Cost-efficient power generation operations through algae control
Preventing the risk of power generation failures
The MPC-Buoy technology keeps algae levels under control in a raw water pond at Termosol 1 and Termosol 2, Saeta Yield’s power generation facility in western Spain. This water is essential, as it ensures continuous electricity generation.
Blue-green algae reduction by using ultrasound
Reduced turbidity levels by reducing algae growth
Acces to real-time water quality data insights
The project began back in 2014 with the previous owner of the power generation facilities. Due to satisfying results of the MPC-Buoy on the water quality in the raw water pond, new operator Saeta Yield incorporated MPC-Buoy in their own water treatment processes.
In the power facility, the raw water flows from a pond to the pumps that push it through filters to reduce total suspended solids (TSS). The water was high in nutrients and had high concentrations of cyclotella ocellata (diatoms).
This type of filamentous algae caused biofilm, which blocked the pipes, filters, and pump. Such blockages reduced the raw water flow from 160 m3/h to almost 0 m3/h, putting the electricity generation at severe risks of shut-down until the pumps and filters get cleaned. In economic terms, this issue amounted to approximately 4,000 €/h.
Ecological solution for a eutrophic environment
To find a solution to the algae problem, Termosol 1 and Termosol 2 conducted a study in which multiple treatment options were evaluated. Given that the pond is located in a protected area called ZEPA (Special Protection Zone for Birds), chemical treatment was immediately rejected.
The LG Sonic MPC-Buoy out-qualified other technologies based on three criteria:
- Remotely operated technology that effectively controls a broad range of algal groups;
- Safe for aquatic life such as fish, plants, and zooplankton;
- Continuous water quality monitoring with integrated online software.
This technology was rapidly approved by the local authorities in charge of environmental conservation. The MPC-Buoy only targets algae’s buoyancy; it prevents the algae from absorbing sunlight and photosynthesis. As a result, they sink to the bottom where bacteria help decompose them without releasing toxins into the water body.
Unlike conventional ultrasonic systems that use a wide range of frequencies, the MPC-Buoy adjusts the frequency based on specific algal groups and water conditions. This prevents the resistance to ultrasound and increases the treatment efficiency.
Reduced algae levels and improved water quality
With the MPC-Buoy systems, blue-green algae values were reduced by over 90%. The improved levels stayed stable throughout the year. The turbidity values also reflected a significant difference, with a reduction of more than 95%.
Additionally, the water color shifted from green to clear blue, and biofilm growth was prevented in the filters. This way, operating costs were also reduced, since it was no longer necessary to manually clean every day, but rather once a month.
“The advantages that we found were that, since the technique is free of chemicals, it was very welcomed by authorities. Also, this technique allows to cover wide surfaces without an annual cost of consumables. As a conclusion, it can be said that the implemented technique was effective, resulting in a correct control of the algae blooms in the pond.”
– Elena Hernández, Environmental & Reliability Leader at Saeta Yield