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Rovtech Solutions designs Bender monitoring technology into underwater vehicles

A new generation of remotely operated underwater vehicles developed for the nuclear sector by one of Europe’s leading ROV specialists are equipped with residual current monitors from Bender UK for advance warning of potentially damaging water ingress.

Rovtech Solutions based in Barrow-in-Furness has designed the new Nano Seaker remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to work in arduous environments including highly radioactive storage ‘ponds’ at Sellafield and on other nuclear sites. They are also commissioned for use in lakes and reservoirs to help with underwater search tasks and surveying of underwater structures and containment tanks.

Weighing in at just 15 kilograms Nano Seaker is primarily designed as an ‘eyeball’ giving a live camera feed back to the operator. It can also be equipped with a grab, and with sonar to enhance its underwater search capabilities.

Bender’s Linetraxx® RCM420 residual current monitor (RCM) notifies immediately if there is water ingress into the umbilical control tether or the ROV unit itself. The early warning of developing electrical faults is vital to ensure that the vehicle can be recovered under power before critical failure.

Rovtech Solutions Technical Manager Barry Vernon explains: “Our ROVs operate in a range of hostile environments and the Bender equipment monitors the status of the electronics which power and control the units. It prevents a simple leak developing into something potentially more serious, or presenting a safety risk to operators. Protection of the asset is vital, and continuous monitoring of the ROV allows optimum operational time for users of the Nano Seaker.”

Rovtech Solutions also aims to include Bender Linetraxx® RCM technology in an upgrade of the larger Adaptable Seaker ROVs which have seen decades of service on the Sellafield site.

Ulverston-based Bender UK works with a range of original equipment manufacturers in subsea and offshore oil and gas sectors to protect personnel, systems and production. The collaboration with Rovtech Solutions demonstrates how deploying Bender technology can avoid costly equipment damage and ensure plant availability for vital field operations.

Bender UK Industrial Business Manager Phil Robinson comments: “As a company developing its own range of advanced products, the team at Rovtech Solutions appreciate the capability of our technology and how it protects not only their assets but their reputation as one of Europe’s leading ROV specialists. Collaborations of this sort play to our strengths producing innovative products which are then complemented by Bender UK’s excellent applications engineering.

“Bender’s range of electrical safety and intelligent monitoring and measurement systems are designed to monitor and protect assets which work in some of the harshest operating conditions. We understand the critical importance of plant availability and resilience, and we welcome opportunities to work with original equipment manufacturers to deliver tailored solutions that safeguard their equipment.

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