Preparing natural gas field personnel for critical missions with a dynamic interactive simulation
With development funding from OTD, GTI Energy provided subject matter expertise and engaged technology partners to develop training to better prepare utility natural gas personnel to effectively and efficiently identify and respond to emergency leak response calls with a dynamic interactive simulation.
The Natural Gas Leak Emergency VR Training module challenges trainees working in natural gas distribution to explore a fully immersive and interactive 3D neighborhood in a highly realistic VR simulation. A wide variety of situational and environmental details can be randomized with each experience to keep trainees alert and engaged. The module was built with multi-user capabilities in mind. Scenarios can be completed cooperatively, or a trainer can join in to coach the trainee along the way.
With this training module, everything matters. The nature of the gas leak, decisions made by first responders, and changing facts on the ground all contribute to a successful or unsuccessful outcome---just as they would in real life.
VR Training Experience
- Multi-user: Multi-user functionality allows up to dozens of trainees to interact and collaborate in a single environment at one time—from multiple endpoints, potentially anywhere in the world.
- Scenario Randomization: Scenario randomization ensures trainees stay alert and engaged as they’re presented with virtually limitless potential hazards, situational details, and environmental considerations.
- Reporting: Real-time reporting & analytics provide actionable feedback for trainees, clear visibility into trainee performance for training managers and supervisors, and in-depth data that reveals micro- and macro-level trends that can be leveraged to improve the long-term effectiveness of training.
- 3D Environments: Photo-realistic 3D environments dissolve the barrier between virtual and actual reality and create a setting for true-to-life accuracy.
- Simulated Consequences: Simulated consequences and functional real-world tools put the pressure on trainees to respond quickly and become familiar with tools that will be used regularly on the job.
- Replicated Physics: Replicated physics to simulate the behavior of gasses and flames for immersive realism.
VR Training Overview
VR Training Demo: Natural Gas Leak Emergency Response
VR Training Demo: Facility Locating and Marking
Available VR Training Modules
Based on overwhelming response to the first VR training module on natural gas leaks, GTI Energy has enhanced the module and launched a suite of VR training modules on activities for other critical missions. They include:
Natural Gas Leak Emergency Response
Natural Gas Leak Emergency Response challenges trainees to search for, find, and properly respond to a potentially deadly simulated gas leak in a residential neighborhood. With multi-user functionality, scenario randomization, and real-time reporting analytics, it’s the most advanced, intense, and engaging VR Training ever created for the energy industry.
Facility Locating and Marking
Use established real-world training methods and critical thinking skills to search for, find, and mark-off the location of natural gas facilities. Use industry tools and observational techniques to complete the tasks while recognizing and reacting to any Abnormal Operating Conditions (AOCs) encountered.
Use real-life training methods and critical thinking skills to patrol a stretch of transmission pipeline to ensure the pipeline is properly marked and to identify any Abnormal Operating Conditions (AOCs) that could threaten the integrity and safety of the pipeline.
Outside Leak Investigation
Participants access a residential neighborhood to complete the required task of investigating possible gas leaks outside dwellings and buildings. Multiple types of leaks may be present. Participants use the same tools they will be using in the field to bar-hole and measure gas concentrations. Once the source of the leak is identified, participants follow the procedures of pinpointing the exact location of the leak and then makes the appropriate communications to have the leak reported and repaired.
Inside Meter Inspections
Participants learn how to correctly perform an indoor gas meter inspection. Scenario randomization challenges participants with millions of different situations — a variety of meter configurations, gas leaks, signs of corrosion, tampering - exposing them to dozens of real life situations in a matter of hours that would traditionally take them months, or longer, for them to be exposed to these same situations out in field.
Inside Leak Investigation
Participants enter a residential property to conduct a thorough investigation of a customer-reported gas leak in their residence. Using their decision-making skills and available tools, participants must determine if a leak exists, identify its source, and take appropriate steps to resolve the leak.
Participants access excavation sites where gas mains are being exposed. The participant must assess the job site to determine if excavation procedures are being followed properly based on the facility markings that may or may not be present. After they assess the situation, they must communicate with the excavation crew regarding the correct course of action. Participants must recognize and react to abnormal operation conditions (AOC) to prevent damage to the gas main.
A multi-step safety inspection to ensure technicians can do safely and successfully inspect appliances in the field. Trainees use real-life methods in a simulated environment to identify any potential hazards, incorrect connection methods, or other safety concerns surrounding natural gas appliances.
Participants access varied excavation sites, to complete gas pipeline hot tapping tasks in residential neighborhoods. The module includes abandonment, main extension, and cut-out scenarios. Using available materials and resources, the participant must determine the order of actions and complete the task safely and timely.