Power Plant & Industrial Inspection Applications
Current power plant and industrial inspection tools are limited in their ability to access difficult-to-reach locations. Some systems like inspection crawlers can easily drive towards a destination, but cannot fit through small openings or navigate tight turns. Other systems like borescopes are flexible and can fit through small cross-sectional access points, but are limited in their ability to push through turns or up vertical sections of piping. Snake robots combine the best of both types of tools: a small cross-section, flexibility to navigate bends, and the ability to locomote and even climb vertically. This enables the snake robots to reach locations that are otherwise inaccessible. The robots are ideal for performing remote visual inspection (RVI) or carrying a sensor payload to conduct nondestructive evaluations (NDE).
Snake robots' capabilities can be applied to performing inspections in turbines, in piping systems, or in other power generation equipment such as Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSGs). By reaching these locations and performing an inspection during planned maintenance periods, problems can be found and addressed to avoid unplanned downtime.
Small & Flexible Like a Borescope
The robot's flexible body can navigate around extremely tight bends, and the small cross-section allows it to fit inside small piping and through small openings.
Locomotes Like a Crawler
Unlike borescopes, which must be pushed like a noodle through equipment or pipes, the robots can propel themselves through piping (with bends and verticals), through equipment, and inside of tanks or open areas.
HRSGs, Turbines, Piping Systems, and More
The robot's capabilities are especially useful when inspection Heat Recovery Steam Generators (outside of headers or inside of headers/tubes), inside turbines, or inside of piping or tubing. The robot can be useful in any application that a borescope can't reach or a crawler can't fit. The robot can perform visual inspections or could accomodate an NDE (Non-Destructive Evaluation) sensor payload.