Plataforma Solar de Almeria
Out and About in Almeria No. 7
A dull start to the day with a slight shower.
We set off this morning to Tabernas, which is in the desert area of Almeria (the only desert in Europe) where some of the Spaghetti Westerns with Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef were filmed. There is a Western Town and Fort and Indian Village. Shows, of course, are put on there for the Tourists.
However, this is not what we travelled there for. We went to the Solar Reseach Centre which has been there for some 30 years. It is the largest European Centre for Research and Technologoical devlopment of Concentrated Solar Energy Applications. Spain was chosen above Africa and other hot climates as in Tabernas there is no humidity and the Country was Politically stable.
Projects ongoing include: Heat Production; Air conditioning; Refrigeration; De-salination; Water Purification. A project was built to test the panels for the European Space Station. They are even working with simulated moon rock to extract water (20% present in the rock) so that when they have succeeded they can use the real thing.
It was extremely interesting, we had a tour round the facility, some 5 by 3 km site, with a guide who is a Micro-Biologist followed by a video. All different solar panels are being tested for, of course, energy saving. We were all amazed how many projects were ongoing. Unfortunately for us, it was a very overcast day and none of the solar panels we working. Apparently they do not have then on all the time as they have to assess all the data from time to time.
The offices have all been designed to include all the latest energy saving methods, so that they can be studied in a working environment so that eventually offices and housing can be built using these methods - Not in my lifetime!!
A very interesting place to visit. See also Extra photo.