RDC has designed the floating structure to host the substation of a 5 MW floating PV plant located in Alqueva (Portugal). This dam is the largest in the EU, and the installation is the largest in a EU dam.
The floating structure has a total dimension of 12.23 m x 6.5 m and a depth of 1.29 m. It is formed by 5 precast elements with similar plant dimensions, all of them connected in the long-length with two steel beams, one per each side. The substation has dimensions of 7 x 2.5 m and is located in the centre, distributing its weight on the three central floaters.
UHPC was selected as the most adequate material for this application to maximize its reliability. The substation is a key point in this type of plants, so having a material with high impact capacity and fire-resistant is a significant advantage. Besides, its high bonding capacity facilitates an efficient connection of the two lateral steel beams with the UHPC elements, creating a monolithic structure with simple and limited bolts. The minimum thickness of the walls limits the weight of the element (49 t) to minimize its draft, so that the drag forces caused by the waves and currents are not significant.