Friday 10 September 2010

Virtual experience for US cabinet member

U.S. Energy Secretary Chu interacts with virtual reality simulator

Dr Chu with his President
Dr. Steven Chu, Secretary of US Dept of Energy Energy, and Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), donned virtual reality goggles yesterday and experienced the future of clean-coal plant technology when they interacted with the EYESIM training simulator from Invensys Operations Management. Chu and Rockefeller were at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in West Virginia, prior to participating in a University of Charleston Forum on the Future of Coal. Invensys Operations Management is supplying its EYESIM and DYNSIM solutions to the NETL and the United States Department of Energy to facilitate development and training for clean-coal plant operations.

Chu attended the forum to speak on the capture and disposal of carbon dioxide emitted in the burning of coal, a process known as carbon capture and storage or CCS. Coal generates about ninety-eight percent of West Virginia’s electricity, and about forty-eight percent of the electricity generated in the United States. The continued large-scale use of coal to supply electricity in the United States could ultimately depend on the successful development of CCS technology. The Secretary was on hand to break down the impact CCS can have and what the United States is doing to pioneer this innovative technology.

These solutions will assist in the development of new-generation zero-emission integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plants with carbon capture. The Advanced Virtual Energy Simulation Training and Research Center, or AVESTAR™, in Morgantown (W.VA US) is part of the Department of Energy’s initiative to develop new clean-coal power plants that burn fuel more efficiently to produce environmentally friendly electric power. EYESIM and DYNSIM provide a high-fidelity and virtual reality simulated environment in which prospective plant personnel learn to operate and interact with a clean-coal facility, much like an airplane pilot trains on a flight simulator.

“Invensys has been working as a development partner with the NETL to create a combined control panel and field operator training solution for IGCC with carbon capture,” said Alastair Fraser, vice president, Invensys Operations Management. “Its innovative capabilities and additional operational benefits will enable more rapid development of clean-coal power generation to meet demand, as well as enhance training for new clean-coal plant operations teams. We are pleased that Secretary Chu and Senator Rockefeller were able to witness some of the new virtual reality training and simulation capabilities we have helped develop at the new NETL training center in Morgantown.”

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