Nemo Link, Ross Robotics, Elia Group and Siemens Energy develop robots to inspect live HVDC converter halls
- The use of robots in high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter hall inspections will reduce the risks, time and costs associated with manual inspections
- The development of robots which have electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) will allow inspections without the need to temporarily switch off the interconnector
HVDC technology facilitates the large-scale integration of renewables into the system, since it allows the efficient transportation of massive amounts of electricity over very long distances. Nemo Link’s assets include two HVDC converter halls, which, due to their electromagnetic fields, may need to be temporarily switched off for inspection and maintenance purposes.
The four partners are aiming to develop EMC autonomous robots, tailoring the modular platform of a robot developed by Ross Robotics so that it can be used in a converter hall environment. The collaboration will therefore see the creation of a new robot, which is fully compatible with electromagnetic fields and can operate autonomously. It will carry smart sensors and cameras, helping to detect potential issues, reduce the risk of unexpected outages and minimise downtime for ad hoc repair work. Ultimately, this will maximise both the operation time of converter halls and the continuous flow of renewables between Belgium and the UK.