Eptisa will automate the auscultation of the Covão do Meio dam in Portugal

During the project it will be installed an automatic auscultation system and a mixed solar-wind power supply system for the equipments

August 26 2013

The electricity company Energias de Portugal (EDP-Gestão da Produção de Energia, S.A.) has awarded to Eptisa a new contract titled: “Fornecimento do Sistema RAD (Recolha Automática de Dados de Observação) para a barragem do Covão do Meio” aimed to install an automatic auscultation system.

The Covão do Meio reservoir is located at 1650 m of altitude in a former glacier lake in the course of the river Lorida, within the Natural Park Serra da Estrela in the Concelho de Seia. It was constructed in 1953 and it is an arch-gravity dam with two different areas of 76 m and 96 m in total length at the top, and standing 31.5 m. This reservoir is linked with the Lagoa Comprida dam through a tunnel.

The project will be implemented during 3 months and include the necessary tasks to provide an automatic auscultation system to the dam aimed to collect the data from the following equipments:

  • Three inductive telecoordinometers.
  • Three inductive jointmeters with a incorporated thermometer to measure the temperature of the water inside the reservoir in different depths.
  • Two rod extensometers of foundation displacement transducers instrumented with LVDT type.
  • Four Carlson resistance thermometers
  • Reservoir water level gauge
  • Room temperature
  • Atmospheric pressure

Currently the dam has a data collection system for all this signals, but it was implemented in 1999 and it is technically obsolete. All the signals will be disconnected from the current system and will be collected with a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) with its corresponding protections, located in the booth in the centre of the dam’s top. This PLC will have the function data-logger and will save the data in a solid-state drive (SSD). It will also have a local display screen connected to an industrial embedded computer appropriate for work in harsh environments, with a computer application SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) and a GPRS modem for cyclical sending of data to the dam’s control application of EDP, using Excel files with a format defined by EDP.

The works include the supply and installation of a mixed solar-wind power supply system. It will be formed by two solar panels of 290 Wp placed over the booth at the top of the dam and a wind turbine of 1500 watts installed over a column standing 7 m at the top of the dam, with its corresponding regulation systems and backup battery. It will also be dismantled the current equipments and will be moved to the EDP warehouse in Seia.

This project has the characteristic that the area of work is inside the Natural Park Serra da Estrela, which imply that the directives given by the Park Management have to be respected. Furthermore there is no road access to the dam, so the access is made with an all-terrain vehicle through a road without pavement 1.5 km long, from the highway N339 (Seia-Covilhã) to the surrounding area of Covão do Boeiro and then by a pedestrian path 600 m long until the top of the dam.
 Eptisa will automate the auscultation of the Covão do Meio dam in Portugal