Upgrade ROV Inspections for Power Plants with Submersible & Crawler Capabilities

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter

Generation General Manager, Constellation Clearsight

Jimmy is a trusted source on topics focusing on energy generation, renewable energy, operations and sustainability. He has led the development of numerous nuclear and fossil energy projects across the United States.

In this article:

  • Discover how power plants are reducing the need for divers for inspections
  • Learn the capabilities of submersible and crawler devices
  • See real-world success stories of power plant inspections


Power generation involves a complex array of critical infrastructure that demands continuous operation and service delivery. Every power generator recognizes that regular equipment and facility inspections are crucial to avoid costly equipment failures and service disruptions.

That’s why power plant operators make inspections a priority. Manual inspections are often difficult, impossible, or involve inherent safety concerns. They’re especially challenging in spaces that are highly confined or underwater. They involve more time, resources, and oftentimes require commercial divers.  In these situations, power generators are wise to invest in technology-assisted inspection services.

Among the most invaluable solutions are remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) such as submersibles and crawlers. These devices enable you to successfully survey tanks, tunnels, and other confined spaces including hazardous environments. With submersible and crawler services, Constellation Clearsight inspection teams benefit from sophisticated ROV capabilities to capture cutting-edge imaging and rich data.

Submersibles & Crawlers Have Advanced Capabilities

In underwater environments like suppression pools, traditional inspection methods call for divers and other highly-trained personnel, specialized supervision, and equipment such as respiration devices. They also involve significant time, cost, and potential safety concerns.

Constellation Clearsight uses submersible and crawler devices with advanced robotic capabilities because they help our inspection teams mitigate these concerns. Today’s ROV robots can assess even the most challenging sites. ROVs are highly maneuverable, able to operate underwater in damp, muddy locations, and designed to withstand most hazardous conditions.

Our Submersible Capabilities

  • In addition to being fully waterproof, lightweight, and durable, our submersibles are controlled through a heavy-duty tether up to 325 feet in length. They offer long battery life for up to eight hours of operation, with the ability to fully recharge in less than two hours.
  • They feature state-of-the-art cameras with stabilizers that offer high-definition (HD) 4K video and a live video feed. These cameras enable a wide range of maneuverability, typically up to 320 degrees.
  • They have high-intensity lights of many hundreds of lumens for clear visibility.
  • Some models feature a robotic arm that can grasp or manipulate objects. Combining a robotic arm with towing capacity enables a submersible to retrieve even heavy objects.

Our Crawler Capabilities

  • Crawlers are typically deployed to inspect pipes. An effective crawler will offer a travel range beyond 1,500 feet, as ours do. They also include cabling with up to 2,000-pound break strength. Steerability enables navigation around objects and over pipe offsets. The ability to change wheel size and tread, as well as an option for magnetic wheels to aid with steel-structure inspections, make crawlers highly versatile.
  • The small device body allows for inspection of pipes as small as six inches, with the option for a remotely operated camera lift for inspecting pipes as large as 96 inches.
  • The camera has the ability to pan continuously, with a 145-degree tilt.
  • HD and live video feed, with 10x or more optical and digital zoom, delivers crisp images. Auxiliary lamps can optimize illumination, and a rear-view camera can provide confident reverse navigation.
  • Our technology offers a range of test and measurement options. Sonar integrations can identify objects in murky water. Laser calipers can size cracks or other defects. A built-in inclinometer can measure pipe grades. And an ultrasonic thickness probe can capture accurate structural thickness, even through coatings, for corrosion surveys.

Contact us today to learn more about how we deploy these tools to provide full inspections.

Clearsight Case Study: Reducing Hazards with Submersibles

A nuclear power plant with more than 2-GW capacity worked with Constellation Clearsight to inspect its intake bays and discharge tunnel. Past inspections for the plant required divers, specialized supervision, and a wide range of equipment that involved significant costs.

By leveraging advanced submersible technology, we eliminated the need for extra supervision and substantially reduced potential safety issues. An ROV performed visual inspection and sonar-based sediment mapping of the intake structure. Additional equipment carried out a visual assessment of the discharge tunnel. We performed both inspections without the need for personnel entry.

An extensive report provided the plant with images, a sediment map, condition assessment, and detailed analysis. The plant was able to save personnel costs, reduce equipment concerns, and gain new insights to prioritize preventive maintenance.

Bottom line

Constellation Clearsight provides submersible and crawler inspection services designed around a proven methodology for specialized inspections of power plants. We address all aspects of asset inspections and preventive maintenance, including data collection, processing, analysis, and reporting.

By taking advantage of our inspection services, you’re empowered to increase the safety, sustainability, and resiliency of your system. You can reduce your total cost of asset ownership while ensuring the reliability of your power generation infrastructure.

Request A Quote

  • Learn what it takes to implement a safe, efficient and sustainable robotic inspection program focused on delivering key insights for improving system-wide safety and reliability.







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