Training is one of the most vital aspects of renewable energy solutions, although it’s also true at the same time that specialized training such as this can cost you or your company thousands.
Virtual Reality isn’t a new technology, and it’s been around long enough for people to get used to the basics of what it can do. But while it’s not new by any means, it can be applied to new and exciting directions – and the introduction of VR to renewable energy has a lot to bring to the table.
It has the potential to take the sting out of the training cost almost entirely, and it can offer a level of interactivity never seen before.
Here’s how VR is being applied for renewable energy training, and just what this could mean.
Virtual reality opens up a world of possibility, especially in any sectors where training are involved; just some of the practical applications of VR for training can be seen through the medical industry, where operating on a patient in a virtually-aided situation becomes both cheaper to pull off, and safer for the “patient.”
Much of the same reasons why VR is perfectly suited to the medical industry also applies to the use of VR for renewable energy training.
First, it offers a more cost-effective solution than what the majority of companies are doing right now. Where just the transport costs to on site would have cost you thousands, the entire VR package will likely cost you less.
VR also happens to be safer in many instances. Where one would normally have needed to visit the site, which isn’t always a friendly commute when the turbines are still going up, you can now just log in and see almost everything you need to – without any of the associated risk.
Of course, there are even more reasons why. It’s a lot easier to match up with someone’s schedule in an online environment rather than to meet them somewhere physical for a meeting, especially when we’re talking about groups of people undergoing a training session or class together.
Virtual reality allows for us to see the real scope of a real product in a virtual environment. This allows one to see – and showcase – things that would have been pretty hard to do without the help of VR to do it. With virtual reality, the majority of the planning can be done away from the actual site, and with a lot more convenience.
Visualization has always been a very powerful tool, and virtual reality offers the closest form of it that you can get.
With virtual reality, the conditions surrounding the turbines can be adapted or introduced. For example, do you need to see how the wind turbines would behave in different wind conditions or a storm? You can do that with just a few clicks, and from there on you can make adaptations to your planning – or your training – based on the data you’ve seen.
It can tell you almost anything you’d like to know about how renewable energy works in practice, and it’s the closest you’ll get to a large sandbox where you’re allowed to experiment – and any teacher will know what kind of freedom this helps to give them in the classroom.
The transition from a real environment to a virtual one doesn’t take nearly as much time or effort as you would think, nor does it have to cost thousands of dollars for you to do it. In fact, setting up a virtual environment could be a lot cheaper than having to cart your entire team of people over to the actual turbines – and with the use of VR, you aren’t limited by anything like space, availability or any physical limitations of the people or the environment. This can be done with 360 video production and the use of overlays to add interactivity to any given realistic scene.
Virtual reality can be used for training at almost any chosen phase of the product where you need it, and it can be used to represent several different types of situations; this is freedom that physically going to the site can never give you just because of the fact that you can’t alter circumstances in an offline world. But in the virtual one, it’s limited only by your imagination.
Virtual reality has just as many possible benefits for the developmental phase, too. You can have your renewable energy solutions planned out and tested for practicality far before you’ve even drawn a single line – and virtual reality can help you to see what you’re building as you’re doing it within a virtual environment.
Renewable energy solutions should always come from renewable energy in the first place; it’s what keeps the entire cycle of sustainability going – and even in the field of training, a lot can be done to reduce the carbon footprint for just how much you’re putting into the environment.
The excellent thing about virtual reality is the fact that it's renewable, too. Very little energy and resources are used when setting up a virtual environment than you would have used carting the training group there in a jet. It’s this sustainability factor that’s helped to make VR an even better choice for the future.
Virtual reality allows for research that would have been either impossible or wildly expensive without its use – and making research more accessible for companies will inevitably also have an effect on how easy newer, groundbreaking research will be to bring to the table in future.
Easier research means faster and better research at the same time. This means that the future of virtual reality looks even better than the present time – and a lot of new, groundbreaking research will no doubt be seen in the near future. We can thank VR for the ability to research renewable energy in real-time environments: Undeniably valuable, and could change the face of the entire field.