31 May 2023
Pioneering autonomous robot used to inspect ALEGrO’s HVDC converter station in Belgium
Last week an autonomous robot was installed in Elia’s main HVDC converter hall in Lixhe during the hall’s yearly outage period of one week.
The hall has since been re-energised, meaning that no humans can safely enter it, and the robot is currently inspecting the hall on a 24/7 basis. The installation and deployment of the robot in the hall is the culmination of a two-year collaboration that Elia Group launched with Siemens Energy, Ross Robotics and Nemo Link. This involved a long research and development phase which included countless iterations and tests in challenging environments.
- The ALEGrO Robot is the first autonomous robot in Europe to be used to inspect a high-voltage direct current
(HVDC) converter station
- After two years of testing, the robot has now been deployed in the HVDC converter station that lies at the Belgian
end of ALEGrO, the Belgian-German interconnector
- Several sensors carried by the robot are being used to continuously monitor the operational converter hall
- The use of the robot lowers the risk of undiscovered defects and unplanned outages