The Sotavento Experimental Wind Farm has had in operation since 2003 a solar thermal energy installation for hot water, underfloor heating in the control room and heating by warm-air heaters in the workshop area.
The main features of the system are:
- Catchment area: 8 m2
- Accumulation volume: 500 litres
The auxiliary power supply is produced by mean sofa hot air-water pump.
The project involved monitoring and automation through the development of a specific SCADA system of all the hydraulic circuits that make up the solar heating. Likewise, it has also served as a basis for performance analysis of this type of solar thermal installation by obtaining various reports, including:
- Balance of thermal energy generated and consumed
- Performance of solar collectors
- Performance of the heat pump according to room temperature
- History and development charts
The methodology of the project was comprised of the following stages:
- Definition of control variables
- Definition of measuring sensors and their acquisition
- Definition of analogue and digital inputs and outputs and wiring and installation of sensors and control board
- Establishment of automatic operation patterns of the installation, alarms and database storage
- Programming using Lab VIEW for manual and automatic logging and display of historical variables in ten-minute intervals, operating status, alarms, etc.
- Implementation: verification of correct sensor measurements, starting and stopping of pumps as scheduled, etc.
- Sampling and storage of selected variables
- Analysis of results of thermal energy and evaluation of the performance of the installation
The project has been terminated. From December 2004 to November 2006 the operating system was controlled through a specific SCADA system, allowing accurate historical reports on the performance of solar thermal hot water and heating applications in our community. Currently the facility continues to operate generating hot water and heating for certain parts of the building.