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Robotics 2015, 4(2), 103-119; doi:10.3390/robotics4020103

Robotized Inspection of Vertical Structures of a Solar Power Plant Using NDT Techniques

1
Fraunhofer IFF, Sandtorstrasse 22, 39106 Magdeburg, Germany
2
TECNATOM, Avda. de Montes de Oca 1, San Sebastián de los Reyes (MADRID) 28703, Spain
3
IK4-Tekniker, Iñaki Goenaga 5, Eibar 20600, Spain
4
TORRESOL Energy, Avenida Zugazarte 61, Las Arenas 48930, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Huosheng Hu
Received: 22 December 2014 / Revised: 2 March 2015 / Accepted: 18 March 2015 / Published: 27 March 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1425 KB, uploaded 27 March 2015]   |  

Abstract

Concentrated solar power (CSP) plants are expansive facilities that require substantial inspection and maintenance. A fully automated inspection robot increases the efficiency of maintenance work, reduces operating and maintenance costs, and improves safety and work conditions for service technicians. This paper describes a climbing robot that is capable of performing inspection and maintenance on vertical surfaces of solar power plants, e.g., the tubes of the receiver in a central tower CSP plant. Specifically, the service robot’s climbing mechanism is explained and the results of the nondestructive inspection methods are reviewed. The robot moves on the panels of the receiver in the tower and aligns the sensors correctly for inspection. The vertical movement of the climbing kinematics is synchronized with the movement of the tower’s crane. Various devices that detect surface defects and thickness losses inside the tube were integrated into the robot. Since the tubes are exposed to very high radiation, they need to be inspected regularly. View Full-Text
Keywords: service robot; climbing robot; solar power plant; maintenance; nondestructive testing; inspection service robot; climbing robot; solar power plant; maintenance; nondestructive testing; inspection
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Felsch, T.; Strauss, G.; Perez, C.; Rego, J.M.; Maurtua, I.; Susperregi, L.; Rodríguez, J.R. Robotized Inspection of Vertical Structures of a Solar Power Plant Using NDT Techniques. Robotics 2015, 4, 103-119.

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