In our most recent work for Geothermal Engineering Ltd (GEL), we’ve created an interactive VR experience. Located near Redruth, Cornwall, United Downs is home to GEL’s Geothermal power plant, the first in the UK. We’ve worked with GEL throughout each stage of this innovative scheme capturing its progress through a series of films. But our latest instalment in the series explains this exciting project using virtual reality.

Understanding Geothermal Through VR

Geothermal is a renewable source of energy. GEL’s ground-breaking (literally!) project involves drilling 5km into the earth’s crust and injecting water into the hole. This water is then heated by  “Hot Rocks” which lie below the surface. Finally, the water, now around 100 degrees, is pumped back up to provide a source of power and heat. Of course, all of this happens underground, so how can you show the process in a really immersive and easy to understand way? Well, we’ve created an animated interactive VR experience that explains exactly how it all works.

The Geothermal Interactive VR Experience

We start the experience with Lucy Cotton, the project geologist at United Downs. She gives a little history into the area and shares GEL’s vision for a greener future. This is accompanied by a beautiful 360 drone video of the site and surrounding stunning Cornish landscape. We then follow a “virtual” Lucy (a purpose-built animation of the real Lucy) down into the well. She introduces us to the 3D animation world where we can actually see what goes on inside these holes. Animated Lucy then walks us through the tunnels.


While underground with Lucy, she explains how geothermal energy works: how the water circulates around the wells, the use of natural fractures and why there won’t be any seismic earthquakes in Cornwall because of the drilling. Meanwhile, the viewer can interact with the environment, running or swimming through the tunnels. They can also choose to watch a range of videos that explore topics such as the history of the project and how GEL has worked with the local community.

Using Virtual Reality to Connect with Audiences

GEL really value their relationship with the people in the local area and the interactive VR experience is the perfect way to show local people what’s happening under their feet. The VR can be used on-site as part of their tours, or in educational and community settings. Virtual reality is a great way to connect with audiences in a truly immersive way.

For the interactive VR experience, we used a mixture of 3D animation, VR and 2D film, graphics, time-lapse and drone footage. We are really proud of the completed project and how it shows the creativity and talent here at Soundview. We can’t wait to hear the feedback from the audience.

 To view more work from Soundview, click here.


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