A recent publicity campaign by power utility CLP, saw the Flyability Elios confined space inspection drones featured on a number of local TV news channels, as well as across various local Chinese language newspapers.
CLP was keen to highlight how the use of drones and remote devices has revolutionised the inspection of key areas inside the power plants they operate in Hong Kong, particularly areas that are hard to reach, often in confined locations, or are too hazardous for more traditional manned inspection.
CLP operates both the Elios 2 and the Elios 3 drones in their power plants, using them on a regular basis for a wide range of confined area inspections inside the furnaces, heart exchangers, vents, shafts, waste water tunnels, turbine halls, and storage silos.
The company was one of first to adopt the Elios 2 for confined space inspections when it was released in 2019, and earlier this year took delivery of the new Elios 3. The Elios 3 has the added benefit of being able to generate 3D maps of confined and hard-to-reach areas, opening up the ability to create digital twins of complex and hazardous areas.
Here’s a (translated) excerpt from one of the reports:
There are many large facilities in power plants, including turbine rooms, boilers, and exhaust pipes, which can be tens of meters high. In the past, when inspecting the turbine room, engineering personnel were looking for a needle in a haystack in terms of finding cracks or other defects. It took 12 days to build a 20-storey scaffolding inside some of the larger spaces, at a cost of about $100,000 to $2 million.
Since the introduction of the caged confined space inspection drone, CLP personnel can quickly inspect high or narrow areas inside that are generally difficult to access, saving the time and cost of building complex scaffolding. K.O Ng, the Engineering Director of the Power Generation at CLP, said that while the purchase of a caged drone system costs several hundreds of thousands of dollars, the system is safer and more efficient, and can be reused, replacing the need for high-risk work at height and in confined spaces.
Watch and Read Some of the Features Here
(sorry, Cantonese only!)