Confined Confined Spaces Inspection – Loy Yang Cooling Tower Inspection Project
AGL’s Engineering team find triple bottom line benefits using unmanned robots.
LOY YANG, AUSTRALIA – on November 7th and 8th (2019), Uaviation’s industrial asset inspection team delivered a successful project involving the use of robots and drones to inspect critical infrastructure within a main cooling tower of the Loy Yang coal fired power station.
The Loy Yang Power Station is run by AGL and is a 560MW brown coal-fired thermal power station located on the outskirts of the city of Traralgon, in south-eastern Victoria, Australia. Loy Yang was originally constructed through the 1980s and has recently reached the end of its 30-year life expectancy. However, Victorian energy demands have led to the closure date being pushed to 2048.
Increasing the operational time of aging infrastructure beyond its predicted end of life, means components will have the need to be inspected and maintained as a part of the revised asset strategy. One such component is the water distribution pipes and nozzles within the main cooling towers.
AGL’s team were faced with the difficult challenge of finding a way to establish the condition of water distribution pipes in a low light environment within a confined space, that hangs 25 meters above the ground.
The business as usual solution would have been to erect scaffolding across over 5000 m2 of aging infrastructure, costing a great deal of money, and more than additional 3 weeks own downtime for the tower. With the down time of the cooling tower costing money with every day it was offline, the AGL team needed to find a solution that could be completed quickly, without the need for people to be placed in harms way.
AGL contracted the help of Uaviation, a leading supplier of professional services and technology to the utilities, transport, maritime, government and other asset-intensive industries, to develop technology and an inspection methodology with the triple bottom line benefits that AGL’s Engineers Section team was looking for.
The solution was ‘Gary’, Uaviation’s ground base inspection robot, and ‘Marvin’, a confined spaces inspection drone. Working in tandem, these two robots were deployed by Uaviation’s skilled team of operators into the cooling tower where they completed the full inspection in under 2 days, without the need for inspectors to be suspended over assets.
Uaviation’s Technical Director Matthew Lee said:
” It is satisfying to see the benefits and value of the technology and survey methods we develop being deployed in some of Victoria’s most iconic industrial assets.
It is essential that the state finds cost effective means of extending the life of its aging assets and infrastructure, and it is encouraging to see companies like that of AGL embracing innovation to do so.
We are grateful for the opportunity to work with Travis McInnes and the rest of the AGL team on this exciting project and hope we can find future opportunities to solve difficult inspection problems together.”
If you would like to understand we can help you with your industrial asset inspection challenges, please contact us through our website at https://uaviation.com.au/contact/ or on (03) 9618 2000.