Underwater Tunnel Inspection by Virginia Power Using a Submersible Robot

by Ronald E. Heffron, Virginia Power, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '89


The Bath County Pumped Storage Station, jointly owned by Virginia Power and Allegheny Power systems and operated by Virginia Power, has three large tunnels linking the upper and lower reservoirs. The 'Hydrover' submersible remotely operated vehicle (ROV) was developed and deployed to inspect the inside lining of these water-filled tunnels. The purpose-built ROV was specially equipped for tunnel inspections. Unique equipment included 7,000 feet of umbilical cable, a rotating video camera for inspecting the sides, crown, and base of tunnels, a stereo photo camera, and a dye release mechanism for detecting water movement. The tunnels are each 28.5 feet in diameter and two miles long. The ROV was deployed midway along tunnel three and successfully completed the 6,100 foot excursion at a maximum depth of 1,350 feet. This represents the longest known tunnel excursion performed to date.

Subject Headings: Cables | Underwater structures | Tunnels | Inspection | Robotics | Power plants | Cameras | Pumping stations | Virginia | United States

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