Wrapping up the Elektrifierad Infrastrukturbyggnation project

Wrapping up the Elektrifierad Infrastrukturbyggnation project

The “Elektrifierad Infrastrukturbyggnation” was a feasibility study conducted in close collaboration between Volvo Construction Equipment, Lund University and Blekinge University of Technology, funded by the Swedish Transport Administration. It aimed at investigating the conditions for carrying out major infrastructure projects emission- and fossil-free. The E20-Vårgårda-Bälinge road section was chosen as main case study in the project.

An extract from the Discrete Event Simulation model for the road construction site.

Marco, what was BTH’s main contribution in the project?

BTH contributed to the project through the development of a generic model-driven decision support for site planning. In practice, the work has focused first on creating a detailed map of the activities in the site, from ground removal, to rock blasting, to asphalt paving. This map was then used to develop a simulation model using a discrete event simulation technique, which was executed a number of times to calculate the performances of different construction scenarios. The scenarios looked into the use of different types of electrified machines vs. diesel-driven ones, to know more, for instance, about the forecasted construction lead time, energy consumption levels and power peaks.

What are your main reflections at the conclusion of the study?

I am happy about the results of the project, as they clearly show how simulation models can provide a granular and detailed forecast of the future behaviour of a road construction site, which can be used for better planning and resource allocation. The simulation model worked also very well as a means to facilitate the communication across the different stakeholders in project.

What is the next step?

At present, we are looking at how to create a complete Digital Twin for a road construction site. First and foremost, we are looking at how to gather real-time data from the physical activities to feed the virtual simulations. Then, we are also working on the development create ultra-realistic representations of the site to verify the long-term consequences of different design choices at machine level. While an initial proof-of concept has been developed in the project using the Unity 3D® software package, we are now exploring the application of real-time physically accurate simulation in the Omniverse® environment provided by NVIDIA®. 

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