Tunnel Inspection Vehicles

J.Murphy & Sons Limited - Elstree to St Johns Wood Tunnel

FATA Automation Limited were awarded a contract by J.Murphy & Sons Limited,  the main civil contractor for the National Grid, Elstree to St. Johns Wood EHV Cable tunnel project, to supply a monorail system through the 20 kilometre long, 3 metre diameter tunnel. The system was provided with 4 remote controlled cable inspection vehicles.

The battery operated vehicles travel at speeds up to 2.5 metres/second on an IPE160 galvanised I beam which is fixed to the crown of the tunnel with special galvanized bracketry at intervals of 3.6 metres, to suit the tunnel segments.

The vehicle and its associated trailer are capable of carrying up to 5 personnel together with 500 kg of tools for a distance of up to 20 kilometres without recharging for maintenance or evacuation purposes.

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The vehicles are designed to remotely inspect the National Grid EHV cables within the tunnel using  infra red cameras fitted to the vehicles. The control of the vehicles is via Leaky feeder technology back to the Elstree and St Johns Wood head houses where control desks fitted with television monitors allow the operators to control the vehicles and view the condition of the cables remotely. 

The system was commissioned and handed over to the NATIONAL GRID in April 2004.


Morgan EST - Beddington to Rowdown Tunnel

FATA Automation were awarded a  tunnel contract in 2007 by Morgan EST, the main civil contractor for the National Grid Beddington to Rowdown EHV cable tunnel project, to supply and install a monorail system through the 10 kilometre long, 3 metre diameter tunnel. The system included 2 remote controlled cable battery powered inspection vehicles.

The system is using the same proven technology as the Elstree to St Johns Wood cable tunnel system. The  tunnel vehicles have been built and tested on our test track prior to installation in the cable tunnel once the EHV cables installation has been completed.

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Forecast completion date for installation and commissioning the vehicles post cable installation is April 2011.

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