ECCUME: the all-terrain “monitor” for water intakes

In mountainous areas, capturing and filtering water to supply reservoirs or hydroelectric turbines requires complex and sometimes even acrobatic operations. Managing water intakes, which are often located in isolated places, is a fine art. Rocks and vegetation can obstruct access to this vital power source and make it impossible to monitor immediately.It’s something of a benevolent spy to be fitted to all works – even ones with no energy or telecommunications infrastructureBased on this observation, EDF R&D developed a unique visual prototype to visually monitor water intakes. It’s something of a benevolent spy to be fitted to all works – even ones with no energy or telecommunications infrastructure. Once installed on site, the ECCUME system can generate its own energy and communicate via satellite. It is sufficiently hard-wearing to operate in extreme conditions – it can even function under snow for six months, in a north-facing position, and has a lifespan of seven years.Increased productivityVideos and photos taken by the remote-controlled prototype are sent to hydropower operators to help them make a reliable diagnosis, act on problems fast, and ultimately optimize productivity and maintenance.The five prototypes that have already been installed in mountain environments have produced results that have surpassed expectations – the savings made since their rollout are estimated at two million euros a year. The results have been so positive that the monitoring system will be rolled out on a growing number of sites in 2015, attached to the ambitious RenouvEau project aimed at developing hydropower.To go further
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