these are the posts tagged ‘andalusia’:

the andalusian roadtrip

we’re still very much in love with roadtrips and the adventures that they offer. last year in june, we took a few days to explore andalusia with some friends. it’s a beautiful region, with bits of history peeking everywhere, delicious food and exciting geography. so close, and yet so different from algarve just around the corner!

we drove to granada and back, with a few stops along the way. i’ll try to show some of our favourite things about it in the next posts. come along, pond!

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.