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The AVESTAR Center brings together state-of-the-art, real-time, high-fidelity dynamic simulators with operator training systems and 3D virtual immersive training systems (ITS) into an integrated energy plant and control room environment.
Its users can navigate avatars (field operators) through the virtual plant using the same gesture-sensitive handheld devices used as the primary means of interacting with most modern video games. Plant equipment interactions include opening/closing valves, starting/stopping pumps, and reading pressure and temperature gauges.
Its users can also experience equipment sound effects (e.g., pump engines) and
malfunctions (e.g., gas/liquid leaks, fires), as well as augmented reality features
such as transparent views (e.g., liquid levels in tanks, gasifier internals showing
slag flow and gasification animations , distillation column internals showing liquid
holdup and vapor flow), pop-up trends (e.g., gasifier temperature over time), and
web pages providing additional training content (e.g., NETL’s
Using the virtual reality technology, field operators can coordinate activities with
control room operators. The virtual environment is fully interactive in real
time with the dynamic simulation models, so actions taken by a field operator have
an impact on the process and actions performed in the control room change the information
visible to the field operator. As a result, field and control room operators
can coordinate their activities and perform collaboratively as a team. Additional
uses include training for safety-critical tasks, rare abnormal situations, and
• Zitney, S.E., “Making It Real,” Maintenance Technology, November 16 (2012).
• Zitney, S.E., G. Provost, E.A. Liese, P. Mahapatra, R. Turton, and D. Bhattacharyya, “AVESTAR Center for Operational Excellence of Clean Energy Plants and Invensys DYNSIM OTS / EYESIM ITS Integration,” SimSci-Esscor North American User Group & Technical Support Symposium, Houston, TX, October 15-16 (2012).
• Zitney, S.E., “ Virtually Simulating the Next Generation of Clean Energy Technologies,” Control Magazine, January 5 (2012).