CLP Group has embraced the benefits of modern technology by using drones to check the safety of its power generators.
The drones have replaced traditional methods like erecting scaffolding for workers to gain access to tall chimneys.
The power company started taking to the skies at Castle Peak Power Station at the end of last year and has found it to be much cheaper and requires less manpower.
The drones, which cost HK$70,000 to HK$80,000 each, are used to inspect tall and hard-to-reach equipment, including chimneys, coal-fired generation units and transmission towers that are 70 to 250 metres high.
Lo Pak-cheong (盧柏昌), senior director of generation, said engineers need to conduct regular checks on the power-generating structures and inspect them before and after typhoons. “We usually check the walls of the structures to make sure there is no leakage of extremely hot steam in the powergenerating units,” he said.
In the past, engineers had to erect bamboo scaffolding or use telescopes to examine the external walls. Lo said that CLP was inspired to use drones to help conduct regular checks in 2016.
“The duration of checks is reduced from 14 to two days, and the cost fell by 10 times as we had to spend millions on bamboo scaffolding,” he said.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 18 February 2019)
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