UK Arts Minister Immerses in Offshore Wind with ORE Catapult

Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has welcomed UK Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, Michael Ellis, at the Immersive Hybrid Reality (iHR) Offshore Wind Turbine.

Image source: ORE Catapult

The Minister visited the technology at the Great Exhibition of the North, where he was able to make a full and up-close inspection of all parts of an offshore wind turbine, checking for faults from the foundation to the top of the nacelle.

Based on ORE Catapult’s 7MW Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine in Fife, the iHR Offshore Wind Turbine has been developed as a tool for enhancing the training and development of the next generation of offshore wind turbine technicians.

The technology allows users to conduct detailed fault-finding inspections at the height of 110m above the waves by wearing an iHR headset.

The hybrid element combines the real and virtual worlds by providing the sounds of the wind and changing weather condition and enabling users to see their hands and feet, real tools or manuals while seemingly at the top of the turbine.

The project partners ORE Catapult, Heriot-Watt University (CyberBuild Lab), Animmersion UK limited, and the Energy Skills Partnership adapted the virtual turbine for display at the Great Exhibition.

After the event, the iHR kit will be moved to Newcastle College, where it will become an integral part of the apprentice training programs.