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Robotic Inspection System for Bulk Liquid Storage Tanks
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The average age of bulk liquid storage tanks in the petroleum, chemical, pulp and paper industries is increasing. Accordingly, the need for environmental and safety inspections is increasing. Current structural and corrosion inspection practices for aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) requires: drainage of the product; cleaning of the vessel with water or solvents; physical removal, collection and containment of petroleum and chemical waste residues, including the waste streams created by the cleaning process; ventilation and certification of gas-free conditions for manned entry into the tank which frequently requires that inspection personnel be in a full protective suit with fresh air supply; and, performing the corrosion inspection of the tank bottom and interior structures and structural coating systems. Current inspection devices are not capable of operating submerged or in hydrocarbon vapor environments. This expensive process can be bypassed using a remote-operated robotic inspection vehicle submerged in the liquid. Maverick is an innovative, inspection system that will improve energy efficiency and minimize or reduce hazardous waste and harmful emissions. The system can be inserted into an operational tank and perform an American Petroleum Institute (API) 653 tank bottom inspection. The primary benefits of Maverick are: -energy conservation due to elimination of need to empty and clean tanks prior to inspection -source prevention of hazardous waste and emissions -cost reduction to the petroleum and chemicals industries of performing tank inspections -increase in personnel safety due to reduced exposure to hazardous materials or gases and confined space entry.
Hartsell, D. R.; Hakes, K. J. (1998). Robotic Inspection System for Bulk Liquid Storage Tanks. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from