Structures, water, computers, languages and people (not necessarily in this order)

Wind & water power, a perfect match

With great gorges and high wind energy potential, the Canary Islands (Spain) prove to be a very suitable place for the implementation of a hydroeolic power station. It is also the first wind & water power station that will be providing close to 80% of the total electricity demand of an isolated island.

The key advantage of such a mixture is that the system overcomes the characteristic problems of variability, discontinuity and unpredictability of winds. When the energy produced by the wind farm exceeds the demand, the surplus is used to pump desalinated water in a reservoir situated 700 m above sea level. Conversely, if the energy produced by the wind farm is insufficient to meet the demand, the water stored in the upper reservoir is released through the turbines to a lower reservoir, converting the potential energy of the water into electrical energy. In this way, thanks to the potential energy storage and the controllable power output of the turbines, it is possible to establish a steady voltage that matches the demand at any time. It is the worthwhile to notice that the weather pattern does not usually hit wind and water simultaneously.

All these ecologic reasons together with the record time to deliver the final project made me feel quite proud of this work in the end. I enclose some pics of the pumping building (8777 m2) and turbining station (1344 m2) that were calculated on my own. Very heavy machinery, wind pressure, earthquake and a difficult volcanic geology have been the main conditionants of design.

General scheme of the complex

Pumping building - Floor plan

Pumping building - Office block - Model of the structure in Cypecad
Pumping building -Pump station - Model of the structure in SAP2000

Turbining station - Floor plan

Turbining station - Model of the structure in Cypecad


  1. I use to get very angry with people who say that renewable energy sources are insufficient or very hard to manage while nuclear, instead, has only "tecnical" problems tha could be solved with more engineering. What's up with them? Can't renewables be engineered too to solve their problems? Here, you show us that... yes, we can. :)

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