analogue wednesday #93

it’s time!

the solar towers

we noticed the towers on our first foray into seville, many months ago. they are striking in the distance, gleaming high above the rolling hills of the andalusian landscape. a bit of googling came up with a name, or a couple of them in fact: ps10 and ps20 solar power plants of sanlúcar la mayor.

so intrigued were we by this massive development, that we decided one day we would do a detour to check them out — i even put it on the 101 list. last week was the day we finally did it!

the concept is simple: an array of movable mirrors that reflect the sun into a tower. the mirrors (called heliostats) follow the sun in its path, to maximize the amount of light and heat transferred to the tower. the heat turns water into steam, which is then in turn converted into electricity. it also lights up a lot of dust and water in the air, making it look ethereal … and stinging the occasional animal that flies in the light’s path! :)

the towers produce 10 and 20MW respectively, but the whole complex, which includes the towers and three fields of (normal) solar panels nearby, is said to produce a total of 300 MW — enough to power a city the size of seville. pretty neat, right?

now that the spanish economy has crashed and solar panels’ prices have dropped, these heavily subsidised towers don’t seem to be the most efficient way to generate electricity any longer… still, they’re an impressive show of engineering and ingenuity, and i’m glad we did the detour to explore them! more of these adventures, please.

analogue wednesday #92

the view from cape st. vicent at sunset.

hiking in sw algarve

hiking on the west coast is different from hiking on the hills around here. there’s the sea, obviously, but it’s the cliffs that make it all somewhat more adventurous, a little bit more challenging. there’s a lot more wind too — and colours!

the photos are from a sunny day last november. seems like the only time we go that way is when the sweet potato festival is on in aljezur… but i’ll tell you about that in another post! :)

one second everyday — february 2017

februaries never turn out to be particularly exciting, and this one was no exception.

i fixed the garden a bit, tried my hand at pottery (still as hopeless as in kindergarten), hiked with friends and had a little romantic getaway… but mostly worked-worked-worked. that’s ok though — sometimes it’s best to stay put and focus. the next few months should prove adventurous enough! :)