Virtual reality turbine training materialises in Scotland

A virtual reality training laboratory for the offshore wind industry has been unveiled in Scotland. The Immersive Hybrid Reality (iHR) facility at Fife College aims to provide a realistic training […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

A virtual reality training laboratory for the offshore wind industry has been unveiled in Scotland.

The Immersive Hybrid Reality (iHR) facility at Fife College aims to provide a realistic training environment for offshore wind turbine technicians, meaning they can learn more cheaply and safely than previously possible.

The technology allows students to conduct detailed fault-finding inspections at the top of a virtual 7MW offshore wind turbine.

The unique hybrid element combines the real and virtual worlds by allowing users to see their own hands, feet, tools and manuals, whilst also seeing the view from the top of the turbine, with wind and weather conditions factored in.

It has been developed by the Energy Skills Partnership, Heriot-Watt University and Animmersion UK, in partnership with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.

The project’s second phase will be based on the inner workings of the turbines.

Director of the Energy Skills Partnership, Jim Brown, said: “With 25% of Europe‚Äôs total offshore wind resource, Scotland has a tremendous opportunity to develop the skills and expertise to design, install and maintain the energy industries of tomorrow.

“The Immersive Hybrid Reality turbine, developed with Heriot Watt, Animmersion and ORE Catapult, provides us with a genuinely world-leading facility for the development of the vital talent that we will need to seize upon that opportunity.”