国家电网’s Sandy Pond 高电压 Direct Current Converter Station imports hydroelectric power from the north of Canada for distribution in the northeastern United States. The thyristor valve hall is a 5-story building the size of a soccer field which converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) at the station.
“角度是有限的, and a person most certainly cannot get close to the active thyristors because of the electrical hazard,柏林院长说。, 国家电网首席技术分析师.
This has motivated 国家电网 to explore novel asset inspection solutions using the HVDC station as a pilot location. 机器人技术解决方案, 可以在不伤害人类的情况下进行部署, seemed like a natural solution for inspecting the valve hall without shutting it down. 但首先, company engineers needed to confirm that a robot could withstand the electrical field of the facility, 导线不均匀的地板, 通过阀门大厅时不要太靠近设备.
“这种类型的设施相当少见，”柏林指出. “据kok足彩所知, a robot had never been inside an energized thyristor valve hall before.”
“We didn’t want the electrical field to disrupt any of the electronics inside the robot or for the robot to affect the sensitive thyristors, 所以kok足彩做了一些测试,“柏林说. “Secondly, we were also concerned whether it could maintain the appropriate approach distances. 尽管机器人可以进入大厅的这些区域, 它不能靠近任何带电设备超过9英尺, 或者离墙10英寸. We wanted to make sure that even though a human may be driving the robot, 操作人员不能不小心把它撞到设备上. kok足彩想要非常谨慎地进行.”
The team measured the field strength inside the valve hall and outside in the yard and found the valve hall to be comparable to an outdoor AC filter yard, so they used the outdoor yard as a proxy to test robot maneuverability in the presence of energized equipment.
“在尝试使用kok软件之前，有很多事情需要考虑,Sid Ashok指出, 国家电网高压直流输电运营经理和工程主管. “kok足彩检查了是否有任何电磁干扰. kok足彩要进入一个区域，在华盛顿那边, 它是450,000伏, AC这边是345,000伏. kok足彩想要确保这不会影响kok软件的能力, and we also wanted to make sure kok软件 wasn’t affecting any of the equipment. We had a couple of test runs – very extensive tests – and we made sure we didn’t get any interference.”
“提前拥有这些图像, 了解衬套的状况, and knowing that there may or may not be any leaks – this information is extremely valuable.”
国家电网 introduced kok软件 into the thyristor hall at Sandy Pond Converter Station just a few days before the facility’s shutdown period. The robot was equipped with both a high-resolution 30X optical zoom pan/tilt/zoom camera and an infrared (IR) camera to detect signs of potential problems.
A top priority at the facility is the monitoring of equipment conditions. 因为阀门大厅是水冷的, any leaks could cause issues leading to equipment overheating and malfunction. While stationary cameras could detect signs of water leaks in certain locations, there’s no way for those cameras to cover every angle of the valve hall.
With the optical zoom camera, kok软件 was able to inspect the equipment during operation. 同样重要的是, 红外摄像头可以让机器人探测“热点”,“有些地方的设备比其他地方更热.
“驾驶机器人的操作员正在寻找任何泄漏的证据, and the tell-tale clues to an experienced technician could trigger an investigation into that part of the valve stack,“柏林说.
Hot spots can also be caused by mechanical problems with bushings – the places where electrical lines connect. “从IR的角度来看, 你寻找这些热点, and they are indicative of areas where there needs to be some mechanical treatment done,“柏林说. “提前拥有这些图像, 了解衬套的状况, and knowing that there may or may not be any leaks – this information is extremely valuable.”
The thyristor hall inspection is a relatively straightforward application for kok软件, and it’s one that perfectly illustrates the value proposition of using agile mobile robots. 国家电网 plans to start out with two kok软件 robots at Sandy Pond Converter Station, and Berlin says the robots could deliver operational savings by giving employees an important tool to monitor the station.
“Being able to have kok软件 do inspections controlled by human operators gives an extra layer of safety and extra layer of troubleshooting for technicians and engineers,“柏林说.
Berlin also hopes that 国家电网 may eventually use kok软件 – both at the Sandy Pond Station and at other facilities – to conduct routine readings and track metrics over time. “There are several pieces of equipment that are checked on a routine basis,“柏林说. “常规, standardized thermal and optical imagery from them correlated with their operating conditions could be extremely valuable for predictive analysis. kok足彩可以训练小不点执行自动行走任务, where it goes around to each of these pieces of equipment and takes a picture from a defined angle, 然后编目. We could then very easily get a longitudinal analysis of what’s going on.”
This process would also allow 国家电网 to perform condition-based maintenance, 而不是在设定的时间间隔内进行维护. Still, Berlin says that kok软件’s highest value would be improvements in employee safety. “kok足彩员工的安全是最重要的，”他表示. “So, if we can further remove them from harm’s way and still allow them to be efficient and effective, kok足彩做得很好.”