Underwater Robots Perfect for Power Production
Underwater exploration, fish farms, dive jobs, marine research, municipal and commercial water utilities are obvious industries for the utilization of Deep Trekker mini-ROVs and pipe crawlers. However another industry that has seen remarkable success integrating underwater inspection robots is energy production. Diverse methods of creating energy provide a number of applications which benefit from inspection and assessment using our mini-ROVs and pipe crawler technology.
When one thinks about hydro power, water, and lots of it, come to mind! The use of mini-ROVs to monitor and maintain hydroelectricproduction is a pretty obvious and effective application. There are a number of key components in production structures that may require frequent and thorough underwater inspections. The reservoirs that store water, the intake channels, trash racks, lift gates and discharge systems integrated into hydro power production can all be assessed using a mini-ROV such as Deep Trekker's DTG2 system.
Sending a diver into the water at a hydroelectric facility isn’t always a practical or safe option. Deep Trekker ROVs can allow supervisors and operators to perform inspections, and when appropriate, monitor divers as they work. Surface personnel can gauge the scope of a project before it begins and check the work once it is complete using an ROV.
Complex systems with tight, cramped spaces, and water continuously flowing through them may make diver intervention dangerous or prohibitively expensive. Turning off the water flow through the structure may not always be an option even though frequent inspections are still necessary. Deep Trekker systems can safely and cost-effectively address these situations. To learn more about how mini-ROVs are great for hydro-electric power facilities follow the link here.
For a first-hand account using a pipe crawler on a hydro dam read the post here.
The second (or debatably first for some) most obvious energy production source that uses ROVs is offshore operations. Offshore platforms and rigs come in a variety of forms and sizes. Depending on the depths and strength of currents surrounding the rig, Deep Trekker products can be a viable inspection solution. Deep Trekker systems work very well for inspecting the internal areas of ballast tanks and other areas of a platform that are too small or too hard to reach for a large work class ROV system.
Deep Trekker ROVs are a great way to compliment and support the work of divers on offshore rigs. Monitoring the divers below the waves adds an extra layer of safety to an operation and it provides supervisors with the ability to respond to any issues as soon as they happen. ROVs can also be very helpful when gauging the scope of a project (similar to how they work in a hydro dam). Checking out the area where work needs to be done before sending a human into the water can save a lot of time and resources (like limited oxygen).
To learn about a situation where Deep Trekker ROVs were used to help with the implementation of new offshore technology, follow this link.
Mini-ROVs can be used in offshore and hydro power generation facilities. Makes sense. What about other forms of energy production? There are a number of useful ways a mini-ROV or pipe crawler can be used in alternative power generation methods as well.
Another energy production source you might not have considered is nuclear power. Believe it or not, Deep Trekker mini-ROV systems can be used to inspect the interior of the nuclear reactors. This is a situation where sending a human in to complete an inspection is not an option as it is much too dangerous. Using a Deep Trekker DTG2 ROV, FLP Energy was able to inspect the interior of their reactors to check on the status of a sleeve. Read about this experience here.
A second form of energy which most people may not immediately think about off the top of their head is coal energy production. While coalenergy is not necessarily considered the most viable source of energy production out there, it is still a relevant and highly used resource in some areas. Deep Trekker systems can provide plant managers with the ability to keep their operations running smoothly and also reduce risks associated with old and deteriorating facilities. Coal production facilities use water to create steam and then to cool it once energy has been produced. Deep Trekker products can inspect the interior of areas filled with water. Using the ROVs, operators are able to monitor these sections of the plant without the inherent risks of sending in a diver.
To learn more about how Coal and Nuclear energy plants operate (and where ROVs come into play) follow the link here.
Finally, we have wind power. While wind power generation facilities can be built on land, there is also a significant offshore presence to this form of energy production. In Europe, wind farms are found off the coasts of many nations, with their turbines built into the sea floor. In North America, offshore wind power facilities are being explored and developed.
Mini ROVs can be a great tool for companies looking to build new offshore wind power facilities. They offer a means to visually survey a submerged area before installation and to monitor and document the surrounding wildlife. When a facility is under construction, ROVs can monitor divers and construction progress. Once a facility is complete and operational, mini-ROVs are a great way for operators to inspect submerged infrastructures and to monitor the status of structural integrity on a regular basis.
There you have it. A quick recap of the many forms of energy production where mini-ROVs and pipe crawlers can bring about huge advantages. For more information on Deep Trekker systems in the energy sector check out our industry page here.