- MEMPHIS: Project for the development of a system that allows measuring the temperature in boiler components through the use of fibre optics as a direct application sensor.
- MOP: pilot project to introduce a system to help the operation based on artificial intelligence and cognitive models.
- E-SENSE: New advanced monitoring and diagnostic systems for high, medium and low voltage switches.
- ROBOTICS: Use of a new underwater robot for use in inspection and cleaning tasks in underwater infrastructures.
- VR for training: Use of Virtual Reality for immersion training in the field of the safety of people.
This year and within the field of the innovative projects in the environmental area, the following projects were undertaken, aimed at reducing pollutant gas emissions, the valuation of by-products and reducing the consumption of natural resources such as water:
- Matching Project: Project developed in collaboration with several companies and R&D centres and co-financed within the European Horizon 2020 programme. Its aim is to reduce water consumption in the energy sector by using new technologies and to validate these technologies in 3 pilot plants that are being installed in the As Pontes thermal plant.
- Gyll Project: Pilot project for recovery of dump leachate water and desulpherisation water by the use of an innovative technology based on vibrating membranes.
- Acticen Project: A project oriented toward the valuation of the ash derived from the coal combustion process at the thermal power plants, by means of an alkaline pre-activation process to obtain products to replace Portland cement to be used in concrete prefabs.
- A4HW Project: Valuation of CO₂ derived from combustion gases at the Litoral thermal power plant in Almeria by the cultivation of microalgae, and the valuation of the biomass generated to obtain high-value proteins as a high added-value source.
As a result of this project, the micro-algae plant is being expanded, increasing the crop area to a size of approximately 1 ha.
- The LIFE ALGAR-BBE Project: Putting CO₂ to good use through the cultivation of microalgae, and using the biomass generated to develop biocidal bio-stimulants. The project will implement, evaluate and promote the use of biocidal bio-stimulants developed from microalgae — a new approach for sustainable agriculture.
The main objective of the LIFE ALGAR-BBE project is to mitigate the adverse effects that the chemical pesticides currently used in tomato and maize farming have on the environment and human health. Like all LIFE projects, it will involve environmental monitoring, a socio-economic impact study and life cycle analysis.
The project is funded by the European Union through the LIFE Programme.
In addition, different projects have been developed to improve efficiency and flexibility in electricity generation processes, with direct implications for reducing emissions and consuming material resources, such as:
- Conava Project: Implementation of expert adaptive predictive control systems to optimise combustions and turbine steam temperature control in different generating plants.
- MAYA Project: Validation of a system to measure the coal composition on a conveyor belt using laser techniques.
- Energy harvesting project: Validation of an energy capture system for sensor power based on thermoelectric technology.
- Protec: Development of new coatings for the protection of boiler tubes against high temperature corrosion and combined erosion.
- COAT: Validation of new microparticle paints for use as small thickness thermal and acoustic insulators.
- DEMFORE: Development of a system for the prediction of photovoltaic ramps to improve the management of thermal generation. Application to the island of Tenerife.
- ACTS Project: Advanced systems for enhancing people's intrinsic safety.LEAKS: Visual detection of gas leaks using adapted thermographic cameras.
- Thermoelectrika: Validation of the early detection system of hot spots that generate fires.
In the area of energy storage, important innovative projects are being developed in the area of batteries, with the largest installation of this type in Spain, as well as in other types of storage solutions. The following projects should be highlighted:
- Litoral Battery in Almeria: Installation based on lithium-ion batteries with a size of 20 MW of power and 11.7 MWh of stored energy, and is the largest installation of this type in Spain. The installation will allow the Carboneras Thermal Plant (Almeria) to adapt to the needs of the electrical system without changing its generation rate.
- SELF Second Life Batteries Project: Project to validate a recycling solution for electric vehicle batteries to be used to support the backup batteries of the Melilla thermal power plant. This system with 4 MW power and 1.7 MWh of stored energy will be installed in Melilla and will contribute to provide support and safety to the autonomous city's supply.
- El Hierro Battery: Installation of an energy storage system to support the backup batteries of the Llanos Blancos thermal power plant on the island of El Hierro.
- TES Project: Study for the integration of a thermal storage pilot for solid materials to recover residual heat in the Las Salinas plant in Fuerteventura.
The MEMPHIS, ACTICEN, PROTEC and A4HW projects have been funded by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities under the Challenges Collaboration programme. This aid is co-financed by the European Union through the ERDF funds, with the aim of promoting Technological Development, Innovation and Quality Research.
Innovation in nuclear generation
As for innovation in nuclear generation, some of the research projects carried out include the following:
- EPRI nuclear programme, the purpose of which is to achieve operating excellence of nuclear power plants.
- PCI coordinated research programme, performed with the participation of companies in the sector and of the CSN (Nuclear Safety Council), whose purpose is to analyse the safety of nuclear power plants, both for their operators and for the regulatory body.
- PIC joint programme of the electric companies and ENUSA, which coordinates the R&D&I activities related to nuclear fuel, defining projects of common interest.
- In cooperation with the CEIDEN platform, we will analyse samples of the concrete from the José Cabrera Nuclear Facility, whis is no longer in use, in order to obtain data of great usefulness in the improvement of the safety conditions of the facilities currently in operation.