Aboveground Storage Tanks

Field-erected aboveground storage tanks are on average 50 feet in diameter and larger, some hundreds of feet wide. They often store chemicals or oil through the production or transportation process. These open area steel environments are a perfect fit for the Legacy One to use as a tool during the internal inspection process.  

Inspection Requirements 

The American Petroleum Institute (API) 653 sets the standard for internal tank inspections. They give information as to what needs to be inspected, yet offer flexibility for how it can be inspected. For instance, the API 653 requires Tank Roof Evaluations, making it one of the most challenging aspects of entire assessment.  

Traditional Methods of Inspection 

If any part of the AST needs to be looked at beyond a ladders access, it requires an inspection company to build scaffolding or deploy a rope access team. This can be very dangerous work and even more costly regarding the amount of fees paid and money lost due to longer shutdown times. For example, it can cost over $1 million to scaffold an entire sphere tank without the certainty it even needed to be built in the first place. So how can this be improved upon? 

“As an owner/operator, having the ability to use the drone to take videos and still pictures inside the tank, I see a lot of value now and down the road in having the ability to get to inaccessible places without having to build a lot of scaffolding.”

Earl Crotchet

Director of Engineering for Kinder Morgan, Past API AST Subcommittee Chairman 

“As an owner/operator, having the ability to use the drone to take videos and still pictures inside the tank, I see a lot of value now and down the road in having the ability to get to inaccessible places without having to build a lot of scaffolding.”

Earl Crotchet

Director of Engineering for Kinder Morgan, Past API AST Subcommittee Chairman 

How Drones Add Value to Tank Inspections 

Drones like the Legacy One allow inspectors and OEM companies to gather standardized data very quickly and conveniently, without the worry of building scaffolding to any portion of the AST, especially the roof as mentioned above. Drones bring value as visual aids during the inspection process. It can pinpoint one specific location to further test with NDT methods from outside before deciding to build scaffolding inside the tank. 

 

With features like the static LIDAR on the Legacy One’s gimbal, inspectors can effectively measure cracks, corrosion, and areas of concern in the post-processing software purchased with the vehicle. This gives API inspectors and asset owners the ability to more effectively track issues over a longer period. Interactive Aerial knows their UAV is not an end-all answer for the entire API 653 internal inspection but can identify specific areas to repair during the outage, drastically shortening the downtime of an AST in comparison to scaffolding the whole interior.  

 

Learn more about features like this on the product page. 

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