All around the world, businesses in the renewable energy sector are faced with the challenge of reducing costs of production, whilst speeding up the amount of time it takes for designs to get to market. They are, therefore, constantly on the lookout for new technologies that will help them address these challenges, and at the same time stay true to the philosophy of their industry.
Interactive whiteboards have emerged as a key driver of innovation and efficiency in the renewable energy arena. So, how has interactive whiteboard technology helped this sector?
Why has it become such a vital tool for some of the biggest companies in the industry?
Better interactions in brainstorming sessions
Before now most renewable energy companies relied on Microsoft Powerpoint in meetings, with all its limitations. This led to meetings taking longer than necessary and processes being delayed. The lack of multiuser support and interactivity meant that managing stakeholder contribution to a session was difficult. With interactive whiteboards, meetings can be a lot more engaging, as up to 7 people can work on a design or project simultaneously.
Faster experimentation with new ideas
Interactive whiteboards make it easier for new ideas to be tried out without the financial outlay of developing physical prototypes. New renewable energy ideas can be drawn, measured and calculated using virtual models, with teams collaborating remotely through their whiteboards. With the facilitation of better remote working, teams no longer have to be in the same room, avoiding the travel costs and scheduling challenges that often hold projects up.
Faster time to market
With interactive whiteboards, key participants in a design team, and outside stakeholders, can work together on a project at the same time; leading to a drastic reduction in the amount of time it takes to design and implement a project. Workflow is significantly better with a team model based on interactive whiteboards.
Better training for staff
Interactive whiteboards help facilitate learning during in-house training, leading to individuals that are better equipped to carry out their specific functions.
Here is a look at some renewable energy businesses and how they have benefited from using interactive whiteboard technologies in their projects.
Gaoh Energy, Farnborough UK
This company is one of the biggest names in the wind and tidal energy sector. They are focused on helping clients develop demonstration sites. The company also offers engineering solutions to clients working on wind farms. Their work has been helped greatly by a combination of the autodesk software and interactive whiteboards.
This combination means the company can now carry out 3D modelling with ease. This has enhanced their productivity massively as it means they can now achieve more in-house, instead of outsourcing design tasks that would require interactive sessions between engineers to other fabrication companies.
The whiteboards have also helped the company to present designs better to both clients and prospects. The 3D designs are projected onto the whiteboard in complete and final formats, showing customers what the company’s engineers have been able to put together on a particular project.
Clients can now offer suggestions or ask for alterations to be made to the design earlier in the process. This makes it easier to engender stakeholder engagement and to facilitate better project decisions. This all adds up to happier customers.
Narec Renewable Energy Training Centre UK
This is a company focused on helping their customers improve energy security, reduce their carbon footprint and stimulate economic growth. The company became a training centre in 2010 after their building was refurbished and fitted with some of the latest technologies required to train students of renewable energy. One of the technologies deployed was an interactive whiteboard.
The company needed a more interactive way of presenting and teaching courses to energy professionals in their rich scheme of work, and the interactive whiteboard was the answer.
Apart from the rich quality of presentations, interactive whiteboards have also made it easy for tutors to demonstrate renewable energy concepts through visual models. This has added to the practical nature of the training.
Since it became a training centre, the company has trained over 200 individuals, some of them funded by the European Union.
Tradewind Turbines Devon
Tradewind Turbines is a company known for expertise in designing innovative small wind turbines that generate power with the aid of vertically mounted sails. The design, however, requires precise virtual modelling to avoid incurring costs associated with design errors.
Throughout the design process the company’s engineers work entirely on an interactive whiteboard. They are able to work in a bottom-up and top-down manner to ensure that the final design feeds into the development of a fully functional prototype.
The interactive whiteboard also makes it easy for engineers to access the design at any point in time, from where ever they are, meaning they can work and collaborate from home, or even when away on business trips.
Interactive whiteboards are vital in the renewable energy sector as they help players in the industry design faster, work more collaboratively, communicate with stakeholders more effectively, and train staff in a more engaging manner. As the renewable energy sector continues to grow, requiring more innovative design solutions, so too will the influence and importance of interactive technology.