Increasing energy efficiency, significantly reducing consumption and reducing environmental impact are the main aims that characterise the projects presented in this edition. Saving in energy production by leveraging Internet of Things (IoT) technology, providing electricity in developing countries and remote locations, or expanding solar energy capture are some of the most striking objectives of these projects.
The Innovation Gallery at GENERA 2018, Energy and Environment International TradeFair, organised by IFEMA from 13 to 15 June, has selected 19 projects in recognition of their contribution to the development of renewables and energy efficiency in Spain. The initiative aims to encourage the scientific and technological research effort by public-sector and private organisations, and the innovation work by companies in this sector.
The projects have been selected by a jury of experts, professionals and representatives of leading industry associations, by taking into account each project’s degree of innovation, energy efficiency, applicability and ability to positively influence the progress of renewable energies and energy efficiency.
Increasing energy efficiency and reducing consumption
This year’s Innovation Gallery at GENERA 2018 will host innovative alternatives that are committed to increasing energy efficiency, while reducing consumption and environmental impact. For example, one of the projects has boosted efficiency in a cogeneration plant by recovering microturbine exhaust gases.
Another focuses on creating a solution to calibrate a whole field of heliostats in just a few hours. Another has drastically cut the costs of these units in solar thermal power plants. And another project has discovered how microgrids can be an optimal way to minimise environmental impact.
Some of these companies are developing electricity supply to remote and sparsely inhabited locations around the world through technological innovation. Others are regulating energy production in hybrid thermal photovoltaic panels by applying Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
The Gallery completes its scope with projects that are working to expand solar collection, optimizing self-consumption and automating solar panel maintenance tasks. In wind power, the efforts of one of the projects focuses on increasing the integration of wind energy in the electricity grid while another company has been working on reducing the weight of floating wind platforms.
Finally, at this year’s Genera we can also get to know the operation of other cutting-edge systems such as the passive shower, which recycles energy otherwise lost down the drain, or InCool climate control systems, which are autonomous and so save electricity consumption.
Development of a hybrid storage plant for integration in wind power facilities
ACCIONA ENERGÍA, SA. (Alcobendas, Madrid)
The general aim of this project is to develop and validate this technology that allows the integration of storage systems in wind power generation facilities. This can greatly improve their integration with the electricity grid so they participate actively in providing auxiliary services.
To do this, the company has installed a storage system comprising two batteries in two containers in the plant at Barásoain (Navarre): one 1 MW/0.39 MWh (fast response) power battery (capable of maintaining 1 MW of power for 20 minutes) and another battery with slower response energy and greater autonomy, 0.7 MW/0.7 MWh (capable of maintaining 0.7 MW during 1 hour).
Both batteries are Samsung SDI with Li-ion technology and are connected to an AW116/3000 wind turbine, with 3 MW rated power and ACCIONA Windpower technology (Nordex group), from which they take the energy to be stored. This wind turbine is one of the five that make up the Barásoain Experimental Wind Farm, which the company has been operating since 2013.
High efficiency cogeneration using exhaust gases from microturbines in conventional boilers as combustion agent
AE, S.A. (Barcelona)
This project undertook the complete overhaul of a thermoelectric plant in Michoacán, Mexico which provides steam, electricity and other services to various nearby industries. It consists of two single-cycle cogeneration lines, which use natural gas and LPG as fuel at 25 t/h and 400 kWe ISO on site each, consisting of four microturbines grouped 2 by 2 (400 kW ISO per line) and two steam generators (one for each line) with total generation capacity of 2 × 25 t/h of steam at 10 bar saturated.
Turbine exhaust gases are usually sent to a heat recovery system but the innovation of this project is to send them directly to the burners of the two steam boilers, in the combustion gas. The gas is enriched with the fresh air as necessary to ensure the fuel is as required for steam production at any given time.
SHORT (Scalable HeliOstat calibRation sysTem): Development of an automated system for calibration of heliostats in solar thermal power plants with concentration on a central receiver
CENER (National Centre for Renewable Energies) (Sarriguren, Navarre)
The SHORT project has developed an innovative, automated, fast heliostat calibration system that definitely jumps a generation gap with traditional systems.
Its radical new concept enables easy calibration of a whole field of heliostats in a few hours, even at night, without interfering with the plant’s operation. This system was originally implemented at the EASY heliostat (developed by IK4-TEKNIKER and CENER) enabling the plant to be managed locally and perform all the necessary operations and manage all the components involved in the calibration. The architecture of this development is sufficiently flexible to be applied in any type of heliostat with only minimal modification.
CERIAN SHOWER, SL. (Algemesi, Valencia)
Passive Shower is a registered trademark for a shower tray design that recovers thermal energy from waste water. It is patented in Spain and has a favourable international search report.
In any house, the bathroom is one that consumes the most energy, and much of that energy is used to heat sanitary water, which is mostly consumed in the shower. That energy leaves the house down the drain, without ever being reused.
Other systems on the European market have a heat exchange device in the house downpipe, underneath the shower tray or in a vertical channel attached to the shower tray.
Passive Shower’s heat exchanger is visible and cleaning it does not require any extra action by the user. Performance is constant throughout the life of the shower tray.
Smart control of your solar energy: Applying IoT to hybrid solar panels
ENDEF ENGINEERING, SL. (San Juan de Mozarrizar, Zaragoza)
With this project EndeF goes a step further with a state of the art technique that can generate thermal and electrical energy simultaneously in the same panel. It does this by taking advantage of the enormous potential of emerging technologies and applies the Internet of Things (IoT) concept to a pioneering system for regulating energy production.
Specifically, Endef presents the MeshControl product, the first smart control system on the market aimed at hybrid solar installations, capable of regulating the installation’s operation remotely, adapting to specific consumption profiles and anticipating demand. The hybrid panel’s dual energy production makes this control possible, as it can act on the installation to prioritize generation of one type of energy or the other, as needed.
Wind Green: Vertical Axle Wind Turbines for distributed electricity production
EOLION ENERGÍA, SL. (Móstoles, Madrid)
The Wind Green project, promoted by Eolion Energía, consists of a vertical wind turbine with high performance at low wind speeds for generating electricity in a distributed way. They have designed a unit consisting of a Savonius type vertical thrust wind turbine. They have chosen this type of technology because of its many advantages: operation at moderate and low wind speeds, versatility in different environments, and plenty of scope for technical and economic improvement.
The value proposition of the Wind Green project is to develop a versatile unit that can be installed and used in any environment, with a cost that allows it to be amortized quickly, and that can generate more energy as it is technologically well developed.
ESEKI, SAL (Etxarri-Aranatz, Navarre)
This project aims to develop and build a small microgrid in the town of Lizarraga in Navarra which has a pumping-based storage system. They have successfully built a completed installation that meets the area’s needs and also serves as a pilot project for the concept of “Distributed Pumping.”
This project began in August 2017. The microgrid is now operating and is the first of its kind. The work consisted of implementing a solution incorporating distributed pumping storage, which has allowed Eseki to position itself both nationally and internationally as pioneers in developing this type of solution.
The Lizárraga Microgrid project aims to demonstrate that the microgrids can become an viable solution for power generation and management in areas that wish to minimize their environmental impact, while substantially reducing energy consumption.
EXPONENTIAL RENEWABLES SL. (Barcelona)
X1 Wind has redesigned marine floating wind platforms to drastically reduce weight by 80% and cost by 50%. Its design has the potential to cut the LCOE for floating units to €50/MWh, with a platform weight of only 260t/MW. This is similar to fixed structures, but much cheaper to install. It can be fully assembled in port and installed using a small tugboat that costs less than €20,000/day compared to the specialized offshore vessels with large cranes that cost around €150-500,000/day used for fixed turbines.
Although it was only launched in 2017, X1 Wind is already considered one of the most innovative energy start-ups. Its system was conceived at MIT and won a prize in the Cleantech Camp contest organized by Innoenergy and Gas Natural Fenosa.
“Luz en Casa Oaxaca”: an innovative model of electrical service provision, which applies third generation home photovoltaic systems for human development
ACCIONA MICROENERGY FOUNDATION (Alcobendas, Madrid)
“Luz en Casa Oaxaca” (Oaxaca Light at Home) is an initiative of the ACCIONA Microenergy Foundation to provide a basic electricity service to locations with a population of under 100 in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico.
These people are left out of the scope of other electrification plans: a thinly spread population and low income households mean it is not technically and economically viable to extend electricity lines to these communities.
Faced with this situation, ACCIONA Microenergía has designed an innovative electricity service provision model based on providing third-generation residential photovoltaic systems, training users in their installation and use, and providing technical service centres for advice and to repair the (high quality and efficient) compatible electrical systems and devices that are also acquired in these centres. This has given households more hours of light, while reducing the need for oil lamps.
New Ebro Sports Park - Smart Sport Park
EDUCATION, HEALTH AND SPORTS IN ARAGÓN FOUNDATION (FESDA) (Zaragoza)
The aim of this project has been to create a sustainable model for Sports and Leisure Centres and make them economically viable. The work began by renovating existing facilities and incorporating new technologies to improve energy efficiency. This is intended to reduce waste in energy, water and waste water management and achieve balance and complete integration with the environment, while covering each one’s particular needs and implementing new information and communication technologies as a management tool.
The project aims to be a reference resource for the facilities of other sports clubs and federations. It hopes that different sports and types of organisation can apply the new management model to allow them to have the best facilities and services at the lower cost.
SUNINBOX (Portable solution for distributed generation in a box)
GENERACIONES FOTOVOLTAICA-S DE LA MANCHA S.L. (Villacañas, Toledo)
The SUNINBOX project (Portable solution for distributed generation in a box) consists of a portable energy solution capable of providing electricity in any remote area of the world. It has up to 45 kVA of inverter power and a 30kW power system, with 10 kWp of installed photovoltaic panels on a a single-axis solar tracker, and a 45.6 kWh lithium ferro-phosphate (LiFePO4) accumulator, all installed in a 20 foot shipping container with the SGS quality certificate.
The aim of the project is to enable access to electricity with a portable, low cost solution (€4.25/W, €0.35/kWh) usable anywhere in the world, however remote it may be. It is ideal for electrification in many applications in different fields, such as refugee camps, military camps, rural electrification in remote areas, third world humanitarian aid camps, farms with irrigation systems.
New IndiCool autonomous hybrid air conditioning system, based on a combination of adaibatic and direct expansion technologies, allowing energy savings of up to 80% compared to direct expansion systems
GREEN ECO SL. (Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid)
Green Eco is working on the new IndiCool climate control system, whose stand-alone operation combines two different air cooling technologies. This allows it to use up to 80% less electricity than conventional mechanical compression systems. This is because it is a hybrid that includes adiabatic technology and direct expansion in the same unit. It provides substantial energy savings even in conditions with high relative humidity of external air.
The IndiCool equipment takes advantage of the major benefits of adiabatic air conditioning without being limited by the external wet bulb depression conditions, even when this is small.
This is possible because air is cooled by water evaporation with enthalpy variation but without mechanical compression, by Indirect/Direct technology, and because the company has been able create a hybrid of adiabatic and mechanical compression technologies.
Development of a computer-based tool for assessment of wind potential in urban environments
NABLADOT SL. (Zaragoza)
This project has developed an application that couples of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) techniques, numerical models for meteorological prediction and reanalysis, computational fluid dynamics techniques and analytical software to characterise wind resources in urban areas (for example, wind roses and Weibull distribution parameters for building roofs). The application is cloud-based, simple to use and highly automated. Running the computational tool involves simply selecting the area for the wind characterization, so the user does not need to know about numerical simulation and computational resources.
Potential users of this tool range from domestic users and installation companies, up to local governments drawing up wind potential maps of areas or towns for public information. So, the results of this project are widely applicable and can encourage wider adoption of electric power generation using wind turbines.
Presto Go System
PRESTO IBÉRICA SA. (Madrid)
The Presto Ibérica Group –Spain’s leader in water taps, supplying all technologies available on the market– presents the Presto Go System, an innovative solution with NESS technology combined in an electronic system unique in this market that optimizes water saving and environmental efficiency.
Presto Go System recirculates water without a return pipe, avoiding the water wastage that usually occurs while the user waits for hot water to reach the tap.
Presto Go is very simple to use. Simply wave your hand in front of the activator –like a light switch. After a few seconds the blue light changes to red, indicating that the system has completed the process. The tap turns on and out comes hot water, without wasting a single drop. The Presto Go System can cut water bills by up to 56% and save 1000 litres per person/month.
Saft demonstrates the benefits of the “behind-the-meter” solar energy storage system for the Exkal industrial plant in Spain
SAFETY BATERY (Alcobendas, Madrid)
The Exkal energy storage system came on stream in April 2017.
Saft installed these Intensium® Mini E systems to improve the operating efficiency of the Exkal solar photovoltaic plant, providing maximum backup to reduce power peaks and so optimise the self-consumption of solar energy. This ESS is helping the Exkal plant achieve a reduction of 20 percent in maximum energy demand from the local network together with greater self-consumption of solar energy. The net result is
that Exkal is saving around 8% on its energy bills.
Integrating a lithium-ion battery with features and DC bus voltage levels like those of the SAFT Intensium Mini, has made this project a first of its kind in Spain. It has demonstrated that high voltage Li-ion batteries can be used at power ranges below 100kW to make the whole system more efficient.
Solar amplified flat collection - SCPA
JUAN CUSIDÓ AND PAULINO CUEVAS (Madrid)
The amplified flat solar thermal collector system (SCPA) fills the gap between conventional solar thermal collection using flat-type thermal solar collectors and parabolic trough concentration collectors. This new system produces circulating fluid temperatures close to 100°C with high yield. These temperatures are conventionally achieved using fossil fuels, for the industrial, tertiary and domestic sectors, for producing hot air and water.
SCPA has been developed by analysis and experimentation, focussing on ways that business and society can save energy to significantly improve competitiveness and drastically cut energy bills and environmental impact.
The system consists of two components: a system of high-end flat type water or air solar collectors and a solar irradiation amplifier with a prismatic configuration. The amplifier consists of rectangular specular facets with adjustable or manual opening. Manual adjustment is “a once a year.” Because of the way it is built and its specific design it projects from 1.7 to 2 suns on the collectors.
Self-consumption photovoltaic system with cluster storage: a modular and expandable solution for any grid-connected system
SOLARWATT SOLAR SYSTEMS GmbH (Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid)
Solarwatt’s project is an implementation of a domestic self-consumption and storage system which is “large” by normal standards for this type. The novelty of this system lies in its high modularity, expandability, and the innovative features of its new Matrix battery.
The Matrix stores all the generated power that can not be consumed immediately for later use when production is not sufficient to satisfy demand. This makes it essential for increasing self-sufficiency ratios in self-consumption photovoltaic systems connected to the grid.
The accumulator system is based on 2.4kWh/800W lithium battery packs with sophisticated control and power electronics. It can be scaled up as a home’s needs increase and, fundamentally, when photovoltaic surplus grows, up to 12kWh/4000W (five battery packs).
ADES solar-powered positive displacement pumping
TEMPERO 2000 SL. (Zaragoza)
Current developments in agricultural irrigation are leading to pumping accumulated water supplies to altitude as the best solution to ensure water pressure and to use automation efficiently.
ADES has developed a unique technology capable of pumping with maximum performance at any energy capture level, without this affecting the proper operation of existing facilities, as an alternative to existing grid-powered pumping. This minimizes consumption of contracted (fixed cost) power and reduces the kWh consumed from the grid (variable cost).
Replacing a conventional pumping plant or building a new installation with the ADES© Solar-Powered Positive Displacement Pumping Technology upgrades both the pump and the power source. This allows raising water up to 600m per pump, giving a flow directly proportional to the energy captured.
UAVInspection Study of a system for remote automated management of industrial operation and maintenance tasks by automatic generation of aerial missions
TSK ELECTRÓNICA Y ELECTRICIDAD, S.A. (Gijón, Asturias)
The UAVIInspection project aims to investigate the possibility of integrating an unmanned UAV aerial image capture system with a massive information acquisition and processing technology platform, to optimise operational and maintenance tasks in a photovoltaic solar energy generation plant.
UAVInspection aims to integrate aerial data obtained by a UAV together with that from other sensors, using a Big Data platform. This integration aims to improve incident detection and visualization of the status of photovoltaic plants, and to automatically generate new flight and monitoring missions. In this way UAVInspection aims to achieve autonomous and intelligent use of UAV technology, that adapts in real time to the specific needs of each installation, needing only minimal operator intervention.