Toronto, ON: December 1 – VR Vision, an immersive technology training company, has delivered cutting-edge solutions for technicians seeking to work their way through the complexities of different wind turbine models.
Avangrid Renewables is a leading provider of renewable energy, managing more than 60 wind power facilities across 22 US states.
But as it owns more than 25 different models from five different manufacturers, the problem of training technicians to service them all can be an impossible task.
So the company turned to VR Vision to develop a Virtual Reality-based hub of information, drawn from the different types of technologies and put them into one experience.
VR Vision’s training modules, based on Oculus for Business, offer a close simulation of how turbines run and create the same feeling of being in tall, enclosed spaces that technicians experience when they’re inside the giant structures.
The program means trainees can practise as many times as they want, and quickly learn how to troubleshoot all the different turbine models.
The modules convey the consequences of technician errors, and if a trainee does something that could cause a significant problem in real life that triggers the experience to shut down, so allowing the trainee to review procedures and start over.
With 75% of turbine technicians at Avangrid Renewables aged between 25-35 years old, they expect highly realistic simulations — and VR Vision delivered.
The collaborative approach is now seeing the VR Vision team building new training modules focused on multimeter usage and substation fuse replacement, both of which will integrate with the Avangrid Renewables LMS system for trainee result tracking and analysis.
VR Vision also plans to make greater use of haptics, possibly programming controllers to vibrate like an electrical shock when a trainee makes a mistake.
“We believe that by using VR to expose technicians to the challenges of working in tight spaces, we’ll bring that reality to them earlier in the process,” says Samuel Akey, Training and Innovation Manager at Avangrid Renewables. “We expect to see improved safety performance going forward.”
The virtual approach has also helped fill a gap – with turbines often located in remote, rural areas; some maintenance tasks are only performed once or twice a year, making it harder for technicians to build expertise. And when they are on-site, a lack of internet bandwidth prevents them from streaming training content or connecting live with their supervisors, so they need to use old-fashioned manuals.
Mr Akey added: “I preferred Oculus through VR Vision because it’s backed and proven by Facebook, and we wanted to align with a solid company that was investing in VR and leading innovation.”
For more information about VR Vision and its virtual training expertise, view their website: