ADVISER - AugmenteD VIrtual reality SErvice for Renewable energy

You are here

Objectives of the service

Currently EPC, O&M and Asset Managers can access huge amount of data (from satellite and airborne remote sensing, weather forecasting services, Scada systems integrated in the plants), and they spend a lot of time to extract and understand the information they are interested in. EPCs want to control the building processes of new RE plants, O&Ms want to maximize the energy production, while Asset Managers want to quickly evaluate the profitability of a RE plant.  At the same time all of them need tools able to speed up current procedures and to reduce their costs. An important aspect is the improving of safety during on- field operations. They need a solution to facilitate the understanding of the available information and at the same time enable a better utilization of their current assets (expert personnel, time, etc..).

The user case identified are:

  • Plant Assessment
  • Building Process Monitoring
  • Plant Intervention Support
  • On Field Training
  • Site inspection with UAV/UAS
  • Data generation

The key benefits of the adoption of such technology are:

  • Improve efficiency saving operational costs and time
  • Enable smart information availability
  • Improve field safety of operations

Enhance the utilization of tools currently adopted, and data currently available, without the substitution of the ICT infrastructure

Users and their needs

Multiple stakeholders interact in the life cycle of a RE plant:

  • EPC Contractor: The entity in charge of the engineering, procurement, and construction of power plant.
  • Asset Manager: The service provider responsible for the overall management from a technical, financial, and administrative point of view.
  • O&M service provider: The contractor in charge of O&M activities, including Power Plant Operation and Power Plant Maintenance and, in some cases, Technical Asset Management.

EPCs want to control the building processes of new RE plants, O&Ms want to maximize the energy production, while Asset Managers want to quickly evaluate the profitability of a RE plant.  At the same time all of them need tools able to speed up current procedures and to reduce their costs. They need a solution to facilitate the understanding of the available information and at the same time enable a better utilization of their current assets (expert personnel, time, etc..).

The user case identified are:

  • Plant Assessment
  • Building Process Monitoring
  • Plant Intervention Support
  • On Field Training
  • Site inspection with UAV/UAS
  • Data generation

AR and VR can simplify many processes in the utility industry, providing an efficient and safe working environment to utility sector employees.

Service/ system concept

AR/VR technology coupled with existing i-EM SAT products will enhance the perception on information that can be extracted from data in a new disruptive way. All available information will be shown to the user, after a pre-processing to generate 3D virtual scenarios and augmented reality contents. 3D virtual scenarios can be extracted from EO satellite data or from in situ sensors (RPAS, Weather data etc.) using different techniques like 3D environmental synthetization from multiple images. 3D augmented reality objects can be prepared through the harmonization of available information (datasheets, plant documentations etc).

All contents must be represented in common pictures to enhance the user overall understanding:

  • Augmented Reality will renderize relevant information over real world. This is of interest for on-field tasks.
  • Virtual Reality will allow for immersive virtual survey over a RE plant information enabling  Assets managers and EPCs to evaluate the RE plant building status.

In the following figure the architecture of the system is proposed:

The components of the infrastructure, allow to offer new value-added services for:

  • Monitoring and control of plant production
  • Monitoring and control of plant damages
  • Management of on field operation
  • Training of new personnel on the field
  • Enhancing the safety in on field operations

Space Added Value

The space assets contribute to the ADVISER service and their added value with respect to competing non-space technologies that could be used for the same function are:

Satellite Navigation (GNSS) - Essential for the system, they are useful to locate final users to correctly screen AR elements on 3D and holographic viewers but at the same time they are used for positioning of robots and to geographically locate their collected data.

Satellite Communication - For the whole ecosystem it is crucial to have a large bandwidth and low latency communication link with wide coverage. This allows interconnection of web Applications on user peripherals to the Application gateway whilst allowing data collection from sensors. Here 5G space assets come into play allowing to extend operation ranges and assuring definitive robustness to the service itself (see also nex section).

Satellite Earth Observation – EO assets can be used for visible maps to select the service area and to construct basic VR environments, but their very important contribution resides in providing near real-time, historical and forecast data to enable statistic processing for Big Data Analytics, like solar irradiation, temperature, wind, etc.

Current Status

AR and VR can simplify many processes in the utility industry, providing an efficient and safe working environment to utility sector employees. In the proposal stage, four categories of services have been proposed and deepened during the ADVISER activity with stakeholder and state of art:

Plant Assessment

Building Process Monitoring

Plant Intervention Support

On Field Training

State-of-the-art common shortcomings and related  opportunities of improvement can be summarized in the following table.

Below a list of elements of novelty and/or innovation brought by the proposed application/service compared to the state-of-the-art (space and non-space) applications/services used to perform the same or similar purposes.

The proposed ADVISER solution inherits the pluriannual experience of i-EM SAT people in RE plants management, in space asset technologies and VR-AR technologies to empower existing services addressing  the two main phases of a renewable plant life: the Building process monitoring and Plant Assessment O&M activities.

Status Date

Updated: 24 August 2020 - Created: 24 August 2020