Virtual Reality for Enhancing Engagement with Net Zero Transitions

Amal Alshardy, Sarah Goodwin, Andres Santos-Torres, Ariel Liebman

Room: 103

2023-10-21T22:00:00ZGMT-0600Change your timezone on the schedule page
Exemplar figure, described by caption below
Immersive VR environment showing an overview of Monash Clayton electric network dynamics: (A) Batteries supply the Clayton campus with stored energy at night. (B) With the wind turbines slowed in early morning, the connecting edge between the Murra Warra Wind Farm and the campus becomes thinner. (C) The campus relies on solar and wind power for daytime consumption. (D) At certain times the campus relies on grid generation, the simulation shows coal powered generation. A thin edge means the campus energy is off the grid.

Immersive experiences can increase engagement and improve data understanding. We explore the use of virtual reality to visualise the complexities of electric networks and facilitate a greater understand- ing of net zero initiatives. We propose that an abstract metaphorical immersive experience can provide an intuitive overview of the complex components of energy networks and how they behave over time in response to fluctuating supply and demand in order to achieve stability and sustainability. This work aims to enable a variety of stakeholders to better understand and associate the complexities in the systems and be aware of the connections over time and space. Using the Monash University electric network system as a case study, we explore the network dynamics and fluctuations over time. The virtual reality experience allows users to view campus electricity assets and local and remote energy sources, as well as witness the dynamics of the network. Thus, the complexities of the energy system and its impact on sustainability can be more readily understood.