General information about this project.
Our project is defined by several problems. The core issue is to develop software that allows users to model electrical power flow. The software must model power flow realistically enough to enable quality education and research. Additionally, the software must work in a virtual video game environment and must be easy to use.
Minecraft is a 3D/VR video game that enables the creation of complex virtual worlds. The block based nature of the game makes it very easy for players to build nearly any structure. This approach has made the game very popular and also easy to modify. There are thousands of mods which do everything from adding new animals to flight simulators and much more. There are several mods that already exist which attempt to mimic power flow. Unfortunately, these do not model the operation/control of electrical systems in a way that is realistic enough to enable quality research and education in power systems. This is why we made Electric Blocks.
Traditional tools used in the design and simulation of electric power flow networks require a highly technical understanding of power flow behavior, and are not readily accessible to learners due to their complex interfaces and results that are not easily interpreted. Our solution, Electric Blocks, is a Minecraft mod to attract those who are interested in designing and playing with power systems through the simple and familiar interface of Minecraft.
This project’s value is primarily derived from its speed and ease of use. Electric Blocks works great as an educational tool as users can build simple power systems in mere seconds and get feedback. This project also has value for power flow engineering. This mod allows for engineers to work collaboratively in real-time to prototype and test power flow systems.
The overall objective of this mod is to enable the creation and use of realistic and accurate virtual reality models of electric power transmission, distribution, control, and usage scenarios for research and instruction purposes.
Why did we create this mod? There are several mods modeling energy and mechanis. There are also a couple of mods for simulating electrical systems. However, these mods do not model electrical systems and their operation and control in a way that is realistic enough to enable quality research and education.
That is where Electric Blocks comes in. Electric Blocks enables realistic modeling of power flows using the PandaPower API. This API is thoroughly tested against commercial software and so power flow systems created in-game will function just like real their real world counterparts.
The software traditionally used for running power flow simulations is expensive and difficult to use. It can take many hours of practice and learning for novices to setup even the most simple of power flow circuits.
Electric Blocks aims to completely change this paradigm. With this mod, anyone can get in game and start connecting parts together. Setting up an electrical lamp with a connection to a coal generator is easy and gives immediate feedback. For those more technically inclined, power settings can be tweaked and monitored in game. Power distribution has never been as accessible as it is with Electric Blocks!
Electric Blocks uses Minecraft as a virtualized world where people can practice building power distribution systems without any danger and zero up front costs.