Drones and robots are increasingly being used by energy companies for inspections. They save time, make it possible to inspect larger or hard-to-reach places and increase the safety of workers.
The task of the inspection team of VZÚ Plzeň with a special drone for confined spaces was to examine the condition of the internal concrete parts of the two Temelín towers, while also finding minor deviations.
Equipped with a very high resolution camera, an infrared camera and a laser scanner, the drone was operated by two workers. They completed their own inspections in less than 16 hours. “It is a visual inspection where we map the necessary concrete parts using a drone. On an area corresponding to the Budejovice square, we can precisely identify places that will need some maintenance in the future. By the way, during the inspections of both towers, we collected almost one terabyte of data,” said inspection manager Filip Schmidt, from VZÚ Pilsen.
Up until now, workers have carried out these visual inspections using binoculars, or have set up a platform for more detailed mapping. Conversely, the drone can approach within a few centimeters and the high-resolution camera will focus perfectly on the spot. In addition, the recorded recording allows repeated assessment. Within about a month, experts from VZÚ Plzeň will hand over the results to the power plant.
The inspections took place inside the power plant’s no-fly zone. Even though the drone moved inside the technology, its operator had to obtain permission from the Civil Aviation Authority.