August 24, 2022 [ Storage Terminals Magazine] – Applied Impact Robotics said it is collaborating with BP to develop an in-service inspection robot for crude oil Above Ground Storage Tanks (ASTs).
The project includes an established roadmap for developing this new technology’s ability to address major cost, safety, and environmental concerns associated with current tank inspection processes.
Crude oil tanks can experience corrosion, especially on the tank floor. Because of regulatory requirements set by API 653, operators are generally required to perform out- of-service tank inspections. These inspections may pose large cost and resource burdens on the operator and could involve inherent safety and environmental risks.
Applied Impact Robotics’ prototype technology empowers tank owners and operators to perform robotic inspections while tanks are still in-service. This in service method of inspection can significantly reduce the time, costs, and risks associated with current out-of-service tank inspection methods.
In the project with BP, Applied Impact Robotics will test and validate its robotic system to ensure seamless integration with current operating procedures.
Applied Impact Robotics says it uses advanced methods to allow for in-service tank inspections.
To enable movement within the tank, the robotic technology uses a combination of vibration and fluid injection. The tethered robot then uses Phased Array Ultrasonic (PAUT) sensors to inspect the tank floor.
By keeping the tank in-service, Applied Impact Robotics’ tethered robot can reduce direct costs associated with inspection, lost opportunity costs from tank downtime, human confined space entry, and mitigate environmental impacts.
Applied Impact Robotics’ solution can produce higher resolution quantitative data sets that create new opportunities for implementing a predictive maintenance schedule and extending the life of the asset.
The real-time data gives operators an accurate picture of the tank’s condition, meeting regulatory requirements while providing important information for asset integrity decision-making.
The project with BP will include several stages of collaborative validation and testing to review the performance and success of Applied Impact Robotics’ technology with crude oil tanks.
This will allow Applied Impact Robotics to demonstrate the effectiveness of the robotic system’s liquefaction and robot propulsion, the sensors’ inspection abilities, the robot’s manoeuvring abilities, and the tether’s reliability.
This project launches Applied Impact Robotics into the next phase of commercialisation for its in-service tank inspection technology.
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