Hydro Power Pipe Inspection

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A complex and dangerous hydro pressure pipe inspection was performed by Hoehenwerkstatt GmbH in a power station in the Austrian Mountains. The use of sledges, long ropes, ActSafe equipment and local experience were necessary ingredients for success.

The inspection of two 300-metre long pipes presented challenges involving extensive planning and creative work methods. With no access or exit point at the bottom, the technicians going into the near vertical pipe system would always have to come back out through the top. This was made even more complicated by the kinks and direction changes in the pipes that have a diameter of as little as 90cm. The IRATA-certified team included personnel with cave rescue experience in case of an emergency situation.

With these difficult conditions the team used two sledges that the technicians lay on while inspecting the pipes. The sledges were lowered and pulled with the ropes connected at the top of the system where the power came from two ActSafe ACCII power ascenders with two ActSafe AC Power Supplies in a top-rigged configuration.

The operation was a success and the technicians inspected the whole pressure pipe system without any problems or safety issues over a period of six days. This included the set-up, the testing of the system, the briefing of the qualified inspectors and finally the actual inspection itself.

The use of ActSafe power ascenders made the operation both faster, safer and easier for the technicians. Without this equipment they would have needed to climb out every day using traditional ascending methods, which would take considerably more time and physical effort in the cramped, hot and humid environment.

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