GE Renewable Energy has launched equipment to perform underwater hydropower turbine inspections using remote operated vehicles (ROV).
The ROVs are equipped with sensors and cameras, to inspect “hard-to-reach areas of any type of hydropower turbines” without dewatering the equipment.
The system was designed, developed and tested with GE Research Center.
The new condition assessment methodology allows on-demand and high-quality inspections with comparable results to dry visual inspection without having the services team enter into a turbine’s confined space.
The customised design of the ROV is a first in the hydropower condition assessment field as this new solution is able to inspect between runner blades of a turbine within openings of less than 200 mm.
The same defects as conventional visual inspection can be detected, such as erosion, cavitation, corrosion, impact marks and presence of foreign bodies, said GE Renewable Energy.