Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Virtually Engineering Power Plants

Date:
July 21, 2009
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Photovoltaic and wind energy plants, hydroelectric power stations and biogas plants supply energy without polluting the environment. However, they are complex to design and maintain. Virtual reality (VR) makes planning and operation easier.

Virtually engineering power plants.
Credit: Image courtesy of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

Photovoltaic and wind energy plants, hydroelectric power stations and biogas plants supply energy without polluting the environment. However, they are complex to design and maintain. Virtual reality (VR) makes planning and operation easier.

The design engineer’s head is spinning. She has been analyzing data on her computer for hours, with no end in sight. Designing a hydroelectric power station, she would like to know what the pressures, temperatures and fluid flows will be in the facility. She may simulate them with simulation software. However, this only delivers vast columns of numbers or a one-dimensional representation which she will have to analyze bit by bit – a laborious task.

This will get easier in the future. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF in Magdeburg have developed a method that visualizes the processes inside energy conversion plants, e.g. such as photovoltaic, wind, biogas and hydroelectric power stations. To do so, they have coupled 3-D plant engineering and simulation results with a virtual reality (VR) program developed at the IFF. “A special software tool has enabled us to visualize all the motion sequences for the first time ever – at just the push of a button,” explains Dr. Matthias Gohla, Manager of the Process and Plant Engineering Business Unit.

Arrows that move through the VR model show engineers the direction in which and speed at which fluids and gases flow through a plant. Colored markings indicate potential weak points such as areas where critical temperatures, deposits or erosions could occur. Is there a potential for collisions when the plant components are moving? The virtual insights facilitate engineering and should therefore ensure that plants become more efficient and have lower emissions.

“Our VR model also helps plant operators in day-to-day operation,” says project manager Dr. Martin Endig. For instance, extensive documentation may be implemented in the system. Instead of hunting through thick instruction manuals for desired information, a technician merely needs to click on the appropriate representation to obtain data on a certain plant component. Moreover, personnel can be trained to handle a plant before it is operational. Even critical situations can be simulated without endangering employees. Currently, the developers are working on another tool that notifies operators when a component is due for maintenance.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Virtually Engineering Power Plants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090713085451.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2009, July 21). Virtually Engineering Power Plants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090713085451.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Virtually Engineering Power Plants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090713085451.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins