How Do Digital Twins Reduce Carbon Emissions?
Learn how digital twin technology may reduce carbon emissions across different industries. Learn more about Visionaize and its groundbreaking digital twin technology.
Digital twins are increasingly visible in the manufacturing, industrial and engineering sectors thanks, in part, to the role they play in reducing carbon emissions. Because a digital twin is a virtual recreation of an asset, or a system of assets, its ability to monitor equipment and reduce human time spent in the field, and the associated travel emissions produced, is a huge energy-saving advantage. Every part of an asset is virtually monitored with a simple data interface, allowing operators to simulate different if-then scenarios and choose the solution that creates the least environmental impact. Digital twins also have energy-saving community planning and asset production advantages as well.
Reduce Trips into the Field
Minimizing human-asset interactions reduces carbon emissions by automating many labor-intensive asset maintenance tasks and reducing trips into the field. By identifying any unseen issues precisely at the source, the amount of time workers must spend interacting with asset components is greatly minimized. In some cases, digital twins work alongside specialized robots to repair assets that otherwise would have required hands-on troubleshooting. This creates energy-saving efficiencies for both preventative and emergency asset maintenance.
Reducing time in the field has a substantial ripple effect on the reduction of a company’s carbon footprint. Many complex assets are positioned in remote areas, whether it’s an oil-drilling platform in the middle of the ocean or a manufacturing plant hundreds or thousands of miles from a company’s headquarters. This often requires carbon-heavy modes of travel whenever a trip to the field is warranted. Digital twins dramatically cut the carbon output from air, truck, and vehicular travel by eliminating many trips by digitally monitoring situations that previously required hands-on, in-the-field labor.
Because a digital twin can be used to simulate different asset management decisions, operators can evaluate the outcomes of different solutions without investing actual resources into a potential solution. This includes the ability to analyze different levels of carbon emissions caused by different scenarios. This is both a cost-effective and energy-efficient way to manage and evaluate the risks associated with different applications of the asset.
Preventative Maintenance Improves the Life Cycle of An Asset
Having accurate historical data on the repairs and maintenance for any given asset is essential to maintaining functionality and extending its serviceable life. Being able to make precise repairs may extend the life of an asset significantly. Having access to this historical data also allows companies to make comparative analyses of their assets and make the most informed decisions about when an asset’s energy demand or carbon output is too great and the asset must be retired.
Digital Twin Technology Creates Smarter Assets and Processes
The spatial data rendered by a digital twin is being used in industries to design the next generation of assets and the systems that will operate within these new machines and structures. This data-rich, robust design environment is ideal for identifying solutions and creating the most energy-efficient structures and systems. Tesla, for example, uses digital twins in the vehicle development process to produce the best, most efficient vehicle.
Digital twins can effectively simulate entire ecosystems, including your community! Creating virtual clones of cities, and replicating energy consumption and carbon emissions data, can identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency at the city-planning level. Communities in the UK are already investing in this technology, with promising results!
Digital twins have both small-scale and community-level advantages in reducing carbon emissions. As digital twin technology becomes more and more commonplace in a greater number of applications, we can expect to see its ability to create energy efficiencies and a positive environmental impact continue to grow.