Robotic Generator Inspections: How They Work and 4 Benefits to a Power Plant

Robotic Generator Inspections: How They Work and 4 Benefits to a Power Plant

Generators are one of the most useful components in a power plant because they convert mechanical energy into electricity. Steam turbines, which have been used since the 1880s for electricity production, are a major source of mechanical energy. Your generators convert energy into electricity that you then supply to your customers. As such, you must ensure that your generators are working optimally to keep your power plant running efficiently. This is possible through generator inspections.

Robotic Generator Inspection Services

Luckily, the advancement in technology has made generator inspections faster and more efficient. Unlike the traditional generator inspection services that took almost a month to complete, today’s robotic generator inspection services are faster and more effective. Traditional generator inspection is longer because mechanical disassembly alone takes about 10 days. The inspector must first extract the rotor to gain access to the interior of the stator. The generator inspector can then scrutinize the internal componentry and diagnose any malfunctioning parts. Between disassembly, component inspections, and reassembly, it may take more than a month before your generator is ready. But robotic inspection is much faster.

How Robotic Inspections Work

All generators have an air space between the rotor and stator. This air space is compact and ranges between 10mm and 60mm, depending on the size of the generator. This is the space that robotic inspectors use to gain access to the internal components of the generator without having to disassemble any parts. Generator testing companies employ small robots that can fit in the small air space between the retaining ring and the core. The remotely controlled robot, sometimes referred to as a generator inspection vehicle, is equipped with several high-definition cameras that scan the internal components of the rotor and the stator. The images are automatically recorded and sent to the inspecting crew. From the visual inspection, the operator can tell the condition of your generator and any warning signs that may be problematic in the future. Robotic generator inspections are faster because there’s no need for lengthy and technical disassembly and reassembly of generator parts.

What are the benefits of robotic generator inspections?

1. Lower Inspection Costs

The conventional generator inspections are costly, and rightly so because they are labor and time-intensive. Additionally, only the uniquely qualified inspectors can disassemble and reassemble the large industrial generators without causing damage to parts. As such, generator inspectors who still use traditional inspection methods will charge more for routine inspection and maintenance. However, having invested in robotic generator inspection vehicles, generator testing companies can charge less for routine inspections.

2. Minimal Down Time

Faster robotic inspections means that your generator will be up and running in no time. This is appealing to any power plant manager who wants to minimize operational down times. Using robots, inspectors can examine all your generators in a short time and give an extensive status report on the condition of your generators. With the traditional method, your generators may be down for more than a month.

3. Robotic Inspections Facilitate Non-destructive Evaluations

There’s a high risk that some generator parts may sustain damages during disassembly and reassembly. Robotic inspections are completely non-invasive and eliminate the need for uninstalling parts to facilitate inspections. This is great, because the robotic testing covers all aspects that traditional inspections would do. This includes stator wedge tightness testing, and electromagnetic core imperfection detector testing.

4. Robotic Generator Inspections Allow You to Monitor Existing Conditions

When your generator has an existing condition, or you have just conducted some major repairs or parts replacements, it’s necessary to monitor it periodically. This is simplified by robotics inspections. The affordable cost of robotic testing and the speed of completion means that you can enlist generator inspection services more often to observe known conditions.

To keep your generators in top shape, you must regularly conduct generator inspections. When seeking generator inspection services, consider the experience and expertise of the generator testing company. Companies that offer borescope inspection services are more likely to offer robotic generator inspection services.

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