7.3 TECHNOLOGY

7.3 TECHNOLOGY

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TECHNOLOGY
Figure 2. Field operator (avatar) in AVESTAR 3D virtual IGCC power plant


AVESTAR®

Center for Operational Excellence of Coal-Fired Power Plants using Dynamic Simulation and Virtual Reality Technologies



By Stephen E. Zitney, Director, AVESTAR Center, Advanced Virtual Energy Simulation Training and Research Office of Research & Development, U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)

Continued from previous page ...

For use in training IGCC field operators and engineers, the AVESTAR Center also offers a first-of-a-kind, 3D virtual immersive training system (ITS).

As shown in Figure 2 (above), users can navigate avatars (field operators) through the virtual IGCC plant using the same gesture-sensitive handheld devices used as the primary means of interacting with most modern video games.

Plant equipment interactions include opening/closing valves, starting/stopping pumps, and reading pressure and temperature gauges. ITS users can also experience equipment sound effects (eg. pump engines) and malfunctions (eg. gas/liquid leaks, fires), as well as augmented reality features such as transparent views (eg. liquid levels in tanks, gasifier internals showing slag flow and gasification animations (Figure 3), CO2 capture column internals showing liquid holdup and vapour flow), pop-up trends (eg. gasifier temperature over time), and web pages providing additional training content (eg. NETL’s Gasifipedia).


Figure 3. Transparent view of gasifier operation in AVESTAR 3D virtual IGCC power plant


Using the virtual reality technology, IGCC field operators can coordinate activities with control room operators.

The virtual environment is fully interactive in real time with the dynamic simulation models, so actions taken by a field operator have an impact on the process and actions performed in the control room change the information visible to the field operator.

As a result, field and control room operators can coordinate their activities and perform collaboratively as a team.


Additional uses include training for safety-critical tasks, rare abnormal situations, and emergency shutdowns.

Figure 4. Trainees interact with the AVESTAR 3D virtual IGCC immersive training system


The principal applications of the high-fidelity IGCC virtual plant simulator include realistic hands-on industry workforce training, engineering education, and advanced research on the safe, reliable, and efficient operation and control of clean gasification-based power plants with CO2 capture.

Future AVESTAR plans include development and deployment of dynamic simulators for other pulverized coal-fired power plants, namely subcritical-, supercritical-, and oxy-combustion technologies.



For detailed information on AVESTAR’s virtual energy plant development, training, education, and research programs, please visit www.netl.doe.gov/avestar.



For more information on AVESTAR, go to the previous page of this e-newsletter.




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