Created by Stirling-based Linknode, ‘VentusAR’ is a tablet-based app which allows developers and planners to see an augmented reality, animated vision of their project while standing on the proposed site. The unique piece of software will be launched at the All Energy Conference in Aberdeen on May 22-23.
The company, which has been helped by Business Gateway Stirling, believes the application will enhance the wind farm development and planning process for a workforce that is increasingly mobile, reducing time spent and costs. The product also has the potential to be used in sectors such as Architecture, Culture & Heritage and Retail.
Crispin Hoult, Managing Director of Linknode, said: “People have never been able to go into the field with dynamic visualisation before. Currently the process of using photomontages involves taking paper drawings on site, trying to relocate a position and match the visual impression with the landscape as seen from that location. What VentusAR offers is a more flexible, integrated, efficient and dynamic companion tool for visual impact assessment.
“What our tablet application allows users to do is download a 3D map of the site along with an accurately located model of a proposed wind farm. In the field you can see on screen an augmented reality view of what a development will actually look like. If you want to see it from a different angle all you have to do is point the tablet in that direction. Alternative models can be easily downloaded allowing different layouts or turbine heights to be interactively viewed instantly from any location.
“We understand the planning system and that visualisation is one of the biggest and most contentious issues for renewables projects, but up until two years ago the hardware wasn’t available to produce VentusAR. However, technology and our understanding of it has advanced and Linknode have integrated our knowledge of geography and geospatial data management to produce an app that no-one else has.”
Linknode, which is based in Wellgreen Lane, Stirling, was set up by Hoult in 2011 to provide online digital mapping services to a range of clients. Projects include development and support for Scottish Government e-Planning systems and Open Source solutions for local authority planning.
He said: “When we started looking at innovation grants for VentusAR in 2011 we were told to speak to Business Gateway first. They immediately saw potential in what we wanted to do and organised a strategy workshop that helped us focus. Market development support has also assisted us in securing funding to attend trade shows and take on someone whose sole purpose is to prepare for exhibitions and be our ‘public face’. Ultimately their assistance helped us secure a SMART: Scotland Award in January. This has allowed us to undertake research, that otherwise would have been too risky to fund ourselves and will go towards the development of future VentusAR functions including archaeological visualisation.”
Caroline Brown, Business Adviser, Business Gateway said: “Crispin’s company has produced a product that could fundamentally change the planning process, not only simplifying it for planners and developers, but also help the public easily visualise large scale development projects that often cause fear and confusion. By accessing free, impartial advice Crispin has been able to grow his company quickly, from two employees to having just taken on his sixth, and get ahead of where he had planned to be. Securing funds to attend trade shows and bring on a ‘public face’ has been fundamental in helping him validate VentusAR while the SMART: Scotland Award will fund 75 per cent of feasibility and R&D over a 10 month period.”
Power Networks Demonstration Centre at University of Strathclyde
The University of Strathclyde’s Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC) was officially opened by Scotland’s First Minister today (15 May 2013).
The centre, the first of its kind in Europe, has been established in response to growing demands for secure, reliable and environmentally-friendly electricity across the globe.
The PNDC aims to accelerate the adoption of advanced technologies and convert ideas and research into low carbon solutions for the electricity industry of the future.
The world-class centre is home to researchers, engineers and industry specialists who are developing new research and technologies, from advanced grid control schemes to intelligent sensor systems, in the facility’s controlled and safe environment.
The 900-square-metre building is equipped with high quality, innovative control and simulations systems and is home to a real-life, reconfigurable power network independent from the national grid.
Located in Cumbernauld near Glasgow, the PNDC is a venture between the University of Strathclyde, ScottishPower Energy Networks, Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Funding Council.
Smart grid technologies are increasingly important as Scotland moves to a low-carbon economy, helping to reduce energy waste and making it easier for homes and businesses to generate their own renewable energy. This innovative research centre puts Scotland at the forefront of smart electrical technologies and setting new standards in electrical distribution.
(funded by The Big Lottery)
AliEnergy are recruiting 3 Affordable Warmth Advisors.
You will help to tackle fuel poverty in Argyll by providing advice, support, education and mentoring to low income households on fuel budgeting; benefits/schemes and social tariffs and by helping them to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Duties will include offering home advice visits; delivering training to public and voluntary sector groups and recruiting, training and supporting volunteers. Experience of providing advice/support to individuals and knowledge of energy efficiency issues essential.
- 35 hours per week; job shares and secondments considered.
- Location: flexible within Argyll.
- These posts will involve extensive travel in the Bute, Mid Argyll/KIntyre and Oban/Lorn areas.
- Salary: £24,509; contract until May 2018.
- Contract 12 months
- Closing date: 5pm on 3rd May
- Interview date: 15th May
First American renewable energy inward investment in Scotland
A £100,000 SMART: SCOTLAND award from Scottish Enterprise has helped ResHydro become the first US renewable energy firm to invest in Scotland.
Working in partnership with the University of Strathclyde, ResHydro will establish a base in Glasgow to complete the research and development needed to take its hydrokinetic energy device closer to commercialisation.
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond, attending Scotland Week events in the United States, said:
“Scotland has an incredible wealth of energy resources and is leading the way in the development of marine renewables technology. ResHyrdo’s decision to invest in Scotland and work in partnership with one of our leading universities to further their research and development plans is testament to that.
“Our reputation as a work leader in energy, combined with our supportive business environment and highly skilled workforce, is a powerful proposition for overseas companies looking to succeed in this growing sector.”
ResHydro will be based in St Vincent Street before moving to Scottish Enterprise’s Industry Engagement Building, part of Glasgow’s International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone (ITREZ.)
The SMART: SCOTLAND funding will help the company create a device capable of producing more energy at a lower cost than current renewable technology.
Full commercialisation of ResHydro’s technology will see tidal energy devices manufactured in Scotland.
ResHydro’s chief executive, Samuel Lewinter, said:
“The SMART: SCOTLAND award, coupled with our partnership with the University of Strathclyde, positions ResHydro in the most vital marine power industry market.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to open our Scottish subsidiary where we will have access to significant technical expertise and where market conditions will contribute to the most expeditious commercialisation of our technology.”
Wind test centre gets go-ahead – Trump trumped
The Scottish Government today announced consent for the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) in Aberdeen Bay.
The development consists of 11 wind turbines and their connecting cables, sited between two and 4.5 km off the Aberdeenshire coast, capable of generating up to 100 MW.
The Centre, which is not a conventional wind farm, but an offshore deployment centre, will allow offshore wind developers and supply chain companies to test cutting edge wind technology in an offshore environment before commercial deployment. This will reduce development risks and capital costs by providing the opportunity to test real time reliability and capacity generation and will ultimately support the creation of jobs across the industry. The Centre will reinforce Aberdeen’s place as the energy capital of Europe.
Consent is granted subject to conditions which will mitigate a range of impacts. These include the agreement of a Radar Mitigation Scheme, a Defence Radar Mitigation Scheme, a Black Dog Firing Range Management Plan, a Construction Method Statement, a Design Statement, an expert panael to inform thea Project Environmental Management Programme, a Construction Noise Management Plan, a Vessel Management Plan, a Cable Laying Strategy, and a Navigational Safety Plan and the establishment of an expert panel to inform the Project Environmental Management Programme. Further details of these conditions and others are set out in decision letter and consent.the design document.
465 public representations in support of the proposal were received. In spitre of Donald Trump’s best efforts only 148 representations objecting to the proposal were received.
The planning decision for the substation at Blackdog, Aberdeenshire will be a matter for Aberdeenshire Council.