Category Archives: Grid

VentusAR included in 3D Technology in Planning Report

This week the research report “USE OF DIGITAL AND 3D VISUALISATION TECHNOLOGY IN PLANNING FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT” was published by the Scottish Government.Planning_Report

This independent report examines the role and potential of digital imagery and 3D visualisation in the planning process in Scotland. Produced by the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen, it was commissioned to inform the review of the planning system.

The report makes reference to the work of Linknode in the use, acceptance and value of 3D visualisation in planning, especially for real-time, in-situ visualisations for better contextual understanding of change and development (George – our technical director – was especially pleased as the report includes a photo of him using VentusAR at Clyde Wind Farm).

GBIt details the importance of digital equivalence in planning and how future advances in 3D visualisations should be embraced by local authorities and developers at earlier stages in the planning process to improve engagement and understanding.

Linknode entirely support this direction and look forward to on-going participation in the development of 3D visualisation in planning & development in Scotland and beyond. To be involved further, review the “Places, People and Planning” consultation of the future of the Scottish Planning System with opportunities to respond.

Report History and Scottish Planning Review

As previously blogged, this is part of the Scottish Planning Review that started with a call for evidence in September 2015.  The response to this was published in July 2016 (our comments here), leading to the commissioning of a report in October 2016 into the use of 3D visualisation technology in planning for new development.  This was funded by the Planning & Architecture Division of the Scottish Government.

Case Study: VentusAR

Out of the 44 bits of technology mentioned in the the report, our VentusAR and UrbanPlanAR solutions for delivering visualisations is noted as the only mobile augmented reality tool (see Annex A for full list).  Of course, we are also based in Glasgow making our contributions innovative, relevant and local!

The report provides a case study on VentusAR for providing in-field Augmented Reality for Agri-Renewables. The key benefits highlighted in this case study are:

  • The use of real world imagery (still or animated) provides high levels of realism for use at early stages of a project.
  • A low cost and level of risk associated with the investment in the visual representations.
  • The incorporation of real-world video enables the representation of movement in the landscape (e.g. swaying trees, vehicles) […] and thus important in coherent representation of a scene of proposed change.
  • Coherence supports the impression of credibility of visualisations.

About VentusAR

We are already providing our clients with the tools to better visualise and communicate their developments. Our online case studies include:

Green Cat Renewables

Greencat Solar visualisationWhen using VentusAR, GreenCat Renewables estimate they save 30% of the time required to visualise and assess Solar and Wind projects. Read the full case study.

 

LDA Design

VentusAR - Wind Turbine Visualisation LDALDA Design benefits from being able to rapidly evaluate projects early on in the development lifecycle and being able to clearly communicate information to clients and consultees. Read the full case study.

Hoolan Energy

Aerial photography of the Hesta Project

Hoolan Energy used VentusAR to do better public engagement for the Costa and Hesta wind projects in Orkney.   Read the full case study or watch the videos: Costa and Hesta.

 

Find out More

You can read more about VentusAR (our product for delivering visualisations in a rural environment) and UrbanPlanAR (for creating visualisations in an urban environment).

If you would like to know more about our visualisation processes and how we can help you communicate your project to stakeholders and the public, drop us a line: hello@linknode.co.uk

Showing Conductor Wires in VentusAR Grid projects

Easily the most eye catching part of a grid development are the conductor wires that join the towers together. As the lines are long and linear, they draw the eye in and therefore appear more noticeable.

Power lines by the Allt Phocaichain. © Copyright Craig Wallace

Power lines by the Allt Phocaichain. © Copyright Craig Wallace

 

The ability to view conductor wires on new development visualisations is something our clients have asked about a few times as it helps them to communicate the effect of transmission lines better.

IMG_0172

A few weeks ago we added support for showing these conductors on wirelines and photomontages (including the SNH compliant PDFs) created through VentusAR. Conductors are shown as a thin grey line joining the connection points on the tower or wood pole model.

To Enable Conductors on Grid project

If you would like to enable conductors on your organisation setup, please contact us at hello@linknode.co.uk.

Once support for wireline is added, it will show on all photomontages or wirelines produced using VentusAR.

Conductor wires are available for all grid 3D models we have produced and made available in VentusAR (read more about them in our post from earlier this year).

The order the models should be joined is defined in the portal using the sort order column on the layout version page, changing the order using the up and down arrows. The conductor lines will be drawn to join each tower in order.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 14.29.52

Results

We think the results look really good – the thin grey lines make the conductors look good in the landscape. This approach is what some of our customers are already doing on the visualisations they create.

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Photomontage with the conductor lines shown

20160905_020035_5_199a9887-62f9-4d4e-857e-4722b7245b80_render

Wireline shown with conductor lines shown

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 14.13.47

53.5° wireline (produced to SNH specifications) – Full file: Bogbain_Dumrossie_B9177

 

 

VentusAR 4.5 Released

We are delighted to announce that this morning we released the latest version of VentusAR v4.5.

The release includes the ability to assess and visualise Building projects, drawing conductors between towers and wood poles in grid projects and transparency controls for the models and wirelines.

Buildings

We are particularly excited about being able to visualise buildings within our new domain. There are three type of building models available in VentusAR that can be added to a project: cuboid, pitched roof and default model. Each of the building types can be parameterised with the length, width and height in the portal and the model will be the building drawn accordingly.

A variety of different sized buildings shown in VentusAR Fly Through

Grid

Transmisson150-e1438175441149VentusAR 4.5 now has the ability to view conductors from tower to tower.

When the towers are set up in the portal, the conductors will automatically be added and viewable in Fly Through and My View.

IMG_0052-e1465825112441-1024x402

Conductors viewable in Fly Through

 Other new features

  • Relocation can now be done using postcodes. You can download the Gazetteer database, enter the postcode and use this to relocate.
  • Users can now adjust the transparency levels of both models and the terrain wirelines in all visualisation modes of VentusAR. This feature helps to align the camera feed to the terrain when everything has become congested.
  • A status bar has been added underneath the map to show the current location and accuracy of the internal GPS. This helps us to understand where the iPad is and how good a GPS signal it has. The conditions to allow user to open My View (Camera) or wireline have been re-worked to make them a bit more useful.
  • New sliders have been added to allow the wireline and the model opacity to be controlled in the visualisation mode.

Further information on VentusAR 4.5 can be found in the release notes for iPad, Android and the Portal

If you have any queries regarding these new features, or you would like to chat further about how VentusAR can help you with your visualisations, please give us a call on 0141 559 6170 or email hello@ventusar.com 

VentusAR Customer Case-Study: LDA Design

LDA Design use VentusAR to rapidly evaluate and clearly communicate projects. 

LDA Design are an independent creative consultancy helping clients to deliver places which work well and provides design and landscape-led planning services to developers, landowners, communities, universities and government. As planners, LDA Design take a positive approach to securing consent, optimising the opportunity to win support and are proud of their work for renewable energy schemes: small or large, they are all part of a low carbon future.

LDA Design needed a cost effective solution for producing visualisations for rapid site appraisal and design testing of renewable energy projects. In particular at early stage landscape feasibility work and in small projects where limited budgets precluded the production of large numbers of verifiable visualisations.

The Solution

onshore150-e1438175454732Having seen the potential of the product in 2013, LDA Design have worked with Linknode to inform the development of VentusAR. Initial use focussed on landscape feasibility studies as VentusAR allowed rapid visualisation production from a variety of locations.
Since then, VentusAR has been used to efficiently locate LVIA viewpoints with clear lines of sight, and in assessment scoping discussions with a range of consultees. VentusAR has also proved valuable in assessing potential impacts on residential visual amenity and settlements and providing supplementary visualisations to illustrate assessments.

Product Development

solar150-e1438175420529LDA Design continue to be actively involved in the development of VentusAR. They contribute to the use of bespoke terrain data, the solar domain and performance and usability testing in the field.
LDA Design also collaborate with Linknode in the production of bespoke development models for other forms of development to be used within VentusAR. They have been actively involved with Linknode on academic research exploring trust in the visual representation of wind farms.

VentusAR helps the LDA Design team to deliver faster, better and more cost effective advice about wind farm design and visual impacts. Being able to ‘see’ a scheme from any location aids our feasibility studies. Mary Fisher, LDA Design

The Benefits

buildingLDA Design benefits from being able to rapidly evaluate projects early on in the development lifecycle and being able to clearly communicate information to clients and consultees.. Additionally, a close working relationship with an engaged and responsive team at Linknode has allowed continued development of the product and exploration & development of new, valuable uses.

Key Facts

Number of VentusAR licenses  5
Domain  Wind and Solar
Number of wind projects created  67
Number of solar projects created  7

You can view the full case study here

If you would like to chat about using VentusAR for your wind, solar or grid visualisations, please feel free to call us on 0141 559 6170 or drop us a line at hello@ventusar.com

 

 

Assessing buildings onsite

Since 2012, VentusAR has enabled users to conduct onsite visualisations and assessments of onshore wind, solar and grid connections.

Our latest buildings feature will provide users with the ability to assess the developments of buildings and houses. We describe this as assessing the impact of rural developments. (We have another product we are building to allow users to assess urban developments – see UrbanPlanAR.com for details).

Assessment mode using the camera feed

Assessment mode using the camera feed

The development work to enable the visualisation of buildings to be assessed within VentusAR has now commenced. Once this feature is live, it will provide our clients with a few key benefits:

  • Save time during design process – Quickly create a 3D overview of the project and check sight lines and symmetry etc.
  • Save time while onsite – Check how visible a development will be from anywhere – as quickly as pointing the iPad and taking a photo.
  • Engage the public better – Take the tablet to a member of the public to show what the development would look like from their house.
  • Increase the chance of a successful planning application – VentusAR visuals aide better communication with the Planning Authorities.
  • Costs less than the price of 3DSMax and a trained operator.

These benefits will be delivered across the following features:

  • Choose 3D models from a library of buildings (pitched roof house, flat roof house, block of flats, barns).
  • Enter user configurable height, length and depth.
  • View a Fly Through to show the buildings in the context of the landscape.
  • Use My View to show what the development will look like on screen, using the real-time camera as a live background. Either in assessment mode showing outlines, structure and visibility or realistic mode with appropriate texture and detail.
  • Easily share photos and videos of what the development is going to look like.
Wireline Photomontage

Wireline photomontage of a building assessment

This work is due to be completed mid 2016. If you are working on designing or assessing buildings in a rural environment, we would love to hear from you and get your input to help define the product.

Please get in touch by emailing hello@ventusar.com or calling 0141 559 6170. We can come and show you what we are up to, how we can improve your assessment processes and save you money!

New Transmission Models

Today we are making our new outline transmission models available, and users of our transmission domain will have access to all these models.

These models have been created using engineering diagrams from SSE so represent real-world towers. They are outline models (i.e they show the outline of the tower not the details of the lattice towers) as at the moment we are showing visibility and shape, not detail.

AllfiveTransmisison

Models

We have models for the following towers: L4, L7, L8 and SSE400 and a wood pole model. The model and the texture are stored separately – so the grey colour we have used can be changed if required. Below we have a look at each model in a bit more detail.

Wood Pole

WoodPoleThe trident wood pole is used on 132kV circuits. This model uses colour and texture to show the wood and the structure at the top

Specification:

  • Height: 13.2m or 16m
  • Voltage: 132kV

L4 Tower

L4The L4 tower is a steel lattice tower. It is used for 132kV lines. All our steel lattice tower models have a grey colour, this is configurable per model, but having a standard grey follows the recommendations.

Specification:

  • Height: 26.5m
  • Width at Base: 5.4m
  • Width of widest cross arm: 13.6m
  • Construction Thickness: 0.2m
  • Voltage: 132kV

L7 Tower

L7Specification:

  • Height: 28.1m
  • Width at base: 8.4m
  • Width of widest cross arm: 12.6m
  • Thickness: 0.3m
  • Voltage: 132kV

L8 Tower

L8Specification:

  • Height: 48.2m
  • Width at base: 10.8m
  • Width of widest cross arm: 26m
  • Thickness: 0.3m
  • Voltage: 275Kv

SSE 400 Tower

SSE400Specification:

  • Height: 50.6m
  • Width at base: 13m
  • Width of widest cross arm: 32m
  • Thickness: 0.2m
  • Voltage: 400Kv

 

Usage in VentusAR

These models are available to VentusAR customers who have the transmission domain on their account. In the settings section there should be the five models (at the bottom of the page)  and 5 tower types corresponding to these types. These tower types can be added to a layout version in the portal and become visible on the 3D screens in the app.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 16.45.48

Once set up in VentusAR these models can be shown in My View, Fly Through or Gallery.

Wireline PhotoMOntage

PDFs can be created in the portal for easy sharing.

pdficon_large Dumrossie Wood pole and substation

Custom Transmission Models in VentusAR

We understand that sometimes our standard models won’t do. Some transmission and distribution lines require custom towers for any number of reasons: extra tall towers to go over certain topography etc. If your project requires a customised model or needs a substation or other infrastructure, get in touch (hello@ventusar.com) and we can talk about how easy it is to display 3D models in the landscape using VentusAR.

Introducing the Transmission Tower Model

As part of the VentusAR 4.0 release, we have included a brand new feature for visualising transmission towers.

This new  capability allows the towers to be assessed in all visualisation modes – My View, FlyThrough and Gallery. In this post we will introduce you to the new transmission tower model we are using for our visualisations. It is is customisable with different colours and lit with realistic lighting as with all our models.

We also added a new solar panel model which will was covered in a previous post.

FlyThrough

This video shows the transmission towers in FlyThrough mode. This is an overview tool to explain what the area around a transmission project would look like.

You’ll notice that all the towers here are the same model. We understand that according to different considerations, there are different types of transmission towers required, and we are working with partners to create more models: for example tangent suspension tower and angle tower (or tension towers). Multiple tower models can be loaded into VentusAR to give an accurate representation of the development.

My View

This video shows the transmission towers in the My View mode. This allows the visualisation to be generated from a particular position. The video initially shows the map of the tower locations, and then loads the visualisation in a wireline mode. This represents what you would see if you were standing in that location. If you were actually there, you could switch on the camera mode and see what the towers would look like in the landscape.

If you have any models of transmission towers you would like demonstrated within VentusAR, please feel free to contact us.

Custom Models

The technology behind VentusAR is very flexible so we can load in any 3D models into our visualisation modes. The addition of Solar and Transmission models in VentusAR are the first steps in the journey towards loading any type of model into the VentusAR visualisation modes.

If you are working on a project where showing a custom 3D model in an augmented reality camera feed would help, get in contact by emailing hello@ventusar.com