Title: Navitas Biotopo
Name: Antonio Campos Villanueva
School: Universidad Europea de Madrid
Tutor: Acebo X Alonso
Navitas Biotopo is a power plant which produces electricity through solar energy, and it is, in addition, a treatment facility and improvement of the quality of the water in whichit is located; a reservoir.
The project proposes to establish a territorial energy strategy, common to the Mediterranean European arch locating a number of energy points along the network of already existing reservoirs. So that is an ecological opportunity constituting a system of improvement of the biotope of superficial water bodies.
The present project raises two main issues. The first one is political-economic and the second one is social-ecologic. Both of them are related to climatic change and human and environmental health.
This is necessary because Europe is undergoing a serious dependence of third countries as far as the energy supplying is concerned. We import 54.1% ofthe energy that we consume, to a great extent derived from fossil fuels, which produces an absence of economic control and an important risk of shortage of supplies if diplomatic conflicts would take place. It is worth recalling the incident occured last 2006, in which Russia ended gas provision to Ukraine in the middle of the winter as a mean of political pressure.
Furthermore this is an environmental emergency, CO2 emissions continue increasing and affecting human health and climatic change. Thus, the European comission developed a guideline a few years ago in which the European Union cities are forced to reduce their emissions to an 80% until the year 2050. which can lead to a change of the energy production pattern, the transport plan, etc. of the model of transports etc. Ultimately the transition to the third industrial revolution.
Europe must develop its own technology in order to get its own clean and renewable energy supplies, and independent of other countries and foreign agents. Within the framework of the aforementioned European guideline, the Commission ordered certain strategic studies to OMA/AMO, which came across certain conclusions. There is a possibility of obtaining a closed circle of european power supplying.. According to their studies the North of Europe could supply itself, the South could do it in winter time with clean energies; and also it would be able to do the same in the summer time thanks to the solar energy.
This project takes up the challenge of researching on establishment of solar energy models of production in the South of Europe. Solar energy has got however, a main disadvantage which is that it raises certain problems associated to it. It needs enormous amounts of surface in order to collect the energy.
This is a key issue, considering that in the old continent we do not count on great extensions of land to explode, as for instance, deserts could be. In addition, Europe on an very consolidated historical and cultural landscape. consolidated. If it keeps on being poorly managed, continuing with the present strategic deregulation may lead to a waste of territory and a threat to our landscape.
It is through this problem that we can reach a great ecological opportunity. The use of reservoirs, great amounts of surface of calmed water bodies is proposed here as a holder
to operate solar potential, and to take part on the biotope of the superficial water bodies and to stop its impoverishment in biodiversity and quality, an emergency situation that goes almost unnoticed.
In Spain there are more than 1,200 great reservoirs, bigger than 80 hm3. Their full capacity excels 50,000 hm3 and the length of their shore adds up to five times longer than the Spanish coast line. We are the country with the highest number of reservoirs in the world in proportion. This water is addressed for different uses: urban supplies, irrigation, industries, energy production, etc.
The intervention in these places entails a very interesting opportunity for improving thebiotopes and the superficial waters since, according to data compiled by Cedex, 50% of the water dammed in Spain is degraded due to eutrophication processes that cause proliferation of seaweed and other organisms and a reduction of the oxygen content. Additionally, more than the 60% of Spanish water is in poor state; to an extent in which purification of residual waters, around the 85%, fails to fulfil the guidelines of the UE; due to the detriment of ecological status or chemical pollution.
This is a question of a pathology owned by the condition of stagnant waters. In Europe the data increases to 61%, and similar percentages are documented within the 5 continents.
Therefore we coud say that all the fresh superficial waters from the continent suffer from diffuse pollution caused by spills from cities and industries, and the use of pesticides and herbicides in agriculture.
Both diseases are closely related and they favor one another, causing ecosystems to be poor and sick in biodiversity which in the end have an impact on people’s health and environment.
The underlying problem is very related to pollution and the model of production and the energy intake that we have used.
Eutrophication is a process of impoverishment of water, likely to occur on stagnant water reservoirs. Poorly oxigenated and renewed waters. This process consist on the increase of nutrient concentration in lacustrine or fluvial ecosystems. This leads to an excessive growth of organisms, mainly seaweed, which drains the oxygen from the water (anoxia). In normal conditions, when this occurs it is easy to spot it in many of ours river basins, streams or rafts. During the summer, the lack of rainfalls decreases and it stagnates the water bodies, leaving them exposed, in addition, to a strong solar radiation.
The diffuse contamination refers to air and water pollution from a non- specific source.
A nonprecise source of hydrologic contamination affects the water bodies from runoffs in agricultural areas that drain towards the rivers, or waste washed by the wind towards the sea. Non-precise sources of air pollution affect the quality of the air from contamination sources such as chimneys or smoke pipes from vehicles. Another significant source of draining includes river engineering and reservoirs; modification of the habitat and forestry. The urban and industrial spills to the rivers are likely to be considered a diffuse system of pollution.
There are two types of operation technologies of solar energy. The photovoltaic systems and thermal concentration systems.
Electrical power production through solar thermal production, implies the cleanest and the best performance option. This technology mainly uses water and solar energy.
The photovoltaic systems require silicon, a limited resource and one we did not count on in Europe. Furthermore, the Ecological Track from photovoltaic is much bigger, and the cost of production is higher. The present project aims to develop the thermoelectrical system, which is based on concentrating several rays of light in a point or a line, by which a fluid (that may be water) goes pass, in order to to heat it up until it reaches high pressures that are used to move the turbine that generates electric power.
Nowadays there are two main types of power plants. On the one hand, the plants in the central tower, in which mirrors, named heliostatos, are redirected through the solar movement aiming at a single point, located in a high tower. On the other hand the linear power stations, which can be cylinder-parabolic shaped or from plain Fresnel lenses.
A hybrid type which takes advantage of the best options of each plant has also been developed. A new typology of precise concentration of flat lenses, but established in units of independent production technically named, These “Lazos” are able to perform the complete power process in an independent manner, and the “Lazos” of support would be encharged of the recovering processes.
In order to obtain an acceptable performance the storage of the already produced energy is required. Nevertheless it is not possible to store electrical energy the energy is accumulated in its thermal state. A private solution is chosen, given that it has got the most reduced impact and risk on the habitat, the solution is the storage in masses of concrete. Substantial tanks will guarantee the supplies overnight, and at times of little solar uptake also.
Water treatment strategies
The mechanical oxygenation of the waters in the reservoir is an effective treatment against eutrophication since the stabilization of water levels facilitates the digestion and decomposition of stored organic matter; including dead particles of heterotrophic seaweed.
This is a regular practice in ponds or fish farms, and it has several scales of application; with several bubble sizes in order to reach all the chemical levels of the water.
The reduction of oxygen levels is very related to the condition of stagnant waters, it is also the beginning of the problem, and the starting point to the solution.
The filtrating process provides a dual action, since it acts directly on the elimination of polluting agents, one of the main objectives of the treatment and it also helps eliminating the deposits of organic matter produced by the eutrophication. The most cutting edge systems are the carbon and the activated carbon nanofilters. Both of them obtain a number of filtrates which may reach the levels of microscopic particles and bacteria. The controlled introduction of certain species is used to balance the ecosystem. Many other organisms are included, species that feed on heterotrophic seaweed for instance, the originators of the eutrophication, and thus reducing the effects in a natural way.
The magnitude of the devices and the plant setting imposes certain constructive decissions.
The design is thought for manufacturing on a number of industrial shaped elements which will need to be tools for mounting afterwords. in situ. It is necessary to establish a construction dock equipped with shipyard cranes and the proper machinery.
The dock is projected according to responsive criteria to the location and human dynamics, and taking advantage of the peculiarities of the reservoir. This means that the dock will keep its life utility throughout the construction of the power plant, but its track must be recycled into a pseudo-natural space for using and enjoying.
The synchronization has been considered with rain gauge times. According to the gathered data there are three times of the year which show peaks on the level of the reservoir. Due to the own features of the reservoir of “La Pedrera” the hight of the water level differs in 20 meters. This allows design to lay on that diffuse place between the aquatic environment and the Earth, taking advantage of the times when the level is low in order to build the ships, and taking the high level peaks with the aim of hurling them.
This is translated into 3 small conventional docks in which the “beds” are maximised, and the construction process is subject to periods of 4 months for the simultaneous construction within the three platforms.
In a total of 15 years the power plant would be completed, but it would begin to work from the boat of the three first devices, since they are able to produce energy on an independent manner.
From the very beginning the present project seeks for the sensible implantation with the landscape and the human dynamics. Treating the project from its playful and didactic potential as well as its potential for reactivating locations. There will be new dynamics of phenomenological character, since the improvement of the location’s biodiversity will allow human activities that could not take place until now, i.e: diving, swimming, etc. and the already existing activities will be empowered, as fishing for example. The present project will mean a landmark for didactic-tourism and will be also an economic activator for the region.
The reservoirs are sites that are already used for sport actvidades and they are in contact with the environment. For that reason it is necessary that within the virtual negotiation of the power station with the environment and with the human beings, a magical place is given back to joy. A pier and platforms for the bath appear to be colonizing the track of the dock of construction of the power plant by means of simple hanging bridges and a floating wharf, a temporary place, subject to the climate, which will be immersed in the filling peaks and will emerge in the average conditions. A place for observing a future of ecological integration.