In-Service API Inspection: North Carolina Electric
North Carolina – Recently we had the opportunity to work with the North Carolina Electric Cooperatives (NCEC). We performed for them an in-service API-653 inspection at one of their standby power locations near Charlotte. This large power plant is used to help supply energy to local power grids at peak load times. The plant contains six generation units that run off natural gas. The units have the ability the run off diesel fuel as a standby fuel.
On site, NCEC, has two diesel AST’s in place that were fast approaching their API-653 inspection deadline. The large AST’s are critical to operation at this facility and taking the tanks out-of-service for an extended amount of time was not an option for NCEC. With limited time to complete their API inspection, no secondary fuel storage area, and no option of taking their tanks offline, NCEC reached out to Manta Robotics to help solve the issue, requesting an in-service API-653 inspection.
We deployed one of our certified remotely operated vehicles (ROV) into both tanks, collecting thousands of UT data points. We visually assessed several areas within the tank using the ROV’s cameras, while the tanks were COMPLETELY in-service. Using robotic technology, Manta completed the entire inspection, meeting API-653 requirements, in just 4 days.
The scanning process for both tanks went fairly smoothly. One tank had a lubricant in it at one time so it made getting over floor plate welds challenging. It literally was too slick in some areas of the tank to climb a weld head on. This required the ROV operators to flex their 4×4 driving skills and take the approach to the welds at sharper angles.
As part of the inspection we were able to visually identify key components in the tank. Seeing anything in a diesel tank can be very challenging. Often the fuel contains particulates making visibility distance very short. Care needs to be taken when approaching objects as well. It is easy to get hung up on a tank feature you didn’t see.
Working with the NCEC was a great opportunity for us to solve a customer’s needs in the timely and safe manner. The NCEC is a great organization to work with. Their facilities are top notch, clean, and very well maintained. This has made doing work at their facilities safe and predictable. We look forward to servicing more of their tanks in the future.
Enjoy a quick video of the work done at NCEC: