The new Visedo-Normag drill system can dig lateral shafts of up to 1.2m diameter to be bored through subsoil for distances of 3km, while performing drilling duties for water, drainage, sewerage and ducting for pipework and cabling for power and other services in fully developed urban areas.

Managing Director of Visedo Netherlands Pieter Dijkstra said: “In the world of horizontal drilling, this system is a real game-changer. Unlike conventional systems with hydraulic drivelines, it removes the need for dedicated generators as part of the mobile drilling apparatus.

“In developing countries in particular, that’s a real bonus because diesel quality is often not up to the quality needed for today’s gensets. With our system, operators have the freedom to rent locally the diesel generators they need for the particular job, which are built to use the quality of fuel locally available.”