Plug and Play Cathodic Protection

Application or installation of corrosion mitigation measures, such as cathodic protection in the form of sacrificial anodes (galvanic cathodic protection), can help extend the useful service life of steel poles, towers, and other similar structures for many years.  Cathodic protection does not eliminate corrosion activity, it simply transfers the corrosion activity from the steel to the anodes which “sacrifice” themselves in order to protect the structure. 

Cathodic protection installation in difficult to access areas or conservation lands has created the need for remote monitoring units (RMUs) that are designed to regularly transmit information about the system's performance through a dedicated channel via cellular networks.  Satellite RMU systems are also available for remote locations outside cellular network coverage. 

Installation

The RMUs are usually placed inside a junction box and attached to the cathodic protection system through a series of wired connections.  The associated antenna housing is positioned on top of the box doubling as the location for the RMU power source, which is a series batteries with a life expectancy of approximately seven years.  When it’s time to change the batteries, the antenna can be removed and the batteries easily replaced.

Configuration

After installation, the RMUs are configured and programmed using a downloadable mobile application through a Bluetooth connection.  The operation of the RMUs can be verified by means of an alert message sent to the user directly to their account.  The account is set up in advance of the RMU installation through a third-party monitoring company similar to the setup of a new cell phone.

Activation

Once active, the RMUs periodically wake up and take measurements of the cathodic protection system’s performance, communicates the information, and then goes back to sleep.  The utility retrieves the information by logging in to their account and viewing the information webpage.  This information can be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet and set up to alert the utility if any erroneous measurements are collected.  It can even relay when the batteries are low.

Galvanic cathodic protection is simple, relatively inexpensive to install, and easy to maintain.  For utilities, the combination of cathodic protection and a remote monitoring system is ideal, and limits the need for additional personnel to perform field monitoring.  Remote monitoring units can help to provide a “plug and play” system, making cathodic protection solutions more attractive to utilities who may have avoided them in the past.

To learn more about how cathodic protection can help you, please visit the corrosion mitigation page of our website or contact your local Osmose representative.  Not sure who your local Osmose representative is?  Email poleinfo@osmose.com to find out.