WINDFARM INSPECTION AND MONITORING BY ROVS
Underwater ROVs have proven to be a great asset in many industries, especially those related to offshore. These underwater ROVs can perform jobs at great depths that aren’t safe for the divers. The efficiency is better, which has made the ROVs to be widely used in offshore industries.
Windfarm energy generation is one of the industries that seem to have found a great use for underwater ROVs. Work-class ROVs like Phantom X8 is being used to inspect and monitor underwater windfarms.
What is a windfarm?
Wind farms consist of wind turbines and windmills installed in water bodies, mostly at sea. The concept of wind farms is to generate electricity using the higher wind speeds in the offshore areas where the turbines are located.
Wind farm turbines and windmills usually use fixed foundations located in shallow waters. Hence, wind farms can also be installed in coastal water bodies like lakes and fjords. Deepwater wind farms are in the phase of development.
How does the underwater windfarm work?
The windmills and turbines of the wind farms are installed on the river bed or the ocean floor. The underwater current rotates the blades in the turbines. The turbines are attached to the gearbox and electrical generator. The electricity generated as a result is carried to the shore using cables.
Types of offshore wind turbines
Offshore wind turbines can be classified into two types.
- Turbines with the anchored foundation: These wind turbines firmly have foundations on the seafloor. Usually, monopole-type foundations or piles are used, and the depth of these foundations can reach anywhere between 30m to 60m.
- Floating turbines: These turbines float on the water, and they usually consist of three floaters which remain under sea level. This type of floating turbine helps them work at higher water depths.
Both types of these underwater wind turbines require regular monitoring and maintenance.
Advantages of underwater wind farms
Underwater wind farms are similar to windmills on land, but there are more advantages to the former.
- The land used to create windmills can be used for other purposes like housing, agriculture, etc.
- More electricity is produced since water is denser than air.
- Predictable outcomes and better efficiency.
ROVs and underwater wind farms
While there are many advantages to underwater wind farms, one complication was the ease of monitoring and inspection of these underground structures. This is where the ROVs come into the picture.
Since the wind farms are usually located in shallow waters, compact and lightweight ROVs are adequate for the inspections. These underwater ROVs are being used for the video inspection and monitoring of windfarm structures and the connection cables that reach the land.
The ROVs used for the inspection and monitoring of the underwater windfarms come with ultra-sensitive cameras and lights, which help their operation in the turbid waters.
Phantom X8 for windfarm inspection and monitoring
Phantom X8 is a work class ROV that is designed for deep-sea maneuverability. It is light in weight and comes with six horizontal and two vertical thrusters. Even in the most challenging currents, the Phantom X8 operates accurately.
It has a rugged and resilient chassis and an aluminum frame that can accommodate heavier payloads and a variety of sensors. Phantom X8 is adaptable for various underground tasks other than windfarm inspection like pipeline inspection, infrastructure repair, etc.
To learn more about Phantom X8 and its specifications, visit https://www.deepocean.com/rov-phantom-x8.php.
Deep Ocean Engineering
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