Utilising VR to educate on geothermal technology innovation – the fantastic approach by Eavor
In a cool virtual reality model, Canadian Eavor Technologies allows a visit to its pilot plant in Alberta, Canada explaining its technologies and approach to revolutionise the approach on how to derive geothermal energy.
Explaining geothermal and the subsurface element of our industry, the resource, the drilling, the utilisation of heat etc. is a complex issue. For us that are constantly promoting the industry and what geothermal energy has to offer in the global energy transition, the subsurface element itself is likely the most complicated element. Visualisation of what is happening below the surface and above is therefore something that can help show how we derive and use geothermal energy.
For a company developing a new technology that eventually could revolutionise how we derive geothermal energy it is naturally not only important to prove that the concept works, but also help people to get a picture of the technology.
With the technical development allowing engineers to design plants in 3D, visualise geothermal reservoirs in 3D models, the next step had to be a public model that would allow the general public and stakeholders to experience the technology developed by innovators of the industry, such as Eavor Technologies.
As a self-proclaimed gadgeteer, I was intrigued by the announcement of Eavor Technologies of having developed a 3D model of its Eavor-Lite (TM) demonstration plant near Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada in which individuals like myself can experience what the company does in a virtual reality environment.
Eavor Technologies Inc. is a closed loop geothermal technology company based in Calgary, Alberta. The company is working on expanding its patented Eavor-Loop™ technology. The technology allows to derive geothermal energy through conduction rather than a geothermal aquifer, expanding the potential utilisation of geothermal energy around the world and taking away some of the core risk elements in conventional geothermal development.
The company had planned a field visit earlier this autumn to allow stakeholders to visit the site of the pilot plant in conjunction with an exciting announcement of the provincial government of Alberta on a new geothermal legislation to help push development in the province. Clearly, the current challenges due to the pandemic and limitations to travel, meetings and personal interaction made this impossible. Addressing the increased demand of clients and partners for tours of its pilot plant facilities, Eavor Technologies developed a scalable technology solution utilizing virtual reality to showcase the demonstration plant (Eavor-Lite TM).
Getting the opportunity to explore the plant on the computer via the website set up at https://eavor.com/eavor-lite-virtual-tour gives you a good idea, but exploring the model on Oculus virtual reality goggles really makes this an exciting and educational experience.
Within the system you are guided by tour guide Jen, alongside Eavor’s Lead Engineer, Bailey Schwarz, and Chief Technology Officer Matt Toews. Around different locations, they give you an. Increased understanding of Eavor and its gain-changing technology. Walking into the plant, alongside the pipes, stepping into the operating room really is an experience.
During the simulation, one can explore the 3D reconstruction of the Eavor-Lite (TM) demonstration project and move around while interacting with specified objects to learn more from the company’s lead engineer and the CTO.Behind the building you will actually find a table with “Eavor”-rings … try to throw them towards a post nearby for a little fun.
So while the company describes this tool to save costs it would incur from staff tied up conducting tours, the travel, and everything related with flights, hotels, this virtual reality tour is much more and allows gaining a great insight into the company’s technology.
Apart from giving me an excuse to get an Oculus Virtual Reality headset, I am absolutely hooked and hope more companies like Eavor Technologies will allow exploring their plants in a virtual reality environment. It clearly sets the bar high to help promote not only specific technological developments such as the Eavor-Loop (TM) by Eavor Technologies, but also maybe how we derive and can utilise geothermal energy today both for power generation and in the use of heat.
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