Sun-Kissed Pipelines: Cathodic Protection Using Solar Power

pipework

pipeworkNatural gas and crude oil pipelines need protection from corrosion in deserts and other remote areas. Mere insulation cannot protect these underground pipelines adequately. In extreme cases when the passive galvanic shields normally installed are insufficient, engineers tap an external source of energy to offer cathode protection.

How It Prevents Corrosion

Pipeline can corrode easily when constantly exposed to water, soil and air. In an energy cathodic protection, MearsCorrosion.com says, experts employ another metal that corrodes easily alongside the pipes, which takes the brunt of the corrosion.

Usually, this happens when an external power source sends enough current to create two things: the protected metal becomes the cathode, and the sacrificial metal the anode. This corrodes the anode, leaving the pipeline intact.

Affordable Option

In remote places, providing normal power supply for this can be very expensive. This is why solar power is a more reliable and affordable option. Solar energy powers the remote protection stations at any location. This provides a continuous supply of current to protect the pipeline from corrosion.

Solar Power Supply

The facilities are remote-controlled with microprocessor-based control units. This makes for a very smooth and precise operation.

These remote stations have all the necessary equipment that includes solar chargers, solar modules with proper support structures, a battery bank, cabling and mounting hardware, and the like.

Proper Regulation

A regulator monitors the cathode protection status, to keep the satisfactory magnitude of current constant, and properly distributes it to the structure. The magnitude should be equal to the corrosion current, so that it nullifies the adverse effect on the pipelines. Computers calculate the output of these solar power stations.

Cathode protection is necessary to protect underground pipelines, as corrosion is the greatest enemy of pipeline integrity. This and solar power combines to provide an ingenious solution for this field.

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