Deakin University has partnered with renewable energy developer ACCIONA to create a virtual reality tool that will help members of the public experience new wind farms before they are built.
The tool, to be developed by researchers in the CADET Virtual Reality Lab at Deakin’s School of Engineering, will allow people to visualise and interact with different wind turbine configurations and layouts and to listen to any sounds they make.
Director of the CADET VR Lab, Associate Professor Ben Horan, said the VR experience would help members of the community visualise how wind farms interact with the surrounding landscape.
“It is exciting to produce a tool that supports the transition towards renewable energy generation,” Associate Professor Horan said.
“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.” Associate Professor Horan said.
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.
ACCIONA Managing Director Brett Wickham said construction began in February this year but, with most of the work happening below ground, many people were still unsure what the project would eventually look like.
“The VR solution provides us with a tool to take to schools, community meetings and events and show people first-hand how the project will look and feel,” Mr Wickham said.
ACCIONA and Deakin are also working together on several other initiatives, including the construction of a vehicle designed to compete in the World Solar Challenge in 2021 and a
second VRET project to develop drone technology suitable to undertake wind turbine inspections.
Deakin Energy Director, Dr Adrian Panow said Deakin was pleased to partner with ACCIONA, a company that has a genuine commitment to sustainability and research.
“The association provides students and researchers with opportunities to develop and apply their skills by working on real life, challenging projects,” Dr Panow said.
“The importance and potential of industry and universities working together should never be underestimated, and we look forward to seeing more projects come to life in the future.”
Senior Media Coordinator, Deakin University P: +61 3 5227 3586, M: 0418361890 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
General Manager, Brand and Marketing, ACCIONA
P: +61 9027 1042, M: 0420 643 447
ACCIONA is a global group that develops and operates sustainable infrastructure, particularly renewable energy. The group’s expertise covers the entire value chain, from design and construction to operation and maintenance. ACCIONA aims to lead the transition to a low-carbon economy by placing its technical excellence and innovation at the service of all projects in order to design a better planet. Present in more than 40 countries, with sales totaling €7.51 billion in 2018, the company is committed to making a positive social and economic contribution in the communities where it operates. www.acciona.com
ACCIONA began operating in Australia in 2002, building its business to become an industry leader in renewable energy, infrastructure, construction and water. The company has successfully delivered large-scale projects including new and upgraded road and rail infrastructure, tunnels, bridges, desalination and water treatment plants, as well as wind and solar farms.
ACCIONA is a significant contributor to the Australian economy, with equity positions in several projects and a major investment in Geotech, a leading infrastructure and construction company. ACCIONA employs around 1,000 staff in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, as well as regional locations, and continually invests in Australian skills and jobs.
About Deakin University
Established in 1974, Deakin University is now one of Australia’s largest universities, with five campuses including an online Cloud Campus. Globally connected with internationally recognised quality research and teaching programs, Deakin ranks 261 in the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) putting Deakin in the top 1% of the world’s universities.