Autumn News 2018

Thermal and Corrosion Monitoring Systems

RTL is working with Beijing Constant Technology (BCT) to promote our industrial monitoring technology within China. BCT promotes non-destructive testing and monitoring equipment within China and has close ties within the country’s power and process industries.

In late Spring RTL supplied BCT with the latest version of our portable scanner system, configured for up to 16 sensor locations, together with software written specifically for the monitoring of crack growth on pipe welds. To complement the scanner hardware, BCT has developed a pipe clamp mechanism to hold the spring-loaded scanner sensors against pipe walls during the measurement cycle.

Portable Scanner
New Portable Scanner

Cathodic Protection Systems and Conservation

RTL is undertaking the design for a cathodic protection system for St. Pauls Anglican Pro-Cathedral in Valetta, Malta. The cathedral was built in the 1840s and has a single spire. The cathodic protection system will be designed to provide protection to four sets of ring beams within the spire, each ring beam comprising several smaller sections. The system will comprise several protection ‘zones’ and a central data logging unit to monitor ongoing system performance.

We have recently undertaken a detailed assessment of historic concrete within ‘Gilder’s Yard’ (also known as Ashford and Sons) in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. The former Ashford & Sons factory is a Grade II listed building in the Arts & Crafts style and was completed in 1912. The factory is due to be converted in to apartments whilst still retaining the building’s original character.

RTL has an active involvement in a joint research project on the performance evaluation of repairs to historic concrete structures that includes Getty Modern Architecture, USA, Historic England and French Laboratoire de Recherche des Monuments Historiques. This research was initiated in July with a tour of repaired historic concrete buildings in Paris.

St. Paul's Cathdedral Spire
St. Paul's Cathedral Spire
Ashford & Sons, Birmingham
Ashford & Sons, Birmingham
Palais D'iéna, Paris
Palais D'Iéna, Paris

Spring News 2018

Thermal and Corrosion Monitoring Systems

A new corrosion and thermal scanner system is now fully operational on Unit 1 boiler at Drax Power Station UK. This system, comprising 164 sensor locations, monitors both the corrosion and thermal behaviour of the fireside tube walls on both sidewalls of this 660 megawatt sub-critical unit.

The system completely replaces the first commercial scanner system that was originally installed in 2001. Although this original system was still operational, the hardware was no longer compatible with the latest scanner electronics and sensors. System replacement meant that all five scanner systems at Drax are now of the latest scanner designs.

The new system incorporates five air-cooled VTER corrosion probes installed in the sidewalls at the same level as the superheater and reheater tubing.

Drax Turbine Hall
Drax Power Station Turbine Hall

Cathodic Protection Systems and Conservation

Conservation work in recent months includes inspection of the concrete fabric of two Grade 2 listed churches in London and the large lead roofs at Burghley House, Cambridgeshire, which are exhibiting some unusual staining.

Included in our cathodic protection projects are the commissioning of the new impressed current CP (ICCP) system at the Empire building in Bath, extending the existing large, distributed ICCP system at the Scottish Government's St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh and assessing third party CP systems at the naval base at Portsmouth Harbour.

Lead Roofs - Burghley House
Lead Roofs at Burghley House
The Empire, Bath
CP of Iron Supports - The Empire, Bath

Autumn News 2017

Thermal and Corrosion Monitoring Systems

A third scanner system was successfully commissioned in July at Yeungheung power plant, South Korea. The plant feeds power directly into Seoul and the surrounding area, it has six power generation units with a total generation capacity of around 5000 megawatts. Scanner systems are now installed on Units 3, 4 and 6; each system monitors corrosion and/or heat flux on all four tube membrane walls. The latest scanner comprises 236 sensor locations.

Drax power station, UK, has recently decided to completely replace the original corrosion scanner system on its Unit 1 boiler. The original system has been continuously monitoring the fireside corrosion of the tube membrane sidewalls since 2001. The replacement system, comprising 165 sensor locations, brings the monitoring hardware up-to-date and will provide at least another ten years of continuous on-line monitoring on this unit. Five air-cooled VTER corrosion probes are integrated into this system design and monitor the corrosion of the superheater and reheater tubing. Commissioning of this system is due to be completed in the Autumn.

Yeungheung Scanner Sensor
Yeungheung Scanner Sensor
Scanner Electronics - New Drax Scanner
Electronics Enclosure - New Drax Scanner

Cathodic Protection Systems and Conservation

The company has been involved with a number of conservation projects over the past few months. Sites relating to concrete conservation include the Chapel of Unity at Coventry Cathedral, the Victorian Winter Gardens at Blackpool and Maydew House - a large residential tower block in London.

Cathodic protection projects include new installations at the 18th-century Grade 1-listed Block Mills Chimney, Portsmouth Harbour and the Grade 2-listed Empire Building in Bath. Other CP advisory projects include St Andrew's House in Edinburgh for the Scottish Government and a third-party system at Portsmouth Harbour for the UK Ministry of Defence.

Facia Cracking - Wintergardens
Facia Cracks - Winter Gardens
The Winter Gardens, Blackpool
The Winter Gardens, Blackpool
Block Mills Chimney
Block Mills Chimney, Portsmouth
The Empire, Bath
The Empire Building, Bath

Spring News 2017

Thermal and Corrosion Monitoring Systems

Yeungheung power plant, South Korea, has placed an order for a third scanner system and will be installed on the sidewalls of their Unit 6 supercritical boiler. The plant is located a short distance from Seoul, has six power generation units with a total generation capacity of around 5000 megawatts. The scanner will comprise 236 sensor locations covering all four boiler walls.

Work is soon to get underway to refurbish RTL's first commercial scanner system, installed on boiler Unit 1 at Drax power station, UK. This system was originally installed in 2001 and continues to provide valuable tube wall corrosion data. This work will extend the life of this system for another four years.

Yeungheung Power Station, UK
Yeungheung Power Plant, S. Korea

Cathodic Protection Systems and Conservation

The company has been involved in a variety of advisory projects in recent months in relation to Grade 1 and Grade 2* buildings and structures. Sites related to concrete conservation include Eltham Palace domed roof lights, Bishops Castle (a ruin in N. Ireland) and Carnforth Railway Station Depot. At Carnforth, concrete structures built during the second world war for servicing steam locomotives, are showing major deterioration and repair strategies were called for.

Cathodic protection advisory projects include design of a CP system for a steel-framed building at Bedford Street in London and also Salt Dean Lido in Brighton. A Cathodic Protection system is also soon to be installed on a historic chimney at the Grade 1 listed Block Mills (built during the Napoleonic Wars) at Portsmouth dockyard.

Eltham Palace
Eltham Palace
Bishops Palace, Downhill
Bishops Palace, Downhill
Carnforth Railway Depot
Carnforth Railway Depot

Autumn News 2016

Thermal and Corrosion Monitoring Systems

Work is underway to upgrade a large corrosion and thermal scanner system installed on the sidewalls of Unit 3 boiler at Drax Power Station, UK. The system, comprising 270 sensor locations, monitors both fireside corrosion of the sidewall tubing and heat transfer through the tube walls. Drax is the UK's largest power station with six 660 MW power generation units that operate using both coal and biofuels.

Rowan Technologies currently has five large scanner systems installed on the boilers at Drax with a combined total of 1200 sensor locations. Fifteen VTER air-cooled corrosion probes are also installed to monitor corrosion of the superheater and reheater tubes at the top of the boilers.

Drax Power Station, UK
Drax Power Station, UK

Cathodic Protection Systems and Conservation

Rowan Technologies has now completed the design and installation of a cathodic protection system to the second tower at Brunel's Clifton Suspension Bridge. The system protects the tie bars and cramps embedded within the stonework at the top of the first tower.

The company is also involved with the specifications and methods for the repairs to the historic concrete at both Hurst Castle and Covent Garden. We have recently been engaged to advise on the repairs to the cast iron elements of the World Heritage Ironbridge. The brittle cast iron has suffered fractures in many places due to ground movement over its 240 year life.

Hurst Castle - Hampshire
Hurst Castle - Hampshire
Ironbridge - Shropshire
Ironbridge - Shropshire

Spring News 2016

Thermal and Corrosion Monitoring Systems

RTL has recently commissioned a large scanner system, installed alongside new water cannons, for a large supercritical power generation boiler at Yeungheung power plant, S. Korea. Yeungheung is a modern generation plant with a total generation capacity of about 5GW and feeds power directly into the country's capital Seoul. The scanner and water cannons form a complete feedback control cleaning system for all four walls of the Unit 3 boiler. This is the second scanner system to be installed at this plant.

The scanner system comprises four sensor arrays, one for each wall, with a total of about 190 sensor locations. Thermal scans of all four walls are completed in around 100 seconds, providing real-time information of tube wall heat flux and wall cleanliness to the cannon cleaning system and this information determines when, where and how the tube wall surfaces are cleaned using the water cannons.

As well as providing tube wall thermal data, this scanner is also configured to monitor fireside tube wall corrosion. This achieved by interleaving thermal scans with resistance (i.e. corrosion-related) measurements.

Yeungheung Power Plant, S. Korea
Yeungheung Power Plant, S. Korea
Scanner Electronics Enclosure - Yeungheung Power Plant
Scanner Electronics Enclosure - Yeungheung Power Plant

Cathodic Protection Systems and Conservation

Work is underway to extend the coverage of the building's cathodic protection system at St. Andrews House, Edinburgh. St. Andrews House forms the working offices for the Scottish Government. RTL undertook complete replacement of the building's cathodic protection electronics and control system in 2012 and the latest work includes installation of anodes, reference electrodes and new electronics for some previously unprotected steel framework.

Work is soon to start on installation of a cathodic protection for the second tower at Clifton suspension bridge. In 2015 RTL installed a CP system to protect tie bars and cramps embedded within the stonework at the top of the first tower.

St. Andrews House - Edinburgh
St. Andrews House - Edinburgh
Clifton Suspension Bridge - Bristol
Clifton Suspension Bridge - Bristol