Impressed with ACCIONA's Solar Thermal Plants Palma del Rio I and II
On 24 and 25 April I was in one of the most impressive surroundings I’ve ever experienced; solar thermal energy plant Palma del Rio (I and II) in the Spanish region of Andalusia. This large 270 ha solar energy plant of Acciona is filled with parabolic mirrors that gives an overwhelming feeling of mystery and innovation. It has the potential of 100 MW and can provide 70,000 homes with electricity. This is the scene of part two of our corporate video.
Kipp & Zonen is a well-known brand in the world of meteorology, but what makes the name stand out? Do people really know who Kipp & Zonen is and what we stand for? All over the world? I believe some will, but a lot won’t. That is why making a corporate video was on my 'to-do' list for this year. We have now finished recording at two different sites; our head office and production department in Delft, the Netherlands and Acciona’s Palma del Rio I and II in Spain.
Palma del Rio
Last week the camera crew and I travelled to this amazing plant close to Cordoba and Sevilla. We arrived in Palma del Rio late Monday night. This small town of about 20,000 inhabitants was our home for the next 3 days. Nobody spoke any English (except for the Pakistan guy from the Kebab place) and I was forced to dig deep into my Spanish vocabulary (it has been 10 years since I've taken Spanish classes). My iPhone was not going to help me since there was no WiFi available (note to myself; do not rely on your iPhone for everything). I combined the few Spanish words that came to mind with a smile and that turned out to be more than enough for the friendly people of Palma. I have to be honest and confess there were some unfortunate translations resulting in less tasty meals, but during most of the time I could manage to get my message across.
Five solar monitoring stations
On Tuesday we arrived at Acciona’s solar thermal plants where two people of Dilus Instrumentacíon (our Spanish distributor) awaited us at the gate. They travelled from Madrid to introduce us to ‘el Jefe’ and his team, but also to help install our instruments. Last year Dilus already installed two platforms (each with two solar monitoring stations) for weather monitoring at the power plant. On each platform there is one SOLYS 2 sun tracker with pyrheliometer for direct radiation, a pyranometer for global radiation and a shaded pyranometer for diffuse radiation. The second SOLYS 2 sun tracker functions as a back-up and only measures direct radiation with a pyrheliometer. The platforms however did not allow a lot of space to move around with the camera and therefore we brought another SOLYS 2 with full instrumentation that was installed by the experienced technicians of DILUS (Francesco has installed over 100 sun trackers!).
Making the video
After a warm welcome and a quick tour we could get started. On day 1 we captured all the footage we needed of the platforms with the two sun trackers, the control room and sunset over this beautiful scenery. As soon as the sun was down the SOLYS 2 returned to its home position and at the same time the hundreds of rows of mirrors started to follow. At 6:00 hours the next day we arrived at a pitch black power plant with only the turbines and buildings lighted. At 7:00 hours the susu began to rise began and we witnessed the SOLYS 2 sun tracker capturing the sun to follow its path all day. At a moment like that sunrise feels like magic. The light and scenery were breathtaking. The rest of the day was all about time-lapse; the camera made a picture of the SOLYS 2 every 20 seconds. When speeding this up it shows the tracking of the sun. All of this will result in a beautiful story on Kipp & Zonen and our instruments.
On Thursday I watched the sunrise again, but this time from the airport of Sevilla because our flight left at 7:00 hours. I left Palma del Rio with a humble feeling and respect for initiatives like Acciona’s power plant. It has been an incredible experience, one that I will never forget. It was like walking between giants when walking around all those rows of mirrors, each more than 100 meters long. Impressive is the word that will remain imprinted in my memory.
I would like to thank Acciona for their hospitality and this unique opportunity. The quality of our video is strengthened by their power plants Palma del Rio I and II. Another big thanks to Dilus, our Spanish distributor, for helping us in the preparation and execution. You have pleasantly surprised me with your expertise and pro-active thinking.
The all-new Kipp & Zonen corporate video will premiere at Inter Solar Europe in Munich, 13 – 15 June.
, Come by booth B2.341 to be one of the first to see it. If you do not have the opportunity to visit Intersolar, keep an eye out on our You Tube channel www.youtube.com/kippzonen.
Published: 02/05/2012 14:59