Russia’s Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC) in Seversk has begun to use a drone for equipment inspection, fuel company Tvel (part of Rosatom) said on 27 August.
Tests of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) are underway to inspect the condition of equipment and structures, and to analyse heat losses of buildings and structures. A quadrocopter equipped with a photo-video and an infrared camera was purchased for SCC’s metallurgy laboratory.
The UAV is being used to examine the structure of firefighting equipment and external metal ladders, which previously required the use of an aerial platform, the issue of a work permit and the involvement of at least four specialists.
Also, using a drone, visual inspections of the roofs and facades of industrial buildings were carried out to identify visible external defects and operational damage. Further inspections of buildings and structures, high-voltage power lines and electrical substations at SCC have been scheduled.
Inspections of thermal insulation of thermal mechanical equipment, as well as buildings and structures are traditionally carried out using thermal imagers. The drone, equipped with visual and infrared cameras, can inspect industrial and office buildings for heat loss through the walls and roof of the building without risk to personnel. This is nearly impossible with handheld devices and involves a certain level of risk.
The UAV made it possible to reduce the operating costs of the enterprise, eliminate the risks of life and health of the personnel of SCC, as well as significantly increase the speed of obtaining survey results. Using a visual camera it is possible to quickly detect various types of damage, structural failures, corrosion manifestations, and identify parts of buildings that need modification or repair. Thermal imaging, in turn, can identify violations of the insulating layer, the presence of water on and beneath the roof, problems with power supply and much more. One drone is enough for this type of inspection. Experts have confirmed that a roof inspection can be completed in just a few minutes, while with a handheld thermal imager it takes hours or even days.
The UAV has been registered with the Federal Air Transport Agency.
Photo: Drone used at Russia's Siberian Chemical Combine (Credit: Tvel)