Virtual reality will significantly change the energy industry in a way that most people can’t even imagine. It will mainly change the petroleum industry, which will now be able to display geological formations in 3D. The oil industry will test drillings and how the drills mill their way through different rock layers. It will also be important to show exactly in 3D how the oil is extracted from the oil producing layers and which geological conditions are given. The growth opportunities of this market are enormous, as they have the potential to reduce costs enormously which would otherwise get out of hand because the drilling for crude oil has not been tested enough beforehand.
Great potential can also be seen when the generators and technical plants have to be presented in 3D in advance, especially in the field of renewable energies and offshore wind energy. This makes it much easier to influence the technical development of these turbines and to make important technical changes as early as possible.
Above all, however, there is enormous potential in decoding the data sets from the intelligent power grids and intelligent electricity meters, and in processing the data volumes one sees the possibility of representing a complex power grid with its various disturbing factors and analysing weak points.
Thus, the power grid will become a kind of interconnected system in which many technical components will merge into the most complex and largest machine on earth, in which data flows and energy are exchanged through lines and data infrastructure, and in which virtual reality will make it possible to penetrate the functioning of that machine from a human point of view. This is mainly due to the fact that people think visually, and we think in terms of forms and shapes, recognise colors well and combine various forms to create an overall picture in our mind. Virtual Reality is ideally suited for dealing with issues relating to complex technical infrastructure such as the power grid of the future.
Another very important advantage of virtual reality in the energy industry is that you can play out different situations and practice first cases. This is of great importance in the offshore wind energy industry as well as in the oil and gas industry for exploration projects. Similar to aviation, situations can be practiced at an early stage using a simulator.
More importantly, AR/VR allows talent in the energy industry to cooperate on a global level and train different situations, even though individual members of that team are located far away from each other. When it gets real, team members are ready to be deployed and will be able to solve the problem much faster, because they replay the same scenario they have learned in virtual reality, although they will have to make adjustments to the situation when they are on an offshore oil platform for example.