Oberon Technologies

VR/AR in the Energy Sector

A White Paper from VR/AR Association and Oberon Technologies

Typical applications of VR/AR in the energy value chain
and real-world use cases from industry leaders

The objective of this white paper by the Global VR AR Association (VRARA) is to ring out the essential features of VR AR technologies, highlight the relevance of the same to business functions in the energy sector and present an overview of applications and use cases of VR & AR duly highlighting the benefits of the same for business processes. Oberon proudly, contributed to this paper, with detailed input related to the VR Training applications and a use case with our client Exelon.

Read the full paper for complete details. Here are a few key excerpts:

Underlying reasons VR & AR have the potential to play an important role in all the various business activities in the energy sector:
  • The systems, equipment and machinery in the value chain of Energy often have extremely complex configurations based on concepts that are very involved and difficult to understand. The conventional methods of studying these concepts and configurations, and flow schemes in complicated systems etc. have often proved to be inadequate for training of personnel at broad scale. Immersive methodologies made available through VR and AR technologies have been gaining increasing acceptability by the industry for the purpose of training.
  • VR enables realistic training of unexpected, hazardous, and dangerous scenarios in a safe yet fully immersive and realistic environment. VR allows nuclear and other energy providers to train staff without unnecessary exposure to radiation, toxic gases and chemicals, or high voltage, which is often present in conventional training programs.

Training is among the Typical Applications of VR in the Energy Sector.

VR Training is one of the most prominent applications of Virtual Reality for many reasons. While its immersive nature makes the VR based training very effective, this also permits creation of several simulated environments in the virtual form, thus obviating the need to create such environments in the real world or where the scenarios cannot be recreated in the real world safely, effectively, or economically. These virtual environments represent an advancement in VR training that permits the simultaneous training of numerous trainees with the active immersive involvement of the trainer. These environments also enable organizations to easily repeat or vary training experiences to prepare trainees for real-world situations.

VR training in the Energy Sector can be broadly classified in three categories, namely HSE Training, Facility Training, and Training in specific operations within the Energy facilities.

Examples of HSE Training:
  • Fire safety training
  • Training for working at height
  • Training for working in enclosed spaces
  • Training in electrical safety
  • Training for safety in special environments such as offshore, mines, hazardous environments
Examples of Facility Training:
  • Locating components in situ
  • Identifying appropriate entry and exit routes for safety
  • Identifying shortest or safest paths to avoid environmental hazards
  • Identifying proper transport routes for materials and equipment
  • Identifying aide station locations
  • Define temporary alternate routes needed during specific procedures
  • Ingress and egress planning
  • Staging, storage, and logistics coordination
Examples of Training in Special Operations:
  • Training in fired heater start-up, normal operation, abnormal operations, shut-down sequence etc.
  • Training for operation of construction machinery such as heavy-duty crawler mounted cranes
  • Training in LNG unloading operations
  • Training in operation of PSA units
  • Training in operation of steam and gas Turbines
  • Training in operations and inspections within a nuclear power plant

It is evident that there is no limit to what the subject of VR based training can cover. However, this needs development of specific training modules for the given application, and this is a collaborative effort between the domain experts from the energy industry and the content developers / solutions providers from the VR technology value chain. Certain HSE related VR based training modules, such as working at height and working in enclosed spaces, could be standard and can be used by various stakeholders in the industry.