For Efficient Facade Design & Engineering: Collaborate With Your Supply Chain

By Akio
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A new method of project delivery is emerging in AEC.

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is emerging in #AEC @3DSAEC @azahner

Through new digital platforms, companies like A. Zahner Company are setting the example for how an integrated supply chain can significantly reduce rework on highly complex projects.

When the experts responsible for fabrication and installation can provide insight early in the design process, and all parties have the tools they need to collaborate closely throughout, construction waste can be reduced.

Owners are enjoying the benefits of collaborative project teams, which include:

  • reduced waste
  • stronger adherence to schedules
  • reduced costs

Collaboration is improving through the adoption of cloud-based 3D modeling solutions. Such tools assemble and empower teams across multiple organizations and geographies to create a single, live source for project creation.

By ensuring all project stakeholders are on the same page, from design through execution, owners gain tremendous transparency into a project’s feasibility, and all AEC parties have access to the knowledge they need to successfully speed projects to market.


To learn more, download the Dassault Systèmes whitepaper:

Supply Chain Integration and Collaboration for Efficient Facade Design and Engineering


clicktotweetClick to Tweet: For Efficient #FacadeDesign & Engineering:
Collaborate W/ Your Supply Chain @3DSAEC #AEC

With Renewables, It’s Location, Location, Location

By Catherine
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By Catherine Bolgar

As renewable energy projects multiply, and with momentum expected to accelerate thanks to the Paris Agreement on climate change, advances in modeling and simulation are improving site selection in order to maximize the return on investment.

A flood of new, mostly small entrants are providing simulations using meteorological parameters to compile detailed information about solar irradiation and wind conditions. “It’s relatively new. It’s disrupting the market,” says Nicolas Fichaux, senior program officer at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the global intergovernmental organization for renewable energy, based in Abu Dhabi. “If you’re on a remote island in the Pacific, you can contact a private company and, for a couple of thousand dollars or euros, buy data about how much solar or wind power you have in a specific location. It will give you a good overview on the site quality. If you move ahead, you will combine it with local measurements to develop a bankable project.”

IRENA helps governments looking for the best sites for renewable energy projects. Considerations include not only the amount of sun or wind, but also topography, environmental factors and the distance to grid connections and population centers.

“We can help a government to select the combination of technology and area where energy will be the most cost effective,” Dr. Fichaux says. “We can say, ‘If you develop this cluster, this is the price of electricity you could expect, depending on the cost of capital.’ We can also test policies—for a given tariff, we can assess whether the returns will be fair. We can do this for every square kilometer on the globe. Three years ago, nobody could do that.”

The models use decades of public data from satellites, as well as other information, such as aircraft data and detailed mapping.

“We take the initial conditions—the larger-scale portrait of the atmosphere—and we improve the resolution and have more details of the flow characteristics,” says Gil Lizcano, Brussels-based director of research and development at Vortex, a cloud-based wind-modeling company headquartered in Barcelona. “We make meteorological models with very high resolutions of 100 square meters. You need to compute with high resolution to distinguish areas within a wind-farm domain.”

Clients may be project developers, manufacturers, governments or other entities. Locations may be greenfields—for example, a government wants to know the best places in a country for wind farms—or microsites, where the locations have already been chosen and the question is how to distribute the turbines for maximum effect, including their spacing and height. Technical advances have increased turbine capacity, blade length and tower height.

“Now modern turbines are 80 to 120 meters, even higher,” Mr. Lizcano says. “This 40 meters can make a lot of difference. Wind increases with height, and we need to know how much.”

Turbulence is another factor, reducing machine performance and lifespan; stronger machines are available but more expensive, and the client needs to know whether they’re necessary and worth the investment, he says.

Similarly for solar irradiation, the SoDa service combines a database of images taken every 15 minutes for 12 years by the Meteosat satellites with geographic data, such as altitude and land cover, to show where solar irradiation is high or low, with a resolution of a square kilometer. “On the scale of a country, this is very precise,” says Etienne Wey, general manager of Transvalor Innovation, which operates SoDa and is part of Transvalor SA, a Mougins, France, company that works closely on research with the Mines ParisTech engineering school.

Steep slopes, forests, swamps and farms aren’t ideal for solar plants; neither are places that might be very sunny but are far from population centers. “We use techniques of exclusion to filter the area with other data, then rank the site based not only on solar irradiation but also on, say, the distance to an electrical sourcepoint, because it has to plug into the network, or availability of water for cleaning mirrors if it’s concentrated solar power. Then we make a map with the ranking,” Dr. Wey says.

“What we have added are tools where you click on a point on a map and we will give the amount of photovoltaic production you can have at any place. Also, how much hot water you can create if you put in so many square meters of solar hot-water collectors,” he says. “We are trying to polish our crystal ball.”

For a successful integration of renewables in the electrical network, a key element will be the ESS – Energy Storage Systems. Such systems – commonly called batteries – will ensure a minimum level of energy availability as well as a good level of energy quality. Whereas only around 2 GW is installed today, IRENA estimates that the world needs 150 GW of battery storage to meet the desired target of 45% of power generated from renewable sources by 2030.

Once sites are narrowed down, customers need to complement the satellite data with measurements taken on the ground. “The amount of radiation over a year could have an error of 3%-5%,” Dr. Wey says. “On a global scale it’s not much, but as competitive bids for solar plants are more precise and cheaper, missing a prediction by 2%-3% could mean losing money. The ground measurements correct any bias in the satellite data.”

Other companies are creating prediction software to forecast the output of a photovoltaic farm or wind farm over the next three, six or nine hours, so the operators can bid on electricity markets and maximize revenues, Dr. Fichaux of IRENA says.

“There is a global understanding that there is a lot to be done on renewable energy,” he says. “We’re ready to move, but we need to estimate how big it will be, how much it will cost and how it will take place. It’s creating a boom in detailed modeling.”

 

 

Catherine Bolgar is a former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Europe, now working as a freelance writer and editor with WSJ. Custom Studios in EMEA. For more from Catherine Bolgar, along with other industry experts, join the Future Realities discussion on LinkedIn.

Photos courtesy of iStock

Virtualizing the Digital Factory

By Alyssa
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Imagine your team designs an innovative new seat for a car. Everyone is excited about how it will improve driver and passenger experience. But when it is ready to put into production, the mood plummets: the seats won’t fit into the car.  You are left with the choice to redesign the manufacturing or redesign the product.  Whichever you choose, you are losing production time, driving up costs and missing out on selling time in the market.

There is a better way. Manufacturing has two critical phases – planning how to manufacture a product, and then executing that plan. Leading manufacturers are applying immersive virtuality (iV) technologies at both points.

Much has been made of the role of iV in design. But iV also can play a critical role in manufacturing.  It is imperative to know during the design stage how the product will be manufactured…or if it’s even possible.  And since errors made when designing a product can easily be replicated during manufacturing, innovative companies are recognizing that applying iV – with its ability to allow 3D models to be examined at life-size scale – can help problems to be spotted more readily, before production begins.

We invite you to read “Error-Free Manufacturing” in the latest issue of Compass to discover more – including an example from Embraer – about how applying iV technology can impact the manufacturing process by helping to plan and simulate production.  You’ll also learn about the emerging role that augmented reality (AR) is having on the factory floor by drawing data from the manufacturers’ industrial information systems – including PLM – to create a virtual product guide to allow workers to complete tasks with greater speed and accuracy.



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