Cathodic Protection is an electrochemical technique which has been used for many years to prevent the corrosion of buried and/or immersed metallic surfaces. It utilizes the application of small amounts of electrical current (DC) to the protected surface to counteract the natural corrosion currents existing at the metal surface. The whole of the structure under protection is forced to act as the cathode of an electrochemical cell, hence the term CATHODIC PROTECTION (CP).
One of the critical issues that the owners and operators of CP systems are facing nowadays is the monitoring and maintenance of the system.
Collecting CP measurements for analysis can be time consuming and a drain on personnel resources. Some installations are located in remote /difficult to access areas or under hazardous working environments. Moreover, the incorrect monitoring and maintenance regime or operation of the CP systems can result in lack of protection and may even cause harm.
Asset owners and operators have been examining a number of Remote Monitoring (RM) technologies for CP systems. Emerging wireless technologies have expanded the possibilities for remote CP application. Major corrosion events are now leading companies to look for new, low-cost alternatives for cathodic protection remote monitoring. The adoption of wireless smart sensor network technology will enable the automatic measurement, analysis, storage and transmission of real-time data. It is a proactive system – it supports the identification of potential problems as and when they occur and alerts the responsible entities immediately.
The benefits of CP Remote Monitoring System to asset owners are:
- Reduced ‘windshield time’
- Reduce data collection costs and improve data quality
- Generate automatic reports and alarms
- Reduced operator exposure to the potentially hazardous environment
- ‘Real-time’ access to accurate system operational data, automated reporting and alarming system via inputs to existing SCADA systems
- Enables more effective use of personnel resources to achieve timely and targeted maintenance tasks
- Evaluate and increase infrastructures lifetime.