Ep.55 Industrial safety technologies / Energy prosumers / Smart ocean infrastructure
World Ch. Schedule : FRI 08:30 KST
Date : 2019-06-21
As various industries are evolving, more chemicals are used and state-of-the-art facilities are rapidly introduced. As a result, industrial workers are exposed to a broader range of risks. Unfortunately, Korea has infamously recorded the highest number of industrial accidents among OECD countries. Therefore, the safety of industrial sites needs to be improved urgently.
Against this backdrop, various industrial safety technologies are being developed to help avoid accidents. In order to minimize any damages that can be incurred from falling accidents, airbag vests have been developed. This airbag vest is designed to inflate within 0.2 seconds as soon as it detects fall. Also, to raise the rate of people wearing protective equipment in high-rise buildings, the system is under development to send the warning alert when workers are not wearing personal protective equipment and to inform system managers about the circumstances.
Meanwhile, technologies are also deployed in VR for industrial safety training, where the VR reproduces similar risky environment and helps employees cope with the situation.
It allows them to conduct site safety investigations and learn how to use the dangerous equipment at industrial sites. As for the gas accident, which can cause a large explosion, gas and flame detectors can be used to minimize damages by detecting even small changes. We look into the industrial safety technology, which is protecting the lives of workers.
Recently, it is easy to find how renewable power like solar, wind and hydroelectricity is generated from the electric grid on rooftops and apartments. These advances have brought about people who both consume and produce energy, and they are called energy prosumers. They are playing the role in creating added value in various industries. Photovoltaic solar electricity has emerged to share the sunlight for the land growing crops as well as solar power generation. Farmers are therefore a good example of energy prosumers, as they consume energy for farming crops and produce energy at the same time. With the installation of agrivoltaic solar panels for farmhouses, crop yields have been reduced, but it is more profitable since fixed income can be earned from the solar power generation. As there is a rising number of energy prosumers, the local government is also working hard to create a virtuous energy cycle. The Natural Recycling Agricultural Center is one example, where collected manure and food waste from farmhouses and homes in Nonsan area are made into compost and liquid fertilizer. In particular, biogas is produced during the fermentation process of making compost and liquid fertilizer, which is converted into electricity. Then, the produced electricity will be connected with KEPCO through the power grid for trade.
Moreover, a zero-energy building, which is a rising trend, is also another type of energy prosumer. It can save heating and cooling costs by generating necessary energy within the building and the remaining electricity can be even traded. We look into energy prosumers are active consumers in the market.
The ocean covers 70% of the Earth's surface. It is our surroundings providing vital resources to the survival of humanity. Recently, new innovation has been brought to the ocean industry, as the traditional ocean industry is currently undergoing a shift towards smart industry through the convergence with ICT technologies. For example, the marine navigation has been developed to reduce the number of ship accidents due to difficulties in finding sea routes. By leveraging GPS technology, it allows to display the location of more than 100,000 vessels in real-time and identify the dangers of possible collision, providing great help to fishermen. In addition, the smart aquafarm has emerged with the help of cutting-edge technologies, as the aquaculture industry is suffering greatly with the rise of sea temperature and red tide due to recent climate change. It not only addresses the issue of finding labor force due to the decreasing population in fishing villages and aging society. It also makes a great contribution to improving economic efficiency by reducing expenses such labor and feed costs.
Furthermore, marine robots have been developed solely based on Korea's own technology, which will help construct structures to be used in the new ocean industry sector and reduce overseas rental fees. We look into the smart ocean infrastructure, which is giving us greater hope for Korea's future marine science technology.