A cloud enabled virtual reality based pedagogical ecosystem for wind energy education

Pramod Abichandani, William Fligor, Eli Fromm

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper describes a scalable and transferable cloud-based virtual reality pedagogical ecosystem that provides students with the basics of wind turbines and associated wind farm design. The module uses mathematical models derived from the experimental WKA-60 turbine to incorporate realistic wind-turbine behavior. Students are able to design a virtual wind-farm for optimal energy generation by modifying individual wind turbine parameters such as the blade length, count, and angle as well as the spacing of the wind turbines in the wind farm. Live graphs showing how the design parameters affect total power output from the virtual wind farm provide instant feedback to the students. An adaptive methodology that assesses the application of students' independent thought processes, along with design and operational skills in creating the wind farms is implemented. We provide a detailed description of technical approach that was adopted to create this system. The ecosystem uses the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud technology in the backend and Unity 3D gaming engine for the front-end rendering. The server-side software runs on Node.js and frameworks such as Express. As educational VR systems continue to develop, we anticipate that cloud based implementations will be utilized for an increasing number of educational needs and that the ecosystem and technical approach presented in this paper may serve as a guide for future educational VR research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7044192
JournalProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
Issue numberFebruary
StatePublished - Feb 17 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event44th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2014 - Madrid, Spain
Duration: Oct 22 2014Oct 25 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Cloud Technology
  • Virtual Reality
  • Wind Energy Education


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