Marketing Wind Farms to Local Population in the age of Experience Economy

By Karun

Wind turbines farm on sunset in winterNowadays, offshore wind is grabbing most of the headlines especially in Europe. With several countries running out of land for wind turbines, they are looking towards the sea. However, 80% of the wind energy capacity is still from onshore or inland wind farms. There is still plenty of land in countries like the US and Brazil, which are still looking to develop their onshore wind capacity.

Onshore wind farms occupy a large area and have to frequently co-exist with agricultural land and tourist areas in the countryside. Probably the most complex challenge for these wind farms is to overcome any opposition from the local population. The question that most Wind farm developers have is – How to convince the local population of socio-environmental viability of the Wind farms?

In this era of the Experience economy, the solution is to provide a platform for all citizens to fully understand the impact on their day-to-day life. An immersive and interactive virtual 3D environment can be used to demonstrate the operation of wind farms in context of the local terrain including the details like access roads, local dwellings, roads and even power lines. Views from various vantage points can be analyzed to ensure that any visual impact from the wind turbines is acceptable. Advanced functions like noise and shadow flickers could be developed on this platform. By experiencing the operation of the wind farm under various operating conditions, citizens can be convinced about the project viability and convince them of the co-existence of wind farms in the existing land.

Such user interaction enables citizens and consumers to become part of the Wind farm development process promoting a sense of ownership. It allows the project developers to connect with the local population and ensure that their concerns have been adequately addressed. With the advent of social media, citizens have learnt to express themselves more freely. In several countries, citizens expect and even demand such a platform to view and collaborate on a social platform on such key topics that touch their lives.

Getting early buy-in from all stakeholders including the local population is mandatory during the project development process. This will ensure that there are no expensive delays to the project. Such delays significantly affect the margins and ROI and significantly alter the economics.

Such Experience platforms are frequently used in the other industries like Offshore Oil & gas for Operations and Maintenance and training. Can the Wind industry take advantage of this?

To learn more, go to Energy, Process & Utilities page and watch our video:

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Karun CHAKRAVARTHY is a member of the Energy, Process & Utilities (EPU) team

 

Stay in control of your Wind Energy project

By Anne

Managing the Wind turbine Product development is a complex process, given the diverse engineering, testing and manufacturing disciplines and the globalization of these departments.

The program duration of a new Wind turbine design is typically five years. How do companies continue to develop innovative products and bring them to market quicker?

Traditionally, each department implemented its own system to maintain the project data, which resulted in data duplication, lack of traceability and no standardization of processes leading to significant project delays and cost overruns.

Managing the project development process on a single collaborative platform across departments enables concurrent engineering between design, testing and manufacturing. You can reduce the time needed to validate the design, enable early start of production, and reduce time to market. By providing design with early feedback, issues can be detected much earlier in the development process, thereby eliminating costly manufacturing problems and delays.

Watch the video and see our software in action!  :-)

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Anne Busson is a member of the Energy, Process & Utilities team.

 

Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Plain…

By Tim
Farming The Wind in Iowa

Harvesting the Iowa Wind

If you thought I was talking about Oklahoma, think again. In my last 3D Perspectives blog post, I wrote about Keokuk, Iowa leading the world in renewable hydroelectric power, way back in 1913. Today, according to the American Wind Energy Association, Iowa ranks second in the United State in wind power installations (by megawatts). Go Cyclones! Iowa State University’s sports team’s name seems to be a good nickname for Iowa’s efforts to harness the wind for clean, renewable energy production – Cyclone Power!

While from a distance, windmills look elegantly simple, they really are complex-and extremely large-systems – consisting of the foundation, the tower, the blades, and the turbine (see animation at U.S. Department of Energy website). To meet the multidisciplinary design and engineering challenges, wind power manufacturers are leveraging Product Lifecycle Management solutions from Dassault Systèmes, including 3D design, composites modeling, manufacturing automation, finite element analysis, multiphysics simulation, design optimization, as well as process and data management. Check out the coverage on DS solutions for wind energy at Eureka Magazine.

The wind energy industry also has plans to accelerate innovation through cross-industry collaboration. Check out this announcement between Boeing and Vestas discussing the benefits their respective companies plan to achieve by sharing research on light-weight materials and aerodynamics.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that both companies use PLM solutions from DS.

China research on using offshore platforms

China prototype using offshore platforms

The wind energy industry is also leveraging the experience and infrastructure developed for offshore oil exploration. Research is underway in China to evaluate the viability of using abandoned offshore oil platforms as the foundation for wind power turbines, with the help of Abaqus FEA from SIMULIA.

If you’re not already benefiting from wind power, it seems you will be in the near future. In fact, with the steady wind blowing across the lake in my backyard, I am seriously considering building a small-scale windmill of my own. I guess that idea – should it become a reality - will really take me back to my ‘renewable energy’ Iowa roots.

What do you think of Wind Energy? Will it continue to grow or do you think the industry has reached a plateau?

Go Cyclones!

Tim

Related post:

20% Wind Power by 2020



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Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.