US Patent Granted to Deepwater for the SunStation Light-Powered Subsea Readout
US Patent 7,425,249 B1 has been granted to Deepwater Corrosion Services Inc. for the Subsea Solar Powered Test Station with Voltage Readout, marketed by Deepwater as the "SunStation." The SunStation is a self-contained, subsea readout, rated for use in up to 3000 m depths, powered by light via imbedded solar panels. Designed primarily to replace costly ROV-conducted cathodic protection surveys, the SunStation can output the voltage readout of strategically placed reference electrodes, allowing an operator to "test" his/her cathodic protection performance anytime an ROV is in the area.
The light from the ROV "activates" the SunStation readout, and the voltages of each instrument attached will be displayed in the central housing, or in a designated readout area. The video log from the ROV can capture this information, along with date, time, depth etc. This information will satisfy all criteria to be considered a full cathodic protection survey, eliminating the need to mobilize an ROV crew specifically for this purpose. By simply visiting the SunStation at routine intervals for other maintenance work, a full ROV assisted cathodic protection survey (with CP probes and other costly equipment) need never be mobilized, saving immense cost for the operator. After one interrogation, the SunStation can essentially pay for itself.
Watch a video demonstration of a SunStation Survey. (must be able to view youtube)