Digitalization in Fortum
The digital era is breaking the industrial-era models of how nuclear power plants should be operated. At Fortum, we have advocated digitalization of our business practices to improve operational efficiencies and create value for our customers.
These rapidly evolving technologies have been in use for several years in different parts of Fortum and the benefits and payback has become evident. Interactive 360° videos have been used at our hydro and nuclear power plants to boost efficiency in projects and maintenance. Based on user experience, we’ve gained a lot of good ideas on how to further develop the technology and apply it to new areas in maintenance, engineering, projects and training.
The use of 360° video technology stemmed from the needs of the power plant’s own personnel.
“This development project is a good example of functioning collaboration across organisational boundaries, and the solutions have been tested and implemented simultaneously in both the nuclear and hydropower sectors. In the latter, interviews were conducted to map the needs and the technologies; while digitalisation workshops were held with the nuclear power personnel to brainstorm the best application targets,” says Miko Olkkonen, Head of Sales, Nuclear Services, Fortum.
The first videos were shot at the Loviisa nuclear power plant and Imatrankoski and Tainionkoski hydropower sites. The Loviisa videos offer the opportunity to visit places virtually that are inaccessible during the power plant’s normal operations, such as the cramped, radioactive steam generator room. For the hydropower personnel, the technology provides the opportunity to virtually visit our numerous hydro power plants that are geographically dispersed around Sweden and Finland. These interactive 360° videos have proven so useful that Fortum now provides them as a service to other companies in Finland and abroad.
“At Loviisa, the videos are useful in planning the annual outage. For instance, precisely timed maintenance work is carried out during the annual outage in areas difficult to access during operations. With these videos, this work can be planned and scheduled in advance better than before. This shortens outages, reduces risks and reduces personnel dosage” Miko says.
The videos provide a seamless 360x180-degree view of everything around the video camera. Thus the viewer has an unobstructed view of the space from every angle, and can zoom in on details. If the person is wearing virtual glasses, moving about in the virtual space feels almost the same as moving about in the actual space. Users can make notes and stick “yellow Post-It notes” and “hot-spots” on the video, thereby enabling the video to function as a communication tool for project personnel.
The videos can also be used in the onboarding of new employees and in radiation protection training for people working during the annual outage. A video can also have an interactive functionality by including a 3D model of the target or various data and documents alongside the video. For example, a 30-page user manual for a crane that is used in critical hoists inside the reactor building can be converted into an experiential-based virtual manual.
“Virtual video training packages is a service that we can offer to customers. We have presented our operating models to the rest of the nuclear industry, and the feedback has been very positive. The same technologies can also be applied to improve the operational efficiency of all kinds of production plants. At the moment we are the world leader in taking newest digital technologies (AR, VR and 360 video) into daily use and we offer our clients the best and most effective solutions for utilising interactive 360-degree videos,” Miko concludes.
About Fortum's Nuclear Services
We have a long experience in operating and maintaining nuclear plants and providing engineering services. A high safety level is a top priority in everything we do. This also reflects to our R&D focus. We have developed innovative solutions for improving nuclear power plant performance and waste handling. Read more about our services for nuclear power plants>>
Fortum is a leading clean energy company in the Nordics with annual turnover of $3.6Bn with 8000+ employees. Our extensive line of services range from electricity & heat provision to expert services for power plants. We are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki and we rank top in Carbon Disclosure Project's (CDP) Nordic climate index – see our Annual Report 2016.