Simulation Leadership Forum – October 2021 with NTNU

We are back at Norwegian university of Science and Technology (NTNU) where it all started 25 years ago! This time it’s not for studies, but to host this year’s first (semi)-live Simulation Leadership Forum – and again try out a new format. This time we decided to focus on a whole industry rather than a single company, and what better way to start than talking about the development of the Hydropower industry with Professor Ole-Gunnar Dahlhaug at the Waterpower laboratory in Trondheim, Norway.

As former colleagues in the nineties, we walked down the hydropower memory lane and talked about the development of simulations within the industry during the last decades. We also discussed the future of energy systems, academia’s role in the hydropower industry and how to build a business case for digital twins. Check out the whole discussion here!

Waterpower laboratory

For more than 100 years, the NTNU Waterpower laboratory has been collaborating closely with the hydropower industry – including manufacturers, consultants, lawmakers, operators, research organizations and academia. Now when hydropower is used to balance intermittent energy production from sources like wind and solar, the load cycles have become highly dynamic and have introduced a whole new range of challenges that call for an even closer collaboration.

Digital Twins

We concluded that with a good surveillance system, many of the problems that occurred in the 90s could have been avoided. However, at that point in time time, the technology was not ready, but with the digital twin concept it is now possible to tackle such challenges. We have written about this topic many times, most recently here.

One would think that technology is the biggest challenge in such a transition, but according to Ole Gunnar, the communication between all industry players is the real challenge. For academia it’s most often difficult to introduce new academic knowledge through the standard format of academic papers, which are seldom read or understood.

Project HiFrancis

In this respect, the HiFrancis project was a game changer. The collaboration was driven by operational challenges like fatigue and resonance of turbine runners and where all industry participants worked together to produce not only high-quality academic work, but also written industry best practices and guidelines. By chance , EDRMedeso was also actively participating in this project and earlier discussed its scope here.

Simulation Maturity

This led us to discuss the concept of Simulation maturity and where technology is only one of the ingredients to a successful outcome when assessing the full business benefit from simulation. That is, the importance of bringing in people, the organization, strategy and capabilities into the equation. If you would like to discover more about simulation maturity – you can read about it here.

Next Simulation Leadership Forum and all recordings can be found here.

Written by Marcus Oledal Fredrika Dahlberg

Simulation Leadership Forum