Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp has become one of the first utilities in the nation to deploy the Explorer, a pipeline inspection robot, as a versatile, cost-effect, highly accurate tool that can examine lines otherwise unreachable by conventional inspection devices. Designed to function like a model train using drive and monitoring modules, Explorer is inserted into live lines with the aid of a launch chamber to inspect for anomalies in pipe walls so that utilities can proactively gain information on pipeline conditions and address potential problems early on. Outfitted with fish-eye lens cameras, lights and an array of sensors, Explorer can identify, size, and pinpoint dents, metal loss and other anomalies.
Central Hudson, a natural gas and electric utility based in Poughkeepsie, N.Y, worked closely with NYSEARCH, the research and development sub-organization of the Northeast Gas Association, together with other natural gas utilities to design, develop and test a self propelled, wireless robot to inspect natural gas pipelines from the inside.
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