3 Tips for Selecting the Appropriate Borescope for Steam Turbine Testing

by | Feb 5, 2021 | Blog, News

Steam turbines have been used for electricity production in the United States since the 1880s. They are a mature technology and can handle maximum power demand compared to the rest of the stationary prime movers used for electricity generation. They work by passing the steam from high-temperature and high-pressure conditions to lower-pressure and temperature and extracting the power generated by the process.

As with any machinery, it is important to conduct routine inspections of steam turbines to ensure the plant runs smoothly and efficiently and increase the energy output.

Using borescopes is one of the most effective ways of inspecting steam turbines and identifying any issues or damage.

However, it is important to select the right borescope for the task.

Here are some factors you should consider when choosing a borescope for steam turbine inspection:

Type of Borescope

The first thing you need to consider is the type of borescope you need. Borescopes are great for inspecting turbines, especially if you don’t want to disassemble the entire thing. However, you need to choose between rigid, flexible, and video borescopes depending on the part of the turbine you want to inspect. Flexible borescopes are great if you have to go further inside the turbine and inspect hard-to-reach areas.

Size of Borescope

The next step is choosing the right size of borescope according to your turbine inspection needs. A good strategy is to choose the corresponding diameter and length of the borescope according to the spaces in the turbines. If the diameter of the borescope is too big for the space in the turbine, it could fail to navigate the bends or even get stuck in the hole. The length of the shorter borescopes is more precise, but you might need a longer one if you want to inspect smaller components located deeper in the turbine.  Typically the long length borescope will offer a larger diameter as the cable guides for articulation must be larger to support the control at the tip.

Illumination and Direction

The interior of the turbines is quite dark, so you might need some form of illumination when inspecting the machinery. For best results, you should use fitting borescopes that transmit more light and illuminate darker spaces and result in better quality images for inspection. You also need to consider the angle of view when choosing a borescope for turbine inspection. As mentioned before, using a flexible borescope will allow you more freedom to move it about and get a better angle to identify possible issues.   Most all of the portable videoscopes will offer built in LED lighting.   The LED’s may be built into the tip of the borescope whereas some turbine engine borescopes will offer a larger LED in the body of the borescope and transmit the lighting through fiber optics that will travel the full length of the probe to the tip near the camera.

Find the Right Borescope for Steam Turbine Inspection at USA Borescopes

USA Borescopes is a premier global supplier of top-quality visual inspection equipment online. We offer a large variety of video borescopes, micro borescopes, flexible fiberscopes, portable borescopes, and other professional video inspection equipment for all kinds of machinery and equipment. We also provide a range of borescope accessories online and offer borescope cameras for rent at affordable prices!

Find out more about our visual inspection products and inspection services on our website!