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Australians can visualise and experience wind turbines via VR

Photo Credit: Deakin University

Australia’s Deakin University has partnered with a renewable energy developer to create a virtual reality (VR) tool that will help members of the public experience new wind farms before they are built.

According to a recent press release, the tool will allow people to visualise and interact with different wind turbine configurations and layouts and listen to any sounds they make.

Researchers in the CADET Virtual Reality Lab at the University’s School of Engineering will be developing the tool.

Utilising Virtual Reality

The VR Lab’s Director explained that the VR experience would help members of the community visualise how wind farms interact with the surrounding landscape.

Producing this kind of tool is exciting. Digital transformation is the use of new, fast and frequently changing digital technology such as Hybrid Cloud for Digital Transformation to solve problems.

In this case, virtual reality is used to support the transition towards renewable energy generation.

By wearing a VR headset, people can immerse themselves in the virtual environment and access relevant information at the same time.

For instance, they will be able to see the technology within the wind turbines and look up the amount of energy the turbines produce in given wind conditions.

The Mortlake South Wind Farm was one of six successful projects announced in September 2018 as part of the Victorian Government’s Renewable Energy Target (VRET) reverse auction.

The 35 turbine wind farm will generate enough clean energy to power 115,000 homes a year and is scheduled to commence operation at the end of 2020.

According to the Managing Director of the renewable energy developer company, construction of aforementioned wind farm began in February 2019.

However, since most of the work happening is below the ground, many people were still unsure what the project would eventually look like.

This is where the virtual reality solution comes in. It will allow them to take the tool to different schools, community meetings and events.

Through it, people can witness firsthand how the project will look and feel.

Other collaborations

The University and the company are also working together on several other initiatives. These initiatives include:

  1. The construction of a vehicle designed to compete in the World Solar Challenge in 2021
  2. A second VRET project to develop drone technology suitable to undertake wind turbine inspections

The University is pleased to partner with the company because of its genuine commitment to sustainability and research, as shared by the University’s Energy Director.

The association provides students and researchers with opportunities to develop and apply their skills by working on real life, challenging projects.

The importance and potential of industry and universities working together should never be underestimated, and they are looking forward to seeing more projects come to life in the future.

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