Monthly Archives: June 2017

Tom Na Clach Windfarm Grid Connection Planning Application

VentusAR visualisations have been used on the Tom Na Clach windfarm Grid connection! The landscape and visual assessment for this project was completed by one of our clients who were keen to try out VentusAR on a planning application.

Tom Na Clach Grid connection is a project to connect the consented Tom Na Clach wind farm to the national grid. It is proposed to be a wood pole connection of approximately 15km of wood pole supporting a 132kV circuit. It has been submitted to Highland council and has planning application notice of 16/05709/S37.

Visualisations

Visualisations have been created to Highland Council Standards using VentusAR. Below are some examples of the visualisations submitted – for Viewpoint 1 there is an example of the baseline panorama, matching wireline and photomontage.

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The full PDF for the viewpoint can be downloaded below.

pdficon_large16_05709_S37-ENVIRONMENTAL_APPRAISAL_-_FIGURE_7.6_-_VIEWPOINT_1__PLAN_AND_PHOTOMONTAGES_-1119608

To find out more about how VentusAR can help produce visualisations for planning applications, get in touch hello@ventusar.com

#PlanTech and The Future of Planning

Last week was the inaugural PlanTech Week in London, hosted at the The Urban Innovation Centre, part of the Future Cities Catapult in Clerkenwell.

PlanTech

#PlanTech follows in the footsteps of #PropTech and #FinTech as the technology discussion arm of the planning & development community.  PlanTech, best described in the words of the FCC founders is “a showcase for the emerging technologies, innovations and visions that are transforming the way we plan our cities, towns and neighbourhoods“.

PlanTech_Week

As part of the PlanTech Future of Planning programme, Linknode were both at the Thursday evening Exhibition Launch and the Innovator Showcase.

What we Did

For those of you who have been following along, and a reminder for those new to the project, our work as part of the Future of Planning was in improving citizen and community engagement throughout the planning & development process.  We blogged about the project brief in March this year and delivered a

video from our ambitious working prototype as part of the project report.  A summary of our results is listed below.

  • Consumer mobile devices are capable of processing BIM data for on-street live visualisation using mixed-reality approaches
  • The highest quality videomontage production methods still require some offline processing and manual intervention
  • BIM integration provides rapid design review for professional assessment, but consumer access is more valuable when presented with rendered textured surfaces
  • The business models show space for commercial innovation in the sector
  • Our exciting next developments will take urban visualisation to a whole new level of engagement

Like our recent work in visual route assessment, the video is the most powerful form of delivery and communication.  The content below came from the application delivered for the project and shows BIM data for part of the Tottenham Court Road interchange redevelopment for The Elizabeth Line / Crossrail development in London.

(demonstration video, not to be utilised for Visual Impact Assessment)

Next Steps

For anyone interested in more detail relating to the results, to discuss opportunities for involvement and engagement in their own projects, or to work on future Future of Planning initiatives with us… please get in touch.

Visualisation for the Next Generation of Power Engineers

I watched a webcast and was struck by the amount of work and systems involved in creating a “real world” 3D model.

The webcast was an Autodesk webcast called Visualisation for the Next Generation of Power Engineers. I’ve embedded it below if you fancy a watch.

This webcast takes the watcher through the process of creating a visually rich 3D model of a Grid project. It incorporates loading data from lots of sources and creating a 3D visualisation to explain the design of the electrical system.

Autodesk highlight their value proposition as:

  • leveraging enterprise GIS and Design model information to enhance collaboration and project insight.
  • 3D models can be used as a means of communication for public outreach.

Building a model vs Using the Real World

My thought was that Autodesk spent a long time modelling the world. They loaded LiDAR data into Civils3D to provide a baseline, added new changes to the earthworks, add the new project before finally creating a visualisation. This all takes time, expertise and equipment to do. Could it be done quicker and cheaper any other way?

We use the real world as the basis of our visualisation solution. Our solutions allow us to place any 3D model at any location in the landscape. We have successfully added many different types of models ranging from 13m wood poles to 50m towers to new substations – all visualised in the real world – not a virtual world.

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Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 16.56.50For more information about how VentusAR can be used to visualise Grid projects for design and stakeholder engagement get in touch: hello@ventusar.com or 0141 374 2741

Conductor Line Sag in Grid Projects

One of the features we  added recently is drawing realistic looking Conductor lines between towers on our Grid projects.

Prior to VentusAR 5.4 we drew straight lines between the connector points on the tower models. This had the effect of fairly unrealistic looking conductor lines as even across the shortest distance the conductor lines sag slightly due to gravity.

This post shows some examples of the line sag development and adds some more detail on how the line sag is calculated.

Catenary Formula

The line sag formula we use when displaying the conductor lines on a transmission project is based on a generalisation of the catenary formula. To calculate the sag at a given point we use the following formula:

LineSag_Formula

Where:

  • a is half the distance between towers (in meters)
  • y is the drop at that point in the conductor (in meters)

Maths Example

Lets take a worked example, if the towers were 200m apart, then the variable a would be 100. We can calculate the value at three sample points:

  • at x = 0 the sag due is calculated as 0m – which would make sense – it is at the top of the tower
  • at x = 200 the sag is calculated as 0m – it also makes sense as it at the top of the other tower
  • at x= 100, the sag calculated is 10.033m – this is the bottom of the catenary curve

This is easiest shown with a graph. Below is a screenshot (with slight optical illusion):

LineSag_Graph

Visual Example

When drawing the line sag, we calculate thirty points along the wire and work out the sag between each of those points  – we then draw a series of straight lines between each point.  Our curve is actually a series straight lines between each of these points, but as you can see the visual impact is effective.

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Line sag modelling has been added to all Grid projects that use conductor lines.

Limitations

This is only an approximation of how line sag works, I have asked an engineer how line sag is actually calculated and discovered it is far more complicated than I wanted to represent in a generic Visual Assessment tool like VentusAR.

This formula could cause conductor lines to be drawn underground – it is up to the person who set up the model to ensure that the span between towers is reasonable.  Custom modelling is, of course, available on any project where additional detail is required.

More Information

For more information about line sag and how we can help you visualise and assess your Grid projects, tower and conductor lines, give us a shout at hello@ventusar.com